Fish is the health food of the 90s and baby boomers are buying it up by the pound. The leading reason for fish being a health hero is fish is practically the only natural source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient that almost all Americans fall short on. In this low-fat, no-fat world this may seem strange. Simply put, the human diet requires a balance of certain fats.

What Americans get too much of is Omega-6 fatty acids. Nutritionists suggest that the average American consumes six servings of Omega-6's for every one serving of Omega-3. Experts recommend a 1:1 ratio. An imbalance between Omega 6 and Omega-3 intake impacts the production of prostaglandin's. Prostaglandins are a key compound for regulating immunity. Depending on the ratio intake of Omega-6 and Omega-3, your body produces different types of prostaglandins. When your body produces too much Omega-6, your body produces a prostaglandin that lowers the immunity. Conversely, if your intake of Omega-3 is greater than Omega 6, you will produce prostaglandin that actually strengthens your immunity.

Research on Omega-3s continues to support the health benefits. For example, a study showed that people that replaced saturated fats with Omega-3s lost weight within three weeks. New studies have shown that Omega-3 blocks your body from storing other types of dietary fats. There has also been numerous studies showing a reduction in heart attacks with a regular consumption of fish. Evidence has also shown that a regular diet of fish reduces the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis and other painful inflammatory conditions. People with skin conditions have shown improvement by consuming small portions of fish each day. Patients with a higher risk of colon cancer have shown improvement with a regular intake of fish. Finally, studies are now being conducted to show that Omega-3 has an impact on prenatal development.

How do you get this wonder drug that seems to be a cure-all for the immunity system? It is readily available through the consumption of fish. Consumers should purchase fish at reputable fish stores. If your intake of Omega 3 is going to be enjoyable, you have to purchase a quality product. Quality is sensed through your nose and though your eyes. Some general rules for purchasing fish are as follows:

Fresh fish should never smell or taste fishy. Fishy smell comes from an older fish that has been held too long.

Consumers should patronize a busy fish counter. These fish counters tend to turn over fish inventory faster.

Fish counters that deal with whole fish are better than fish counters that only sell filets, suggesting that the retailer filets fish in order to ensure freshness.

Clarity of eyes and bright redness of gills are important factors for determining freshness.

Fish is easier to cook than many homeowners expect. With increased knowledge of product purchasing and handling, homeowners are finding that the old stigma of cooking fish at home no longer applies. Ask your local retail vendor for some good recipes.