Earlier today I received a text from a friend wanting to know if I knew where she could get bonito fish because she was told it would help her with her high blood pressure (HBP). I told her I was not sure, perhaps in one of the Asian Markets because I understood it to be a fish used a lot in Japan. However, I cautioned her that if this fish was from the waters in Japan and she should be cautious. Apparently, there have been blue fin tuna fish migrating to the shores of California from the waters off Japan with ten (10) times the normal radioactivity level as a result of the Fukushima Diaichii Nuclear Reactor Incident last year. The reason the bonito fish is used for HBP is because of its DHA Omega-3 (310 mg). However, there are other fish with higher levels of DHA Omega-3. Just like we have seasonal produce, fish are seasonal as well and the nutritional value is better at different times of the year. Additionally, there are some fish within the same species that would have more of a given nutrient than others. Usually the price in the store is an indicator of a higher nutritional value concentration. After a bit of research, I was able to gather the information that follows: The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.
Deep frying fatty fish is the way to protect DHA Omega-3 oils from leaking out because the protein of egg and flour can become barriers to prevent outflow of these oils.. Instead of deep frying, try baking with some form of a coating to seal in the Omega-3.
Although the blue fin tuna off the coast of California has been determined to be radioactive (supposedly this 10 times the norm is no problem), fishermen in Gloucester, MA catch them off the Atlantic Ocean. Tuna season is approximately from April through November. However in Louisiana off the Gulf Coast, tuna is fished year round. Fresh tuna fish has the highest DHA Omega-3 of fish (2880 mg/serving). http://www.tunahunter.com/
Salmon season is from May – Sept, Oct, or Nov depending on the boundaries (Oregon/CA, US/Mexico-Monterey, San Francisco). It has the third highest DHA Omega-3 (820 mg /serving).
Wild Alaska salmon is a high-quality source of protein and vitamins – including D, B6, B12 and selenium –as well as an excellent source for the omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and heart health.
“The abundance forecast of Sacramento River fall Chinook in 2012 is 819,400, far above the number needed for optimum spawning this fall (122,000-180,000 fish),” according to the PFMC. “The Klamath River fall Chinook forecast for 2012 is about four times greater than average and the highest forecast on record since 1985.”
King (Chinook) – Alaska’s largest salmon fish species, king salmon are prized for the high oil content that make this firm fish exceptionally flavorful
- Sockeye (Red) – Alaska’s second-most abundant fish species is known for its distinctive red meat color and full flavor
- Coho (Silver) – Alaska’s second-largest salmon species is low in saturated fat and mild in flavor
- Keta (Chum) – The firmest of Alaska’s salmon species, keta salmon have a lower oil content and mild flavor, perfect for cooking at gentler temperatures.
- Pink – The most abundant and affordable of Alaska’s salmon species is commonly seen in cans and pouches, but is also increasingly available in fish fillets
Visit Wild Alaska Flavor for dozens of healthy, delicious recipes as well as ideas for easy and affordable ways to enjoy wild Alaska salmon at home.
Recipe: Panko Crusted Salmon Croquettes
After having a difficult time finding mackerel here in central California, I finally discovered its season is December through February and is abundant on the east coast. However, I was able to find it in the can. Mackerel has the second highest DHA Omega-3 (1780 mg/serving).
According to Wikipedia, Bonito is a name given to various species of medium-sized, predatory fish in the Scombridae family. Bonito can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Japanese cuisine, bonito refers to the skipjack tuna (a species of mackerel) . The bonito has a moderate fat content whereas the previously mentioned fish have a much higher fat content resulting in a higher DHA Omega 3 (319 mg/serving.
I should mention sardines have 1140 mg/serving of DHA Omega-3. These little tikes pack a powerful punch so do not overlook them in your diet.
Links to federal salt water fish regulation on fish http://www.scottsbt.com/fishids/regsrecs/regsFED.htm
Food Recipes (Fish):
Fats account for over 50% of the brain and Omega-3 DHA represents 30% of brain matter. The highest concentration of Omega-3 DHA in the human body is in the retina. Therefore, fish is definitely a food everyone should have in their diet to maintain brain power and eye sight.
Omega-3 DHA is an essential component of breast milk, and newborn babies utilise Omega-3 DHA for brain, nerve and eye tissue development.
Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Pocket Guide
Finally, in my quest to garner this information, I discovered that although the Mackerel fish is seasonal, it can be ordered in some meat/fish departments here in California because it is considered a throw away fish and used for bait. The general cost is on $1.99 per pound fresh. After checking the isles where tuna is kept, I found 15 oz cans of mackerel for $1.89 in water and salt. In this economy, this is definitely better pricing than salmon or tuna to get the same Omega-3 benefits.
It may take a bit of looking, but you can eat healthy and economically. Healthy Never Tasted So Good!
All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.