Healthy Eating/Recipes

No Fish Tale

The stories we tell about fish are neither a tale nor fishy! The health benefits ARE numerous and I loved a MedicalNewsToday headline from June 2017:

Rheumatoid arthritis: Regular fish intake may ease symptoms.

No cures, no claims, no broad sweeping statements. “MAY ease” was also a clue that this was real research. The study published in Arthritis Care & Research was conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

While this was a small study and types of fish were not specified, their results coincide with what we know about fish. For a variety of reasons, fish seems to decrease heart attack and stroke incidence. It MAY be related to its fat content or it MAY be related to its vitamin D content or it MAY be the benefit from some chemical in fish we have not yet isolated. And it just MAY be healthy because we are not eating something else!!

Study participants who ate fish once/month or less had more disease activity while those who ate fish more than twice weekly showed significantly less RA activity. We can’t extrapolate this to osteoarthritis but combined with the cardiovascular benefits, let’s proclaim fish is VERY good for you.

Nutrition Minute readers won’t say “I don’t like fish” because that’s not good thinking but a few of you are thinking, “I like fish, but can’t cook it at home”. But that’s also a “stuck” mentality.

The internet has endless recipes for fish but this link caught my eye for someone needing some inspiration All types, all cooking methods…

Get “unstuck” and cook fish to be well.


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Which is the most important nutrient?

At the start of each semester, I pose the question: which is the most important nutrient?

I was asked a version of that question last week: what nutrients does the brain need?

Before reading further, pause a minute. How would you answer both questions?

In class, guys typically say protein is most important. Others mention water as its lack will cause death sooner than the other nutrients.

In the case of the brain question, the two nutrients trying to be solicited was water (or fluid) and omega-3 fatty acids.

I couldn’t get drawn into that. The brain, like all the organs in our body need ALL the nutrients.

Looking at specific nutrients and their effects in the body yields exciting headlines, but doesn’t typically give us super health. The picture is further muddied if we talk about nutrients in pill form!! In nutrition, we need to look at the whole picture. Translated: whole foods. 

There are most likely thousands of yet undiscovered compounds in whole foods that help the body work in an optimal way. If we focus on a single vitamin or mineral perhaps we’re missing a vital co-factor or precursor.

In this country, our obsessive attention to “small” details, or a single nutrient, misses the big picture.

The most important nutrient is all of them. Without a single nutrient you will die; an excess of a single nutrient will also cause death.

Best for the brain? You guessed it, all of the nutrients are key. Whatever diet is necessary for good circulation will be good for the brain. Let’s see that would be whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy and lean protein sources. Avoiding added sugars is advised.

Your brain is not an organ in isolation. Eat well so your whole body, including your brain, can be well,


PS Yes, I noticed the croissant in the picture, but it was too cute (and delicious) not to use the photo!!

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