Add Fish to Your Diet

This year, add fish to your diet.   Cold-water fish are especially good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, and the fat-soluble vitamins A and D.  Vitamin A comes in two forms: preformed vitamin A comes from animals, found in butter, egg yolks, organ meats, and fish and their oils.  Provitamin A is found in yellow, orange, red, and dark green leafy vegetables, and the carotenes in these foods must be converted to vitamin A in the intestine.  Vitamin A is a catalyst for many biochemical processes, important for protein digestion, strong bones, and a powerful anti-oxidant.  Vitamins A and D both are necessary for mineral absorption (bones and teeth), and vitamin D is thought to protect against cancer and multiple sclerosis.  Healthy primitive diets are rich in both vitamins, with fish as a main source. 

Fish is also a source of the important minerals iodine, selenium, magnesium and zinc.  Zinc is important for the control of blood sugar levels, so applicable to diabetes, and for protein synthesis, mental development, and more.  It is needed in minute amounts, as are all trace minerals, but don’t underestimate their importance.  Zinc is known as the intelligence mineral! 

Our American diet is typically low in fish and organ meat consumption, and high in simple carbohydrates, and our consumption of essential fatty acids is dangerously balanced in favor of Omega-6 fatty acids.  We need the perfect ratio of one Omega-6 to one Omega-3 for optimal health, but we are getting more like 20 Omega-6 to every Omega-3.  Many health care practitioners think this imbalance is behind much of the increase in chronic illness in the U.S. as too many 6’s cause inflammation.  Adding fish to our diet once a week can go a long way toward improving our health. 

Alaskan cod is a delicious cold-water fish available now fresh and frozen in supermarkets.  Mild and tender, cod has a large “flake,” meaning it flakes in large pieces rather than disintegrating.  Cod can be baked, broiled, or sautéed, and makes a meaty addition to seafood stews or chowders, cooked right in the broth of diced tomatoes and chicken stock, onions and garlic. 

Cod fillets can be wrapped in nitrate-free bacon strips, and pan-fried.  When the bacon is cooked, the fish is done.  This may be a good way to introduce fish to your table, especially to kids, as the smell of the sizzling bacon is a great appetite stimulant.  Try this recipe with healthy miso, a fermented soy product. 

Cod with Miso  serves 2

2 (6 oz.) pieces of Pacific cod

1 T coconut oil

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 t red miso

½ c sake (rice wine)

½ t sugar

2-3 green onions, diagonally sliced 

Preheat oven to 450*.  S&P the cod, then roast 10 min. in oiled pan.  In shallow pan, melt oil, add shiitakes, green onions, miso paste, sugar, and sake.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. 

Place broth in shallow bowls, top w/fish, and garnish with more green onions, chopped cilantro.

Add hot brown rice or rice noodles, and serve. 

Bon appétit!