“What the Heck Should I Eat?” ~ Mark Hyman
Fish!!! I am a HUGE fan. I love to eat it and I also work with a friend to breed pet Betta fish! I have 4 aquariums in my house and find the hobby very rewarding and they are stress relieving to watch.
In this chapter Mark Hyman discusses the benefits of fish. It’s a lot less controversial then other foods in this book, which is really nice! Unfortunately it’s not without it’s caveats, but there aren’t many… here we go!!
“In addition to benefiting our brains, nervous systems, hearts, and cardiovascular systems, large studies have found that omega-3 fats also protect against type 2 diabetes, inflammation, autoimmune disease, and even depression.”~ Mark Hyman
ALL OF IT! I benefit from a salmon dinner in ways I can’t even put in words. I can have salmon and a veggie and I don’t have a panic attack later (like when I have carbs or starches) and after a few days eating this way (especially when I am not feeling well) I feel immensely better. My brain fog clears and my body aches disappear.
two omega-3 fatty acids (exclusive to fish)
* docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
* eicosapentaenoic (EPA)
Eight things to know about fish…(p. 98)
1) SMALL FISH ROCK!! (p. 98)
Large fish accumulate mercury from eating lots of little fish and thus have a higher mercury concentration (think sword fish) so little fish are much safer to eat. Also, some fish are higher in omega-3’s then others. Sardines, herring, and salmon are the top 3 for omega-3’s and the fish lowest are tilapia, flounder, and lobster.
2) Head food (p. 99)
“There’s evidence that DHA and EPA are more effective than psychotherapy and antidepressants in treating depression.”Mark Hyman
THIS. Right here. I have lived this truth. Having autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s) and being misdiagnosed bi-polar, I dealt with the manic depression of my thyroid hormones shifting drastically when my system was inflamed. Eating fish several days in a row and at least 2 days every week helped drastically reduce my swing while I was healing.
NOTE: Do not stop any antidepressant medications, or neglect any psychotherapy appointments until your health concerns are addressed safely. It took me 15 months (once I started medication for my thyroid disease) to slowly wean off the antidepressants I was on with the help of my doctors. I was then given the all clear and at that point my appointments were no longer necessary and I was released from them. This should always be done with your physician!
Some other benefits just blew my mind like…
“Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center found that fats in fish can improve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.” (p. 100)~ Mark Hyman
3) Pregnant? Eat more!
Your brain is mostly omega-3 fatty acids. While pregnant, studies show that babies develop better brain functions and test at a higher intelligence level if the mom ate more low mercury fish throughout her pregnancy then the moms who did not. Since many fish are mercury contaminated Dr. Hyman recommends sardines or herring or fish oil supplements for fish intake while pregnant.
4) Fake Fish and 5) Canned Fish
I’m going to say concerning both of these that labels are as important as knowing the seller. Some whole fish is being intentionally mislabeled so that the seller makes more money. If the price seems unbelievable, it likely is. Some canned fish, like albacore tuna, is high in mercury. However most canned fish are small fish and thus have a lower mercury content. Oil canned preserves the nutrients better over water canned and the small bones in canned can give the consumer a highly absorbable form of calcium. These are some serious benefits! Also, canned foods have a long shelf life! #winwinwin
6) To Sushi, or not to Sushi
This point was so hard for me!! I LOVE SUSHI! But, there are some things to consider when stuffing it in my face by the chopstick full… Things like a finding that pointed out sushi tuna can have 3 to 10 times for mercury contamination in it! (p. 102) Then there is the refined white rice that each piece of sashimi meat is coated in, some places more than others… lots of sugars and starches that are very inflammatory. Dr. Hyman recommends ordering just the sashimi instead and leaving the rice!
7) Farmed or Wild? and 8) Farmed concerning Diabetes
You really need to read this section!!! Fish absorb mercury from the pollutants we add to the waterways. Many farmed raised fish also are fed unnatural foods like grains and soy, thus increasing their omega-6 fats while not increasing their omega-3. These fish are actually inflammatory to eat…instead of the reverse!! Some studies even seem to imply an increase in type 2 diabetes from farmed raised fish vs from wild caught.
On page 106 Dr. Hyman shares where to find sustainably sourced seafood that’s safe and what labels to look for.
‘These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat.’Leviticus 11:9
May your meal bring you fellowship, joy, and good health!