The link between seafood and heart health is clear. Eating seafood provides a positive benefit for heart health.
Omega 3’s from wild Alaska seafood give your heart a health boost.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Eating fish as little as once per week reduces the risk of death from coronary heart disease, and higher levels of the DHA and EPA circulating lower the risk of fatal heart attack.
The most effective way to boost circulating levels of EPA and DHA is through direct ingestion of foods or supplements high in these compounds, such as wild Alaska seafood.
Omega-3 fatty acids in wild Alaska Seafood help to:
- Lower triglycerides in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Increase levels of good cholesterol.
- Decrease blood pressure.
- Decrease risk of death after heart attack.
- Reduce side effects associated with stroke.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Consume at least two servings of fish per week.
Heart-Healthy Nutrients in Seafood
- Vitamin D: Studies have shown that vitamin D prevents cardiovascular disease. Adequate vitamin D levels reduce the risk of high blood pressure and lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Reduce inflammation: Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, reduce inflammation linked to atherosclerosis and to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Selenium: Wild Alaska seafood is an excellent source of selenium. Selenium is important for the optimal function of the cardiovascular system. It is also a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation.
- Heart Rate: Omega-3 fatty acids reduce resting heart rate and helps heart rate return to resting more quickly after exercise. They also prevent atrial fibrillation in individuals with heart failure.
- Hypertension: DHA reduces blood pressure and heart rate. Omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the production of nitric oxides, a substance that promotes relaxation of the blood vessel wall.
- Cardioprotective: Omega-3 fatty acids in wild Alaska seafood are cardioprotective because they reduce the formation of clots or plaque. They also help to lower triglyceride levels and raise protective HDL.
- Reduce the Risk of Death: Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of death, heart attack and strokes.
Whether you’re young or old, seafood omega-3s may tone down overactive immune responses, making your symptoms of inflammation less severe. For example, seafood omega-3s may promote immune system maturation in infancy and lessen the symptoms of childhood allergies or delay their onset. Research also suggests that increased omega-3 consumption may ease the symptoms of some inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, certain allergies and digestive disorders.
Nutrients Associated with Wild Alaska Seafood and Immunity
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties, but evidence also supports that omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of a healthy immune system.  Omega 3 fatty acids have the ability to generate specialized pro-solving lipid mediators (SPMs), which play an important function in downregulating the immune response and resolving inflammation after the body’s immune system has performed its purpose.
Wild Alaska seafood is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially salmon, sablefish, salmon and herring. Current guidelines recommend that Americans consume 8-ounces of seafood per week in order to consume adequate amounts.
Zinc plays a critical role in host defenses against infections and deficiency will often result in suppressed immune function. Most people consuming a typical Western diet do not consume adequate amounts of zinc and should consider increasing zinc-rich food sources in their diet.
Oysters are one of the world’s greatest sources of zinc, providing 291% of the daily value. Other Alaska seafood such as crab, clams, mussels, and shrimp are also rich in zinc and are considered to be good sources.
Selenium is one of the most crucial nutrients for maintaining and improving immune function. It provides powerful antioxidant protection to the body via the selenium containing enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. This antioxidant helps to reduce oxidative stress and to minimize damaging free radicals in the body.
Wild Alaska seafood, including halibut, rockfish and salmon, is one of the best food sources of selenium and is considered to be excellent source of selenium.
Selenium RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance or Daily Value) = 55mcg
- 3 oz rockfish has 65 mcg or 118% DV (daily value)
- 3 oz Razor clam has 54 mcg, or 99% DV
- 3 oz Dungeness has 41 mcg, or 75% DV (king and snow crab are also very high, 34 and 38 mcg respectively))
- 3 oz halibut has 47 mcg or 85% DV
- 3 oz of both king and keta salmon have 40 mcg, or 73% DV
Vitamin D plays a role in the immune response to infection by triggering the production of a peptide that exerts antimicrobial activity again intracellular bacteria.  Low vitamin D status, which is common in the United States, increases susceptibility to infection.  Wild Alaska seafood is one of the few food sources of this nutrient that is so important for immune function.
All forms of wild Alaska seafood including all varieties of salmon and white fish are considered to be excellent sources.
Vitamin D RDA =600 IU (15 mcg)
- 3 oz Serving of Coho Salmon has 383 IU (9.6mcg), or 64% of RDA (DV)
- 3 oz Sockeye has 14.2 mcg, or 95% DV
- 3 oz Pink Salmon has 11mcg, or 73% DV
- 3 oz Halibut has 5mcg or 33% DV
Vitamin A plays a role in immune function and enhances the capacity of epithelial tissue to resist invasion by pathogenic bacteria. Foods such as deep orange or red vegetables are traditionally considered when considering vitamin A food sources. However, seafood can also contribute Vitamin A to the diet.
Alaska sea cucumber is an excellent source, and razor clams and rockfish are considered to be good sources.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is found in greater quantities in the body than any other amino acid. It is crucial for maintaining optimal antioxidant status, intestinal health, and is known for powering immune cells. Alaska seafood is a good source of glutamine.
Other nutrients to support immunity include Vitamin E, Vitamin A, vitamin C, prebiotics and probiotics and other antioxidants such as N-acetyl cysteine and alpha-lipoic acid.
The link between seafood and brain health is clear.
Consuming a nutrient-dense diet that includes wild Alaska seafood ensures adequate intake of nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D that can boost brain health. Alaska seafood is also known for its anti-inflammatory and nerve cell protective effects and can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, depression, perinatal depression and anxiety.
Seafood = Brain Food
EPA and DHA from SEAFOOD help to protect, restore and rebuild the brain.
- Reduced Inflammation:
EPA & DHA reduces small proteins in the brain that promote inflammation and are associated with depression, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
- Perinatal Depression:
Research has shown a clear link between low blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and increased rates of post-partum depression. Every 1% increase in DHA in the blood is associated with a 59% reduction of depressive symptoms in pregnant mothers.
- Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia:
Increased levels of EPA & DHA in the blood are proven to decrease one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Brain Growth:
Increased levels of EPA & DHA in the blood are associated with increases in gray matter, brain volume and improved cognition. As the dominant fatty acid in the brain, DHA, has the ability to turn on the growth of new brain cells and can protect and enhance the function of the existing ones.
- Preserving Brain Function:
Vitamin D plays a neuroprotective role. Low levels of Vitamin D are often associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, mental health disorders and cognitive decline.
Nutrients in Alaska Seafood
Wild Alaska seafood species are loaded with nutrients that have multiple health-promoting benefits that reduce disease risk. It is also delicious and versatile, giving
it a diverse menu in terms of both nutrition and flavor!
Wild Alaska Seafood offers nutrients including:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Loaded with EPA and DHA, these fats reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, lower inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer.
- Vitamin D – one of the most significant food sources of vitamin D available. This nutrient is critical for brain health, bone health, and reduced risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- B Vitamins – niacin, B6 and B12 – essential for functions including energy production at the cellular level, creating and repairing DNA, and reducing inflammation.
- Selenium – protects bone health, decreases thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroid disease and may reduce the risk of cancer. It also protects against mercury toxicity.
- Potassium – helps to control blood pressure and risk your risk of stroke.
- Iron, Copper, and Zinc – necessary for a range of bodily function including wound healing, oxygen transportation, immune function, and cellular growth.
- Protein – rich in high-quality protein which plays a role in healing, protecting bone health and maintaining muscle mass.
Pregnancy and Infancy
Alaska Seafood for Health During Pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant or lactating, it is vital that her diet include enough DHA to ensure optimal brain, eye, immune and nervous system for her developing baby.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are essential fats that must be consumed in the diet as our bodies cannot produce these on their own. Consuming enough omega-3’s can also lower an infant’s chances of developing asthma or other allergic conditions. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in the length of gestation and in preventing perinatal depression.
- The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is especially important for expectant mothers and developing babies.
- DHA remains important beyond delivery as DHA is critical for brain development until the age of two.
- Guidelines recommend that women consume 200 mg per day of DHA during pregnancy/breastfeeding.
- Consuming 4-ounces of seafood rich in omega-3’s, twice per week is enough to meet the needs of both mom and baby.
- Diets should include wild Alaska seafood sources high in omega-3’s such as salmon, sablefish, herring, rockfish, and cod.
- Many Alaska seafood species are low in mercury, and are also high in selenium, which prevents mercury from acting in the body.
Alaska Seafood and Infant Nutrition
The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is essential for the growth and development of a baby’s central nervous system, brain, and the retina in utero.
Infants and toddlers should consume optimal levels of DHA through breastmilk and a diet containing foods rich in DHA including wild Alaska seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sablefish, herring, rockfish, and cod at least twice a week.
- Adequate DHA consumption improves visual acuity as well as cognitive development in children.
- The third trimester is when the most significant amount of brain development occurs, and DHA is transferred at an even higher rate from mother to baby.
- For optimal DHA intake, a mother should consume 200 mg of DHA per day during pregnancy/ breastfeeding.
- Infants and toddlers should also consume optimal levels of DHA through breastmilk and a diet containing foods rich in DHA.
- Including wild Alaska seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sablefish, herring, rockfish, and cod at least twice a week will help to ensure optimal brain, nerve and retinal development in children.
For more information download Healthy Mothers – Healthy Babies.
One of the many benefits of consuming wild Alaska seafood is how this nutrient-rich food contributes to vision and eye health.
During fetal development and late neonatal life, the eye becomes enriched with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, abundant in Alaska seafood. In one study pregnant women who consumed adequate DHA had children who had improved visual acuity at the age of 2. As an adult, the ongoing consumption of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids continues to prove beneficial for vision.
Prevention and Slow of Eye Disease
DHA is found in very concentrated quantities in the retina, the part of the eye that is responsible for visual recognition. If a person does not consume adequate amounts of this fatty acid, they are more susceptible to diseases that impact the retina. These include macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal vein or retinal artery occlusions, and diabetic retinopathy. It is important to note that the optimal intake of DHA will not reverse retinal damage, so it is vital to consume adequate amounts of DHA as a preventative strategy for good eye health. Wild Alaska seafood also contains other key nutrients shown to slow macular degeneration, including zinc and Vitamin A.
Relief from Pressure and Dryness
In people who have diets low in essential fatty acids, other eye ailments can occur. These include improper drainage of intraocular fluid, resulting in increased eye pressure and glaucoma. Last, studies have proven that increases in omega-3 fatty acids help relieve dry eye syndrome, which occurs more frequently in people of all ages due to the increased use of electronic devices such as smart phones, tables, and computers.
Consumption of wild Alaska seafood is a valuable source of nutrition for individuals living with diabetes for a number of reasons.
Promotes Stable Blood Sugar
First, wild Alaska seafood is an excellent source of high quality protein and contains no carbohydrate. Because of this, when incorporated into balanced meals, seafood promotes blood sugar stability and satiety.
Provides Vital Nutrients
Wild Alaska seafood is also abundant in vital nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium.
Vitamin D plays an important role in insulin secretion, and inadequate levels can lead to blood sugar imbalances. In individuals with lower vitamin D levels, there is an increased risk of developing diabetes and glucose intolerance. Research has shown that adequate vitamin D levels early in life reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Reduces Risk of Secondary Heart Disease
Wild Alaska seafood is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the world. Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Individuals living with diabetes have a three to fourfold increase in risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, compared to the general population. Studies have proven that the consumption of fatty fish reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids also lowers serum triglyceride levels, which can be elevated in individuals who have persistently elevated blood sugar levels.