The Health Benefits of Seafood

You are what you eat. Does this sound familiar? I can almost hear my mother’s voice loud and clear watching her add green beans to my plate. Turns out this statement holds some truth. Flamingos are pink, however, they are born with grey feathers. After birth, they begin eating brine shrimp, which feeds on microscopic algae. This is responsible for turning their feathers pink. So how does this work?

Carotenoids.There are over 750 carotenoids and the one found in algae, shrimp, lobster, crab and salmon is called Astaxanthin. Beta carotene is another example of a carotenoid which is responsible for the orange color of carrots. Not only do carotenoids act as a food coloring, they also provide numerous health benefits.

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant with broad health implications and unlike many other antioxidants, that although are antioxidants they still could become pro oxidant such as Vitamins E,C,D and selenium. 

We know that not only is seafood a delicacy but it is as well as a nutrient- rich food. On top of containing the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin, it as well serves as a good source of protein and provides an abundance of other vitamins and minerals. 

Astaxanthin in seafood can help relieve pain and inflammation. 

  • It works by reducing the compounds that drive many chronic diseases. Some say it works like a prescription analgesic despite the fact that it is 100% natural.

Promotes Heart Health

  • Through the rich source of omega – 3 fatty acids, cardiovascular events can be significantly reduced. To consume omega- 3 fatty acids, some may prefer through supplemental capsule, however, scientists prefer the actual consumption of seafood. 

Healthy Vision

  • Astaxanthin has the ability to cross through a barrier and reach the retina. This ability helps all eye health involving at the retina. Most eye conditions occur at the retina such as macular degeneration, eye strain and fatigue, and diabetic retinopathy. The  omega-3 component helps night vision. 

Fights Fatigued Muscles 

  • Astaxanthin is thought to be what allows fish to swim powerfully upstream. Just like fish, pure natural astaxanthin is indicated for recovering muscles, improving endurance, enhancing strength, and improving energy levels. 

Pretty skin and Sunscreen protection 

  • Seafood helps preserve moisture, and helps with the appearance of fine wrinkles and spots or freckles. The glow of your skin is affected more through your diet than what you apply directly to it. Astaxanthin also reduces damage caused by UV radiation. 

On top of these benefits of the astaxanthin containing seafood, there are many other bodily function benefits. Astaxanthin may also help protect the nervous and immune system from oxidative stress, as we mentioned above through its very powerful antioxidant powers. However, with this information more research is needed to fully confirm. 

To support heart health specifically, the American Heart Association recommends eating about 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Some other research has said that the equivalent of 4 to 12 mg per day in the diet or supplement form is best. This is not only for heart health but also the reproductive systems, skin health, healthy eyes, and muscles.

Tylenol, Advil, Oh My

I pulled a muscle, I’m running a fever, I have a nagging headache. I’ll just take an over- the- counter (OTC) medication, they are perfectly safe. I don’t need to worry about toxicity or overdose, right?… Actually false! 

With so many painkillers on the market, on top of the ailment that brought you to the topic of pain medication, simply trying to choose can be enough to bring about a headache. The two most common painkillers are Ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin are brands of Ibuprofen) and Acetaminophen, more commonly heard as it’s brand name Tylenol. 

What’s the Difference?

The biggest distinction between the two is their action on the body. Ibuprofen relieves inflammation in addition to pain and fever while Acetaminophen is only effective at relieving pain and fever. Seemingly so, due to these different actions, the side effects vary as well because the body breaks them down differently. 

Ibuprofen is removed from the body through the kidneys. Prolonged use of ibuprofen can cause kidney damage and stomach bleeding. When using high doses for times longer than recommended there is an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure if used for over 4 weeks.  

Acetaminophen, on the other hand, is broken down and removed via the liver. Therefore, there is a severe liver damage warning given. This risk is increased if taken with alcohol. It should also be noted, the effects of alcohol are notably increased while using Acetaminophen. 

Outside the location of action, there are some other details that differentiate between the two. Often times if you are allergic to aspirin, which is a different class of painkillers, you may have adverse reactions to the class of anti-inflammatory drugs. As learned above, Ibuprofen is in this class. Another concern is whether or not you have a sensitive stomach, if so you should try acetaminophen. Ibuprofen tends to increase stomach upset and can sometimes cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you have a history of liver disease, as you could take a guess, you should avoid the OTC medication that acts on the liver. Therefore it would be best to take Ibuprofen. 

How Often & Recommended Limits 

Both can be taken every 4 to 6 hours as symptoms persist and the smallest effective dose should always be used. For adults and children over 12 years do not exceed 3,000mg per day day of acetaminophen or 1,200 mg per day of ibuprofen. Also, be aware of many other common cough and cold medications containing doses of acetaminophen. 

Cheat Sheet: What is the pain?

Muscle injury, sprain, backache, or sinusitis

  • Try ibuprofen, it reduces inflammation, which is the common cause of pain from the conditions above. 

Headache, fever, or sore throat

  • Try acetaminophen first, these ailments may or may not be caused by inflammation. Due to acetaminophen generally causing less side effects it may be better to use initially.