Feed Your Head: Fish Roe

June 9, 2011 · 26 comments

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fish eggs, cavier

It’s no secret that dementia and Alzheimer’s is on the rise in people in their 70′s and older, but also younger people in their 60′s are starting to develop these dreadful diseases. We are being faced with a population of elderly people who are no longer the “wise ones.” In the traditional cultures that Dr. Weston Price studied, the elders lived a long healthy life and modern diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s were unheard of. What did they do to preserve their brain function?

One of the most outstanding things Dr. Price noticed in all of the traditional cultures he studied was that even though there was great deal of variation in their diets, they all had certain things in common. One of those things was sacred foods.

Each culture had their own version of one or two sacred foods and they went to great lengths to procure these foods. The foods were particularly given to pregnant and nursing mothers, young children, young couples getting ready to start a family and to the elders.

These nutrient dense foods ensured healthy pregnancies, healthy babies, strong bodies and strong minds. As I mentioned in a previous post about butter, in the  Swiss village in the isolated Loetschental Valley, the sacred food was the rich butter made from the milk of cows feeding upon the quickly growing lush green grass in spring and fall. This sacred food was so revered for its nutrient power, it was celebrated in a special ceremony.

Another sacred food was fish roe or fish eggs. Today certain varieties are valued as caviar, a delicacy. The cultures that lived near the sea and had access to animal products from the sea went to great lengths to procure the fish roe. These eggs are power houses of nutrition. They contain plenty of vitamins A, C, E, folate and B12, as well as the important nutrient choline, which supports brain development and memory. They are loaded with phosphorus and potassium and have some calcium and selenium as well. Importantly they are high in cholesterol as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Cholesterol plays a very important role as an antioxidant which is still not recognized by the medical establishment.

These nutrients are critical for healthy neurons and healthy brain function.

When I was growing up in Brooklyn in the 1960′s I remember the fish monger coming around the neighborhood with his small truck filled with fresh fish from Sheepshead Bay. The catch of the day was laid out on shaved ice and he would clean and scale the fish right in front of us. Whenever he had fish roe my mother bought it and we ate it with the meal. I did not love fish but I remember loving the fish eggs and talking about the tiny fish inside. My mother was not the greatest cook but she did serve certain nutrient dense foods that she had learned about from her mother.

Sadly, the children of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s are forced to take care of their parents as if they were the children. We’ve lost the traditional wisdom of our ancestors and with that, we are losing the wise ones. The next generation does not have to suffer — feed your children these sacred foods and you will be fueling their brain power.

We need to go back and relearn that wisdom. But you do not have to reinvent the wheel. New technology gives us information at our fingertips. Visit the Weston Price Foundation website and visit with Real Food Media.com bloggers. There is a lot to learn and these are great places to start!

Photo credit: Torley

This post is linked to: Friday Favorites, Food Trip Friday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Fun With Food Friday, Savory Sunday, Sugar-Free Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Mangia Monday, Meatless Monday, Midnight Maniac, Monday Mania, Mouthwatering Monday, Weekend Carnival, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Tuesday at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Grain-Free Tuesday, Tuesday Tasty Tidbits, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, What’s on the Menu, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Creative Juice Thursday, Frugal Follies, Turning the Table Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daniel Mannion June 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

I’m currently studying neuroscience at university. It shocks me how often research papers and reviews will discuss causes of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s that include inflammation, yer not one paper I’ve seen has mentioned the effect of diet on inflammation, never mind recommended diet changes to treat/prevent these diseases.
It makes me sad that so many people will suffer because of ignorance of these ideas.

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2 Jill June 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for your comments. It is shocking as you say…but the cynic in me responds quickly with

” there’s no money in dietary changes.”

Furthermore, most research is funded by pharmaceutical companies and they want a drug developed, not dietary advise. There is a medical doctor whose husband developed Alzheimer’s. She did her research and found that medium chain triglycerides would help. She started to give him plenty of coconut oil and he responded to that. How simple is that? Doesn’t cost much and could help so many…

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3 cheerful June 11, 2011 at 5:03 am

wow, great info and thanks for sharing it with us! have a great weekend! :)

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4 Leanne June 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

How much roe would you recommend? A small spoonful daily? Just a couple of canape type snacks every day or few?

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5 Jill June 11, 2011 at 11:17 am

Hi Leanne,
As with many nutrient dense foods, some are best eaten daily and some perhaps weekly. I would say fish roe, as it can be expensive as caviar, and/or more difficult to get as fresh roe, to be eaten when available or once a week as a small portion.

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6 Marta June 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

I have never even tasted it but would really liek to start.
Where can you buy it? Does it matter what fish is it from? Do I need to worry about mercury and other contamination risks? How do you prepare it??

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7 Jill June 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

HI Marta,
You can get salmon roe as caviar in specialty stores or Whole Foods. But you can also ask your local fish store to get salmon roe for you. You can eat lightly cooked or raw.

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8 Debra June 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

WOW I have always loved caviar and didnt know about the health aspect. I have been diagnosed with early altzeimer’s so will be have this a bit more regularly now. Next week I will share a lovely recipe with fish roe or caviar. x Thank you for sharing x

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9 Jill June 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Hi Debra,
Definitely eat fish roe and look into coconut oil! Very important!

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10 Susan with Permanent Posies June 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I have never tried it but I am very interested.

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11 Melissa @ Dyno-mom June 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I keep thinking that I need to do roe but never haven eaten it, it’s a intimidating process. Thanks for the push!

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12 Jill June 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Hi Melissa,
Yes, it is hard to incorporate new food items into the menu! But once you are over the “hump” it gets easy!

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13 Yolanda June 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

There are no specialty markets here. I am wondering where I might buy fish roe? I live in southern Indiana. Right smack in the middle of the country AND in a rural area!

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14 Jill June 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Hi Yolanda,
You can purchase salmon roe from Vital Choice Seafood on line.

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15 Linda Nielander June 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Yolanda,
I also live in southern Indiana in the county, Brown County. I go to Bloomington for all my raw milk and healthy foods. You must live further out.

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16 Yolanda June 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

Hi Linda! We live in Jennings County. We are about 75 miles from Bloomington. Maybe once a year we drive over there, since we take our dog to the Bean Blossom Animal Clinic to Dr. Gallbraith (sp?) We both graduated from I.U. so we do like to go to Bloomington and I always stop at Blooming Foods. Fortunately, we have our own milk goats and grow most of our own vegetables. Does Blooming Foods sell fish roe?

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17 Yolanda June 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Sorry to bother you again. If I were to order the roe in the 6 oz. jar, once it is opened, how long will it keep?

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18 Jill June 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi Yolanda,
I’m not really sure. I open the jar and make sure to eat within a week. But perhaps you can ask the supplier.

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19 Miz Helen June 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hi Jill,
Beautiful photo’s and very interesting post. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!
Miz Helen

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20 Jill June 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi Miz Helen.
Thanks for your kind words!

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