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Eat Wild Alaska Seafood and Live Longer

Wild Alaska Seafood Health Benefits
Image courtesy of Alaska Seafood

Eat wild Alaska Seafood and live longer.

It might seem like an outlandish claim that we’ve found the fountain of youth, but more evidence keeps showing up that that eating seafood might not only improve longevity, but the quality of life in old age.

recent study revealed that higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish are associated with a lower risk of unhealthy aging (longer version of the study here). Another study, which looked at 2700 generally healthy American adults and how the Omega-3s in their blood affected their lives, showed that older adults with higher levels of omega-3s have a 27% lower risk of prematurely dying from all causes and a 35% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Those who have the most heart-healthy Omega-3s in their diets live, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with the least.

But it’s not just living longer on average that makes seafood special, incorporating more seafood as part of our diets is also associated with healthier aging. A study of over 2,500 adults between 1992 and 2015  found that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids present in seafood reduce the risk of unhealthy aging. The study found, after correcting for other factors such as age, sex, and race, that adults with higher levels of EPA and DPA had a better chance of healthy aging. Healthy aging is defined as a living a meaningful lifespan without chronic diseases.

The study found, after correcting for other factors such as age, sex, and race, that adults with higher levels of EPA and DPA had a better chance of healthy aging. Participants with the highest level of omega-3s present had an 18 percent lower risk of unhealthy aging. Participants with the highest levels of EPA and DPA, the omega-3s commonly found in seafood, had the best results: Those with high levels of EPA had a 24 percent lower risk of unhealthy aging, and those with DPA had an 18 percent lower risk of unhealthy aging.

“We found that older adults who had higher levels of omega 3 from seafood were more likely to live longer and healthier lives,” lead study author Heidi Lai of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston told Reuters. “These findings support current national dietary guidelines to consume more seafood.”

Based on these studies, nutritionists and health professionals are coalescing around the following recommendations:

  • Eating fish two or three times per week can reduce risk of chronic disease.
  • The lean protein and omega-3s in wild Alaska seafood make it a smart, nutritious choice.
  • Eating seafood is good for your heart.
  • Eating seafood not only lowers blood pressure, but can help potentially reducing risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases.

The healthy omega-3 fats, lean protein, vitamin D, and selenium in fish prove so powerful that both the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommend eating seafood at least two times a week.

This February we’ll be celebrating American Heart Month. With one in four deaths in the United States caused by heart disease, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The good news is that heart disease can often be prevented when we make healthy choices. One healthy choice to make is including more seafood in our diets. A number of our customers have noted on the phone with us that their doctors’ recommendations of including more seafood in their diets led them to find Alaska Gold. With our line-caught wild salmon and sablefish, which are particularly high in Omega-3s, you can’t go wrong. Being line-caught means that the salmon are by definition actively feeding, at their peak, and especially loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Alaska Seafood is also good choice if you are watching salt in your diet. Evidence suggests that eating seafood with omega-3s contributes to lower blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure (hypertension) or on weight-loss diets. In addition, omega-3s act on blood vessels and kidneys to help lower blood pressure. Reducing salt while increasing omega-3 intake further lowers blood pressure.

Eat wild Alaska seafood for your heart. Live longer and healthier.

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New Year…New Seafood Routine

Happy New Year!

We hope you and yours are well. Hopefully you’re also starting the new year right with the recommended two to three servings of seafood per week to feed your body and mind. 

We have a lot of customers who only order our King Salmon. Some are very loyal to our famous Gourmet Canned Tuna. Some customers stick with the Halibut.

We all have our routines. Without fail, every week I grill one of our Coho salmon fillets for a Salmon Saturday family meal. For a special weeknight meal, I make our Miso-marinated Sablefish. Tuesday nights, I make salmon tacos with our Easy Salmon. When I forget to bring a lunch to work, I eat our canned tuna or Canned Ivory King Salmon right out of the can. I find this canned ivory king salmon also works perfectly for an easy pasta dish with garlic and capers.

An Instagram follower recently posted this Alaska Gold Halibut with a homemade lime ponzu sauce topped with ginger, green onions on top of steamed rice with broccoli. I’m going to switch up my routine and get this halibut dish into my routine for a nutritious and delicious addition to my routine.

Halibut with Homemade Lime Ponzu Sauce

We used to pack a sampler box with our classic offerings. We are no longer packing this sampler box, but we invite you to customize your own sampler pack to try something new for the new year.

Here’s how you can customize your own variety pack:
 

*Select the fish you want from here. We have box sizes of six portions, 5 pounds and 10 pounds. Combine the species you want. For example, select 5 pounds of halibut and 6 portions of coho salmon. Once you select two or more offers and put them in your cart, enter the following coupon codes at the checkout screen…

With 2 offers in your cart, get $50 off your order with coupon code: 2FishSamplerPack

With 3 offers in your cart, get $75 off your order with coupon code: 3FishSamplerPack

With 4 offers in your cart, get $100 off your order with coupon code: 4FishSamplerPack

In addition, we invite you to try something new. Use the following coupon code for 10% off your order:

TrySomethingNew

Thanks again for being a customer,

Kendall
Alaska Gold Seafood


*Above sampler coupons don’t apply to Loyalty Program subscriptions , bulk orders, or canned items. The TrySomethingNew coupon code does not apply to bulk orders and expires January 31st, 2019.

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Why Swap Meat for Seafood…

Wild Alaska seafood is a venerable powerhouse source of nutrients and is of the highest quality of lean proteins. Alaska seafood is a complete and highly digestible protein, which means that the amino acids are readily absorbed by the body. Low in saturated fat, high in heart protective monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, Alaska seafood also boasts a complete array of essential amino acids, which help repair and rebuild muscles, making seafood a great meal for athletes recovering from a workout.

While being relatively low in calories, Alaska seafood is high in vitamin D. Did you know that 41% of adults in the United States are deficient in Vitamin D? Six-ounce portions of our wild salmon and sablefish  contain 90% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D has numerous health benefits to our lives and particularly those of us in northern climes do not get nearly enough of it. Alaska seafood, particularly wild salmon and black cod, contain plentiful Vitamin D and all of the wonders this vitamin brings for our bodies. In addition to strengthening teeth, bones and our immune systems, vitamin D can help curb depression, maintains good blood pressure, and acts as an antioxidant removing the damaging free radicals that are produced in our cells from vigorous exercise.

Nutritional Benefits of Alaska Seafood with ballet dancer Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland. Ballet Dancer. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

Alaska seafood is naturally high in essential vitamins E, A and C and also a good source of potassium, which is an important electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in the body as well as being responsible for proper muscle contraction and transmitting nerve impulses.

Just about the only way to get the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA recommended by health specialists for heart and brain health is by eating fatty fish from cold waters. Our Alaska Gold Wild Salmon, Sablefish, and Albacore Tuna are some of the fish with the highest concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids that exist. These fatty acids reduce inflammation and increase heart and brain health.

DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is an important nutrient that inhibits aggregation of blood platelets, making it difficult for blood clots to form and thereby enhancing blood flow. The Omega-3 fatty acid DHA is also an important nutrient for generating brain cells and function for learning, especially in the early brain and nerve development of infants, but is also thought to help prevent dementia in elderly people.

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) thins the blood and is effective against LDL (bad) cholesterol. Most importantly, EPA maintains blood and blood vessel health. EPA can help prevent stroke, heart attack, hardening of the arteries, and other coronary diseases.

Seafood is also easier to cook than other proteins. It does not require the cook times that other meats do, for example, and if it’s of great quality, like our Alaska Gold Seafood, it requires minimal seasonings. Pull one of our coho salmon portions out of the freezer, put it in the fridge for 24 hours, then in the oven at 425 F for 6-8 minutes with a few basic seasonings.

Or try our Easy Salmon on sale through the end of June, 2018. Try these Easy Salmon Recipes made by our customers.

 

 

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Here’s why seafood is an important part of the training regiment of Gold medalist Kikkan Randall

Congratulations to 5-time Olympian and Alaskan Kikkan Randall from the U.S. Cross-Country Skiing team that won the Gold medal in the team sprint at the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

In this video from Alaska Seafood, Kikkan talks about how Alaska Seafood “feeds her fitness.” Wild Alaska Seafood is a lean, high-quality protein. Eating Alaska Seafood was part of Kikkan’s training regimen while pregnant. The DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid plentiful in Alaska seafood, particularly wild salmon, is essential for the nervous system and brain development in babies.

A high-quality lean protein source is important for all kinds of athletes. Whether you’re running in the local 5k or training for the next Olympics, there is no purer, more natural source of protein than wild seafood. Lean but dense with nutrients at the same time, seafood is a perfect protein for athletes.

Achieving peak form is a goal for all of us, whether we’re pro, amateur, or not even practicing athletes. And seafood should be part of all of our diets. Wild Alaska Seafood has such an expansive nutrient profile that meets most of the important physiological demands of an athlete in training.

Wild Alaska Seafood helps athletes…

Recover faster

Convert protein and sugar to energy as an excellent source of vitamins B6 and B12

Augment blood flow

Reduce swelling

Maximize fat loss by lowering triglycerides

Develop focus and mind function

Maintain strong and healthy bones with its exceptionally high vitamin D content

Optimize aerobic capacity

Expand lung performance

Improve joint health

Be Happier

Here’s another huge secret: Cooking our seafood, for example our wild salmon portions, is easier than cooking other kinds of proteins, and makes a meal in less than 15 minutes Even better, try our Canned Ivory King Salmon. We frequently hear from hiking and bicycling customers that bringing our canned king salmon in their packs is so much better than bringing those bland overpriced bars, which don’t have as much nutrition.

In addition, our Easy Salmon, packed in one-pound bags, is so versatile for making a diverse array of recipes, perfectly packaged for a family of four or a hungry couple.

Wild Alaska seafood is…

The highest quality of proteins. It is a complete and highly digestible protein, which means that the amino acids are readily absorbed by the body.

A lean protein loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and blood pressure and hence strengthen heart health.

Low in saturated fat, high in heart protective monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Low in calories, high in vitamin D. Did you know that 41% of adults in the United States are deficient in Vitamin D? Alaska seafood, particularly wild salmon and black cod, contain plentiful Vitamin D and all of the wonders it brings for our bodies. Vitamin D acts as an antioxidant removing the damaging free radicals that are produced in our cells from vigorous exercise.

A good source of potassium, which is an important electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in the body as well as being responsible for proper muscle contraction and transmitting nerve impulses.

Wild Alaska Seafood…

Repairs and rebuilds muscles with its complete array of essential amino acids. Wild seafood from colder waters, like those of Alaska, have very high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids. We know Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart–they’re associated with a significant reduction in coronary artery diseases. In addition, Omega-3s from marine sources (i.e., wild seafood) are more easily absorbed and digestible than other sources. The most effective Omega-3s are EPA and DHA, the latter Kikka talks about in the video.

May help decrease inflammation caused by intense exercise and reducing the muscle soreness that occurs after workouts. Alaska seafood also has B vitamins, which are responsible for the conversion of muscle glycogen for energy and support aerobic energy metabolism by helping with oxygen transport within the body.

Sources:

Alaska Seafood

Nutrient Content & Variability in Newly Obtained Salmon Data for USDA Nutrition Database for Standard Reference. Jacob Exler, Pamela R. Pehrsson. USDA, Human Nutrition Research Center Program No. 533.7

Issues of Fish Consumption for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction. Susan K. Raatz, Jeffrey Silverstein, Lisa Jahns, Matthew J. Picklo Sr. Review in Nutrients 2013, 5(4), 1081-1097, doi.

AgResearch Magazine August 2015. Americans Missing Out on Seafood Health Benefits

Medline Plus Fish Oil Drug Information at www.nlm.gov/medlinieplus/druginfo/natural/993.html

Long Chain Omega 3 Fatty Acids: EPA & DHA and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Page E. Miller, Marty Van Elswyk and Dominik Alexander, Jan. 2014 American Journal of Hypertension 2014 27 (7) pg 885-896.

Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Position Statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and The American College of Sports Medicine. Nancy R. Rodriguez, Nancy M. DiMarco, Susie Langley. March 01, 2010.

Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General (US) 2004 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45503

Overview of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. University of Maryland Medical Center at https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

 

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How to make seafood meals easy, delicious, nutritious and rewarding

According to a recent poll, only 30% of American families eat dinner together every night, despite numerous studies underscoring the long-term health and societal benefits of eating together as a family. Research shows that eating family meals together results in a positive impact on health and wellness while reducing obesity rates, eating disorders, risky behaviors in teens and diabetes in adults. Also, when you cook your own meals together, you know what you’re putting in your food, which often is healthier than when you don’t know.

February is American Heart Month and the American Heart Association recommends eating heart-healthy seafood at least twice a week, yet only 10% of Americans get at least 2 servings of seafood a week.

A really fun dinner with friends and family of all ages is our Easy Salmon Cakes recipe. See this review of the recipe and our Easy Salmon from a happy Alaska Gold customer: “I made my first batch of salmon cakes following the recipe I found on the AG website and OMG! I was skeptical at first but I’m truly converted: the minced salmon is amazing with no variation in flavor whatsoever […] The easy salmon is delicious and yes, easy to prepare. It took 30 minutes from preparation and sautéing! Dinner in a snap and tasty too!”

Easy Salmon Cakes
Easy Salmon Cakes

An easy way to get heart-healthy seafood into your family’s weekly plan is to include our Alaska Gold Easy Salmon. Easy Salmon is made from our wild coho salmon, which is a lean protein, low in saturated fats and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

The healthy “good” unsaturated fats found in foods like wild salmon may help lower risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and arthritis. Replacing 5 percent of the so-called “bad” fats like trans and saturated fats with the unsaturated fat in seafood and plant-based foods can reduce your risk of early death by up to 27% percent. The Mediterranean diet which includes fish and plant-based foods seems to improve protective effects and helps burn fat faster. In a study with people aged 18-35 eating foods with polyunsaturated fatty acids—like wild salmon—may improve fat metabolism and lower cholesterol.

Bottom line: The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we shift from a diet high in saturated fats to a diet rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, like those in wild salmon and plant-based proteins. Strive for two to three servings per week.

In addition to the nutritional benefits, most of the Easy Salmon recipes, many from our customers, we have on our website can be made in 30 minutes or less.

These recipes from our customers are fun, unique takes on meals that include our heart-healthy Easy Salmon.

Work Easy Salmon into your family meals routine for easy, delicious, nutritious and rewarding meals together with your family!

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How to cook Alaska Gold wild king salmon and coho salmon

King Salmon Fillet

Wild salmon from the cold, clear waters of Alaska ranks as some of the world’s finest seafood. For extraordinary taste and extraordinary health benefits, eat more wild salmon.

There is no more optimal source of protein than wild salmon. Lean but dense with nutrients at the same time, wild salmon is a perfect protein. Heart-healthy with the right profile of fat, protein and nutrients, wild salmon is loaded with healthy benefits. It’s even good for your hands and skin!

These tips will help you become a salmon pro:

1. Start with excellent quality salmon. The line-caught wild salmon delivered by Alaska Gold Seafood is of the best quality. This quality comes from the catch methods our fishermen use and the handling procedures on their boats. This quality extends all the way to our customers with careful temperature control and our Alaska Gold Customer Service.

2. Our Alaska Gold salmon is delivered to your door frozen on dry ice to maintain temperature control. Remove dry ice. (DO NOT USE BARE HANDS to remove dry ice!)

3. Put salmon in freezer upon receipt. You should receive tracking info via email to know when to expect delivery.

4. The best way to thaw is to put in your refrigerator for 24 hours. Each individually vacuum-sealed salmon portion can be removed from freezer and thawed in your fridge, one at a time, for use whenever you’d like to eat it.

5. After 24-hour thaw in your refrigerator, remove and cut open vacuum-sealed package. Remove salmon portion from package.

6. Rinse and dry the fillet with a paper towel. Let sit out on your counter for a good 20 minutes to let the salmon get to room temperature. (When it’s too cold, the salmon will stick to your grill or pan.)

7. Marinate if desired in a favorite purchased or prepared marinade.

8. Pre-heat the grill if grilling or the pan if sauteing. We have some seafood cooking tips here on how to roast, bake or poach our salmon. Poaching is an excellent method to enjoy our coho salmon. If grilling, we’re big advocates of using a tin foil to make a tent to help retain the salmon’s moisture. Dry salmon is the worst and the best thing you can do is to prevent dryness. Using the “tin foil salmon tent” goes a long way to help retain the salmon’s moisture and natural flavors. Cook for about 10 minutes per inch of fish thickness. Turning is not necessary. Start “checking” the fish after 8 minutes. We like the fish when it starts flaking easily. We encourage you to cook slowly if grilling or baking–250º F is a great temperature, though there are merits to cooking at higher temperatures. We have some wild salmon recipes here.

9. DON’T OVERCOOK!! This is probably the biggest mistake made when cooking seafood. Overcooked fish is dry and unpalatable. When you remove your salmon fillets from the grill, they will continue to cook a little as they sit, so remove them from the grill when they are just nearly done. Salmon is done when it turns a light pink color throughout and feels firm when pressed gently with the back of a fork. Enjoy!

Many of us enjoy our Alaska Gold salmon with the most basic of pairings. Sea salt and a little pepper. I use the dried lavender from my yard, some sea salt and an orange rind to make a lavender sea salt rub, the seasoning that I have most often on my grilled salmon. Other herbs from the garden that pair well with salmon include dill and tarragon. The combination of honey and soy makes a savory sweet combination that goes well with salmon. Lemon and garlic also go well. Take 2 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons garlic, the juice from one lemon, a dash of of pepper and two of our coho salmon portions to make a simply delicious meal. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic. Season salmon with pepper and a pinch of salt. Put portions in skin side up for four minutes and then flip and cook for another four minutes. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the salmon. You can substitute olive oil for butter.

How to pick a salmon: There are 5 varieties of commercially available wild Pacific Salmon. Each of these 5 have their virtues. In terms of richness, king salmon (otherwise known as chinook) is king. King salmon are the largest of the five species and are prized for their high oil content and are the salmon frequently featured on upscale restaurant menus. Sockeye salmon is also very flavorful and is known for its distinctive bright red flesh color and complex, robust flavor. Coho salmon (which is frequently called silver salmon) is known for its milder flavor. Families with children enjoy coho salmon but kids like the mild flavor. Coho salmon is best when line-caught like our Alaska Gold salmon. Versatile, coho salmon is a great option to grill or poach. It’s also the perfect salmon with which to make gravlax. If you smoke salmon or cure salmon at home, coho salmon is ideal. Keta salmon is also called chum salmon or dog salmon because it was fed to sled dogs. Though maligned as dog food, when caught in its silver bright color, keta salmon has a mild, nutty flavor, which can be quite pleasant. Pink salmon, which fishermen call “humpies” for the humpback that male pink salmon develop when spawning, is the most populous salmon. It cans and smokes well, which is how you’ll most frequently encounter it. Fish sold as Atlantic salmon, Scottish salmon, or New Zealand salmon is sure to be farmed salmon, as there are no commercially available wild Atlantic salmon in the United States and farmed salmon were introduced to New Zealand. Our Alaska Gold salmon is all wild-caught in the cold, clear waters of Alaska, which has sustainable fishing written into the state constitution. It’s quicker and less expensive to produce a farmed salmon than catching a wild salmon, but quality, in addition to environmental and ethical concerns factor into that lower price. Some people find farmed salmon flabby and off tasting. We find our wild-caught Alaska Gold salmon to have superior flavor, color and a firmer texture. In addition, with state of the art freezing technology, our Alaska Gold salmon can be enjoyed year-round. We recommend storing in your home freezer for no longer than 3 months. Ideally, use the coldest setting on your freezer. Those with dedicated meat/seafood freezers will get longer shelf life on their seafood because opening and shutting the door on your freezer presents slight temperature changes, which are second only to poor boat and dockside handling in terms of reducing quality in seafood.

Every once in a while, customers request a whole salmon. We have thought of offering whole salmon through our website. However, how would we box it in a manner suitable for a home consumer? Each salmon weighs a different amount. It would be difficult to make a consistent size package every time. Also, if we’re feeding a family of 5 to 6, then a whole salmon might make sense. But most people are feeding two to four people at mealtime and usually don’t have the space in their kitchen to “break down” a salmon. Filleting and “breaking down” a salmon is much more difficult than it looks. So we do that all for you. We offer individually vacuum-sealed portion packages. The most popular are our 8-ounce king salmon portions and our 6-ounce coho salmon portions. For those filling their freezers or sharing with friends to buy for a larger group, we offer discounted prices on our bulk salmon offerings. We also offer what we call fillets but most customers will identify as “sides.” These are the whole side of the salmon. These  wild coho salmon sides are ideal for making gravlax and for grilling. Just contact us with any questions on the ideal amount to order.

Our Alaska Gold Easy Salmon Burger Meat be made into burgers, tacos, even a breakfast hash for nutrient-dense, family-friendly meals. Check out the long list of Easy Salmon Recipes made by our customers.

 

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Learn how coho salmon fights the winter blues

With the colder, darker season coming upon us, we have some important news on Wild Salmon and vitamin D content:

Just one of our 6-ounce wild coho salmon portions has over 90% of the recommended daily value of vitamin D.

A wise fisherman once said, “You don’t grow old eating Alaska Gold.” While we don’t claim to have the fountain of youth, we believe that the vitamin D and other nutrients in wild coho salmon are what keep those of us up north strong through the winter.  The nutrients in seafood are many and it’s no wonder our fishermen are so full of life, even after working 16-hour days.

A lot of Alaskans say that the indigenous peoples of southeast Alaska, like the Tlingits, were able to not only survive but thrive during the dark and dreary days in the region by eating loads of fish throughout the winter. Numerous varieties of seafood, and in particular salmon, were essential to the early Americans’ diets. Food is a central part of the Tlingit culture—the rich land and waters of southeast Alaska the provider. Because of the rich bounties from the land and sea, the Tlingits were one of the richest societies in human history—both rich in nourishing food and rich in arts and culture, because the nourishing food they were able to hunt, fish and gather gave them time to develop rich storytelling and artistic traditions.

Don’t take it from us—we’re just fishermen. In the blog post here, we offer some links to studies and articles on the health benefits of vitamin D.

Get hooked on our Alaska Gold wild salmon to give you strength through the winter. Our coho salmon portions in boxes of 6, 14 and 28 are on sale for 15% off through October 31st when you use the following coupon code: GoldCoho17

Or, 10% off our larger (already) discounted portions boxes and coho salmon fillets using the following coupon code: GoldCoho17DISCOUNT

Get some now. Offer expires October 31st, 2017 or while supplies last.

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The Skin-Saving Power of Omega-3s in Wild Salmon

Sunny day wild salmon just caught by an Alaskan fisherman
On a sunny day with a king salmon.

As the summer days grow long and warm and the sun beckons us outdoors, the importance of sunscreen increases, as exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays can lead not only to painful sunburns, but also to the development of skin cancer.  But before we jump on the Banana Boat, it is worth considering a recent report, which reveals that topical sunscreens may not be the only way that we can protect our skin from UV radiation.  In fact, there is evidence that compounds in certain foods can also serve as sun-defense mechanisms, providing us with a tasty addition to our regular skincare routines.  The omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish like wild salmon, sablefish and albacore tuna add a potential new dimension to skincare.

While topical sunscreens may provide significant protection from acute sunburn, many of us do not apply enough of it—or reapply it often enough—to experience its full protective benefits, giving us a false sense of security about the level of skin protection we are receiving.  On the other hand, nutrients, such as vitamins, other antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, may contribute of sun protection from the “chronic,” daily UV exposure that we so often face without sunscreen.  This ultimately suggests that a combined approach to skin protection (including topical sunscreen plus foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon) may be most effective at preventing damage from UV radiation.

The marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids, like wild salmon, are among the richest providers of these essential fatty acids, which decrease inflammation, promote heart health, and foster ideal brain development in infants and children. It now appears that we can add “skin-protection” to the list of health benefits conferred by the omega-3 fatty acids in seafood.

One 2011 study concluded that omega-3 fatty acids are able to reduce skin inflammation caused by UV-radiation exposure by modifying cell membranes and cell signaling pathways. Omega-3 fatty acids protect the “health of the cell membrane, which is not only what acts as the barrier to things that are harmful, but also the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell,” says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. In addition, McDermott says that since the membrane is what influences the cells’ ability to hold water, having a healthy barrier yields moister, softer, more subtle, and more wrinkle-free skin. In his best-selling book, The Wrinkle Cure, dermatologist and skin care expert Nicholas V. Perricone, MD reports foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds — natural chemicals involved in the aging process, that affect how healthy the skin looks and feels.

A 2003 double-blind, randomized trial confirms these conclusions, as 4 grams per day of supplemental EPA (found in fish oil) increased the study participants’ sunburn threshold (that is, the amount of UV exposure it takes to cause a sunburn) by 36% while also preventing DNA damage through the incorporation of omega-3 fatty acids into the skin. This study thus provides further support for the skin-protecting abilities of omega-3 fatty acids.  Additionally, in a case-control study, researchers discovered a consistent tendency for study participants to have a lower risk of developing skin cancer when they consumed higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.3 The studies do not suggest abandoning your hat and sunscreen, but that the consumption of Omega-3s might add a supplemental level of protection.While omega-3 fatty acids were shown to have only a small protective effect, the authors suggest that “fair-skinned individuals” may truly benefit from the protection conferred by these nutrients, particularly in terms of their anti-inflammatory properties.  It is important to note, however, that study participants had to consume a greater amount of omega-3 fatty acids than is typically found in the diet in order experience the “photoprotective effects” of these fatty acids. It may be argued, however, that any additional protection afforded by dietary levels of omega-3 fatty acids—however minute—is important in our efforts to avoid the ill effects  of UV radiation exposure.

In summary, these studies provide promising evidence of the skin-protecting benefits associated with omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood.  While the amount of omega-3s consumed in typical serving sizes of fish may provide only a minor amount of additional sun protection, it is definitely worthwhile to incorporate omega-3-rich fish like wild salmon into your diet on a regular basis (at least twice per week) as part of a healthful diet and as an extra line of defense in your regular skin-protection routine.  So slather on some sunscreen, put on a hat, eat fish frequently, and go enjoy that summer sunshine!

 

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Top 5 Reasons to Eat Seafood for Health

Coho Salmon with Peach Salsa
Baked Coho Salmon with Tamari Peach Salsa Recipe. Photo by Food Network Star top finalist Emma Frisch at emmafrisch.com.

80 to 90% of Americans are not meeting the recommended two to three servings of seafood‬ per week. And there are a lot of reasons we should be eating more heart-healthy delicious Alaska Seafood.

Here are our Top 5 Reasons to Eat Seafood for Health:

  1. Seafood is a low calorie protein. Just a small 3-ounce portion offers a third of the recommended daily protein. Plus, with less connective tissue, fish protein is easier to digest than red meat or poultry. Seafood is also a much heart-healthier protein source. Studies suggest that if you include one portion of seafood in your weekly diet, you may halve the chances of suffering a heart attack.
  2. For expecting moms, eating seafood is super important for their baby’s brain and eye development.
  3. In order to get the minimum recommended 1750mg of weekly Omega-3 proteins, eat at least 2 servings of seafood. You can get that amount of Omega-3s and more with just one of our salmon or tuna portions.
  4. Seafood is versatile. Our coho salmon works well with so many different recipes, like this Baked Coho Salmon with Tamari Peach Salsa. Halibut doesn’t lose flavor or texture to poaching, grilling, sauteing, or however you like to cook it.
  5. Seafood is a good source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Just a single serving of salmon provides the daily requirement for Vitamin D.

Here’s what some of our fitness-minded customers are telling us. An ultra-marathoner from Idaho who regularly orders our king salmon portions recently discovered our canned albacore tuna: “I am loving the canned albacore as a mid-day protein hit.” He takes it on backpacking trips and other adventures to get a quick, easy delicious protein shot.

A weight lifter from Kansas who subscribes to our Alaska Gold Loyalty Program told us: “We’re doing more salmon for breakfast these days. Sweet potato and salmon, and my lifts are greatly improved.”

 

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Eat Seafood…Be Happy! Seafood and Omega-3 Fatty Proteins

Omega-3s
Eat Seafood…Be Happy!

Eat Seafood…Be Happy!

Eating seafood can improve your mood. Really.

Omega-3s block the actions of inflammatory chemicals, protecting the brain from harmful toxins that can alter function and distort mood. Omega-3 fatty acids encourage brain cell membrane integrity and fluidity. Research suggests that a deficiency in EPA/DHA, long chain Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in seafood, like salmon, black cod, and albacore tuna, can predispose people to chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s Disease and impair cognitive function. In one study, Australian researchers discovered that Omega-3s may prevent psychoses in those aged 12-25, an age most susceptible to mental illness. As a bonus, a study from Sweden revealed that children that eat oily fish like salmon, tuna, and black cod, have a reduced risk of nasal allergies. That’s happy news for those of us who love fish!

It’s important to get the right type of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced in the human body and must be produced by outside sources. Many people use omega-3 supplement for a few weeks, notice no difference in their health, and give up. There is no real way of knowing that the claims on the side of a bottle are indicative of a good product.  There are varying amounts of Omega-3s in supplements. The Omega-3s might contain short chain Omega-3s instead of the vastly more preferred long chain Omega-3s in seafood. It’s also not entirely certain that we process the Omega-3s in supplements as well as we do in a delicious meal, such as grilled salmon, miso-marinated black cod or a tuna melt made with line-caught tuna, which is much higher in Omega-3s than conventional tuna.

So what can you do? Eat seafood three times a week! Wild Salmon, black cod, and line-caught tuna are as healthy as you can get and loaded with Omega-3s in their most authentic and purest form to nourish your brain. The Omega-3s in seafood also reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol. Studies have also found that fish oil can help combat ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer, and migraines. Furthermore, salmon is an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids.  Omega-3s also offer special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract and joints. Seafood and Omega-3 Fatty Proteins are the ultimate super food and have been recognized by many as having a powerful