Seafood and Coffee – What They Have in Common

Strange but true, these two things actually have something in common. The combination thereof doesn’t sound particularly appealing until we understand why. Both seafood and coffee have been featured in the latest report from the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Though fish has been spoken of in terms of health benefits from the Omega-3 fatty acids present within most wild fish, there’s some that are far better than others. Coffee however, comes as a surprise. Most health practitioners are more keen to get people to stop drinking caffeine at all, and while it is problematic in the form of soda, it is less so with coffee.

Looking at this further, the report states that fish like trout and salmon contain more of the things necessary to be deemed more healthy and nutritious overall. Salmon does tend to carry a higher price depending where you live and how far the wild fisheries are for it, but it carries such a large health package with it that the price is insignificant in comparison.  The main benefits you can get from wild salmon are:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids that we need but do not create within our own bodies
  • Absorpable protein
  • Essential amino acids
  • Vitamin A, D, B6, B and E
  • Calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous

What Omega-3 fatty acids do for the body is rather astounding. They protect our heart health, reduce risks from sudden death diseases like heart attack and strokes, reduce the frequency of type II diabetes, is essential in the development of infant brain and eye development in pregnancy and their infancy, improves blood lipids leading to healthy cholesterol levels, improves blood vessel function, improves symptoms of immune and inflammatory problems like arthritic conditions, Chron’s disease, and skin conditions like eczema, and has even been shown to reduce the risk of mental disorders, depression and dementia related conditions like Alzheimer’s. (view)

These Omega-3′s found in wild caught salmon have also been widely studied for their effects on psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, asthma and varieties of cancers. Researchers have found that these essential fatty acids can delay the appearance of tumors as well as decrease the size and frequency of tumors. The most easily seen studies cover the benefits for heart disease prevention, with long lasting proof in the study subjects overall good health in later years than those who did not eat seafood at all.

It’s clear that salmon and trout, as with most river and ocean caught fish have a long history associated with good health for a great reason, and it’s a fantastic thing to see posted on the government’s site as a healthy practice for today as well. Onto it’s strange pairing with coffee, and the possibly revealing secrets in the dark morning favorite.

Within the dietary recommendations was a surprising bit about coffee consumption that didn’t seem to add up to the things we’re used to hearing socially or even from some old ideas medically speaking. It’s important to recall that the reason it’s called “Doctors practicing medicine” is because it’s a practice, it’s not always immediately clear whether something has long reaching benefits or dangers until it is studied widely, and like any practice, it gets better with time, and the availability of better information.

The panel stated that there are minimal health risks associated with drinking anywhere between 3-5 cups a day, and that the consumption of 5 cups daily can actually have healthy benefits which include reduction of the risk for things like type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Though the USA is widely regarded as the country that must consume the most coffee per person, per day, it’s a common misconception. The average American only drinks their morning cup of coffee, while cultures in other areas like Europe (particularly the Netherlands) enjoy up to 3 or 4 especially after meals. The US Department of Agriculture states that in a study back in 1946, the highest reported incidence of coffee consumption regularly, Americans were still only having two cups a day on average.

A market research firm called Euromonitor published results by country for the highest levels of consumption of coffee and it might just surprise you. It doesn’t appear that any country can boast more than an average of 3 cups per day, which means we’re all falling short of the recommendation of 5 for health purposes. While this doesn’t mean to go out and get yourself wired up on caffeine full-time, or to load heaps of sugar or cream into said coffee – which would actually be working against you, drinking it black is always best, and you shouldn’t feel any guilt on days you might want a bit more of the hot morning goodness.

Researchers at Cornell University have said that while they’re not saying coffee can cure cancer, they’re also saying that there’s far less risk for it, and that it actually shows helpful properties for those looking to keep those kinds of debilitating diseases at bay. Though the panel who released the governmental report listed earlier on seafood and coffee is merely stated recommendations, it is expected they will be featured prominently on a more official dietary guideline update later this year, with a federal endorsement for 5 cups a day to soon follow.

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