A lot is being said about the benefits of fish and how important it is to include it in your diet. It is true! Fish are rich in high-quality protein and low in unhealthy fats, and they make a great alternative to red meat.
Fish are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A & D, selenium and iodine. Certain types of fish where their bones can also be eaten are also good sources of calcium and phosphorous, which help make your bones stronger. Therefore, fish consumption provides general body strength and stamina. Besides containing protein and other nutrients, fish contain a specific type of fat - Omega-3 Fatty Acids that can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other health problems.
Omega & the heart
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in fish, especially oily fish such as salmon, sardines and herring. These Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help lower your blood pressure, lower your heart rate and improve general cardiovascular health
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids are also therapeutic. They help keep your blood from clotting excessively and therefore lower the risk of strokes. They also reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood the risk of obesity.
Omega & the brain
- Fish intake has also been linked to a lower risk of depression and mental decline with age. It enhances a balanced mood and a sense of well being.
- For pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding and women of childbearing age, fish intake is important because it supplies DHA, a specific Omega-3 Fatty Acid that is beneficial for better vision and brain development in infants.
Moreover, scientific evidence reveals that a diet rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids helps support a healthy immune system.
Avoid Fish with high mercury content
However, fish may also contain mercury and other contaminants that may have health risks. Pregnant or breast-feeding women and young children should avoid fish high in mercury such as shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. They can comfortably enjoy other types of fish that are lower in mercury such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.
Healthy Fish Cooking Tips
For a healthier choice go for baked or grilled fish rather than fried as fried fish will become high in unhealthy fats.
Fish is a low-fat, high-protein food that fits perfectly into a healthy diet for you and your family, so make sure to include fish at least twice a week in your weekly menu.