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.

Comments (9) -

  • Dennis Mangan

    8/8/2009 5:06:54 PM |

    It has been suggested that the Neanderthals were literally cretins due to iodine deficiency.

  • billye

    8/8/2009 6:21:31 PM |

    Changing  my lifestyle to an evolutionary diet along with the recommendations in this post says it all.  This is exactly what I have done and in just 10 short months, I have made a remarkable recovery from obesity, diabetes type 2 along with a huge reduction in triglycerides, now 66 mg/dl down from 115 mg/dl.  

    All of the above happened without taking any diabetic or Staten medication what so ever, just following the information provide  by Dr. Kenneth Tourgeman and your fine posts was all I needed.  

    Please keep up your great work. I am sure that You have inspired many other doctors to practice as you do.  Why not ask your reader doctors to let you know who they are, that way you could post their names and the word could spread.

  • Ross

    8/9/2009 6:30:08 PM |

    Don't forget about lard.  The traditional Okinawan diet cooked just about everything (fish, vegetables, and pork) in lard.  

    Saturated fat (and plenty of it) keeps appearing in the diet healthiest groups on earth (Masai, Inuit, Okinawan, etc.).

  • Anonymous

    8/9/2009 10:24:39 PM |

    This comment is off the subject but I hope you can address it. In your hometown newspaper today they had a huge front page article on how little research has been done and how dangerous testosterone maybe. Since you have advocated in your book as a helper against cardiovascular disease and the article says it may in fact cause the disease could you tell us if your feelings have changed.

  • shel

    8/10/2009 1:59:48 AM |

    did the Okinawans not eat copious amounts of pork fat (lard) until recently, when they adopted to a large extent, o6 veggie oils?

    lets extoll the virtues of sat fat!!

  • Bad_CRC

    8/10/2009 9:29:50 PM |

    The Masai and Inuit are some of the unhealthiest, shortest-lived peoples on record.  The Masai are remarkable mostly because despite severe coronary atherosclerosis, they avoided MIs before their deaths at the ripe old age of 50 (or whatever it was).

    The Okinawans are the longest-lived people on record, with the highest proportion of centenarians, and their diet ca. 1950 was:

    85% carb
    9% protein
    6% fat
    <4g/day sat fat

    (Source: the 2007 Willcox paper, based on archived data from thousands of Okinawan respondents.)

    Good Lord, their LDL-P counts must have been in the millions.

  • Tom

    8/11/2009 3:11:41 PM |

    Re: Iodine from Kelp Supplements....

    I found this article online warning about arsenic in OTC kelp supplements:

    I just contacted a large vitamin manufacturer and asked if they test their product for arsenic.  The said they "cannot" reply to my e-mail, I have to call them.  Hmmm....I wonder why they can't answer a simple yes or no question in writing?

  • Catherine Lansing

    8/15/2009 4:09:36 AM |

    Admit I have a bit of reading to catch up here...In the last three years I have brought my vitamin D level (participating in GrassRootsHealth testing) from 7 to 98 with Carlson's softgels.  Good.  Then read more and added magnesium...good.  Started suffering from very high resting pulse, weak, "fluttering"...exhausting and discovered one website that talked about hyper and hypothyroidism, taking magnesium and calcium as supplements and how it affects the heart rates...the only place I found to help me add calcium supplements which miraculously, for me, reduces the palpitations, the resting pulse rate, and the weakness of the heart beat.  I have had resting pulse rates of 140s and I am 62, not pleasant.  With no money, no health insurance, I can add supplements, so after vitamin K2, B-50 complex, I am now looking at iodine and discovered the wonderful Korean dried Nori with sea salt and sesame oil.  Hope to rectify some of this problem, but will continue to read.  Will go through the archives here and see what you have to say about thyroid.  Thank you for all the information.

  • Brate

    9/15/2009 5:06:02 AM |

    These are some of the facts and figures regarding the relation between depression and heart attack that might raise your eyebrows:
    According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the nation's single leading cause of death for both men and women. At least 58.8 million people in this country suffer from some form of heart disease.
    And on the whole, cardiovascular diseases (the combination of heart disease and stroke) kill some 950,000 Americans every year.
    Still, there are many misconceptions about heart disease: "The biggest misconception is that heart disease only happens to the elderly,".
    In fact, according to the American Heart Association, almost 150,00 Americans killed by cardiovascular disease each year are under the age of 65. And one out of every 20 people below the age of 40 has heart disease.
    You can find some interesting facts from .
    So, it is now a wise decision to keep a constant monitoring of your health. Why to take a chance if we have the option. I was in the similar misconception that heart disease are far away waiting for me to get aged. But to my surprise, I was found to be having a calcium deposit in my coronary arteries. I need to have my advance diagnostic scans due reassure whether something really deadly is waiting for me. Though it was some dreadful going on in my life, but I never felt any kind of discomfort in advanced diagnostic facility. They were having some of the latest diagnostic equipments and non invasive techniques which made me feel safe. Their medical office in Los Angeles was more than what I had expected with some latest diagnostic techniques which help make earth a better place to live.