The Nation's Health + [vitamin D]

Sun, fish, and seaweed

Extraordinary heart health springs from three basic sources in our environment:

Sun, fish, and seaweed.

Sun: Sunlight exposure is nature's intended source of vitamin D. Humans were meant to run naked, or at least scantily clad, in tropical or sub-tropical climates. The large surface area of skin ensured plenty of skin activation of vitamin D, along with long days of intense sun (unlike the seasonal variation of day length and less intense sun further north).

Fish: Fish are the principal source of omega-3 fatty acids, as are, to a lesser degree, wild land animals. Humans as hunter-gatherers tracked, captured, and slaughtered fish and wild game, eaten immediately, since there was no means of storage. Omega-3-rich game was the principal source of fat for primitive cultures.

Seaweed: Seaweed is the world’s most concentrated source of iodine. While seafood like fish and shellfish also contain iodine, seaweed contains, on average, a thousand-fold greater quantity. Seaweed, like plants found on land, are also rich in phytonutrients.

The healthiest cultures on earth follow this simple recipe for health. The unhealthiest population on earth─meaning Americans (i.e., without benefit of bail-out medications and procedures that keep us alive, or vaccinations that protect us from infectious diseases)--neglect all three. Witness the Okinawans, whose daily meals nearly always contain some form of fish and seaweed, and whose sub-tropical climate provides greater sun exposure. It is not unusual for Okinawans to live to 100 years of age, not as an exception, but the rule. Heart disease was virtually unknown except in 90-year olds and older─that is, until the recent adoption of Western practices like fast food and snacks.

It's pretty incredible when you think about it: Simple practices can markedly reduce your likelihood of heart attack and developing heart disease.

Perhaps you’d rather not run naked along a semi-tropical beach, spear fish, and gather seaweed. You could always do the modern equivalents and achieve similar benefits.