From: Charleston Gazette-Mail
By: Jim Strawn
I consider myself a health guy.
I serve on the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Board of Directors.
I serve on the YMCA Corporate Cup Committee.
I am the only person that has participated in all 32 Charleston YMCA’s Corporate Cups.
I worked for a Charleston hospital for 20 years.
I am certified to teach physical education and health.
So, as you can see, I am a health guy.
I have always been a physically active person, thinking that is how you stay healthy. But it wasn’t until I hit my 50s that I started thinking about my health via nutrition. Nutrition can get complicated. Lots of chemistry — and I am not a chemist.
But I have learned that eating seafood at least twice a week lowers my risk for stroke and heart attack, two leading causes of death in West Virginia.
I didn’t realize West Virginia has the fourth highest rate of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. and that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in West Virginia.
Fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet. It is loaded with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D.
Fish is also the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.
How did I find out about this? A dear friend, Andy Richardson, Charleston City Councilman At-Large, calls me one day and encourages me to get involved in the Seafood Nutrition Partnership. Charleston is one of eight markets in America participating in a multi-year public health campaign to promote seafood nutrition.
I was like, “What are you talking about?”
Well that was two years ago, September of 2015. I have learned a lot about the Seafood Nutrition Partnership since. I have taken the Healthy Heart Pledge. I continue to learn more about this movement across West Virginia.
I couldn’t be prouder that West Virginia leads the eight markets and the nation in the number of Healthy Heart Pledges taken. Our word is our bond in this state and good news like seafood nutrition travels fast!
Not only am I in my 50s, but I am quickly approaching my 60s. The older you get, the more you pay attention to the health of your body. I listen to mine.
I have learned that eating fish and shellfish is linked to keeping my brain sharp in old age. Folks who eat fish regularly also have more grey matter in the brain centers that control memory and emotion. And I need ALL of that I can muster.
I have learned omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial against depression and down moods. And if you know me, you know what a happy guy I am!
I have learned that eating fish has been linked to reduced risk of type 1 diabetes and several other autoimmune diseases — something we need to be cognizant of here in the Mountain State.
I learned that seafood consumption aids in keeping my vision sharp and also helps my sleep pattern.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting Linda Cornish, president of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership. She is so passionate about the program, the results that eating seafood two times per week can bring, and getting West Virginians to take the Healthy Heart Pledge. I was excited to tell her about the various seafoods I have tried the past two years. My wife and I enjoy exploring new seafood recipes. I am ALL IN on the Healthy Heart Pledge.
I look forward to the Charleston SeafoodFEST at the Capitol Market on September 30 and the Charleston Seafood Restaurant Week scheduled for October 22-29.
I believe in the Seafood Nutrition Partnership. You should too. Please do your heart a favor, and consider taking the Healthy Heart Pledge.
There are many ways to get in touch, stay in touch, get recipes, information and updates.
Visit seafoodnutrition.org or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And keep us informed of your progress by using #Seafood2xWkWV.