Many of us enjoy having fish every once in a while, but many skip this type of food just because they are not aware of what it can do for their health.
It is proven that people in the West don’t consume fish in big amounts, but fish is not only tasty, but also extremely healthy and it keeps you fit and in shape.
It can also reduce the risk of getting common diseases and it works best if you consume it at least once or twice a week.
Here are some of the proven merits of adding fish to your diet:
- Fish is loaded with nutrients
That is why it should be consumed so often. Fish is among the healthiest foods in the world. Fish also provides energy (kilojoules), selenium, protein, zinc, iodine, as well as vitamins A and D. Apart from these, fish contains the well-known omega 3 fatty acids found in the fish oil. Omega 3s are very important as the body cannot produce them itself, but it needs them for a healthy body. The National Institute of health recommends 4g of fatty acids daily. The best fish are salmon, tuna, sardines, and halibut.
- Fish prevents heart diseases
There was one Danish study of 49,000 women included, published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, which found that women who ate little or no fish had an increase in heart issues and a three-fold higher disease risk, compared to those who ate fish regularly. Eating fish regularly works in a way that reduces inflammation and blood clots, betters blood vessel elasticity and the “good” cholesterol, and also lowers blood fats and blood pressure. All this is done with the help of omega 3 acids, which also reduce abnormal heart rhythms.
- Fish helps in brain development
It is again thanks to the omega 3s. These EFA omega 3s that you can find in salmon in particular contribute to children’s brain development. DHA (docosahexaenoioc acids) are also important in brain and eye development. Studies also show that ADHD symptoms could also be lowered by omega 3 intake. Pregnant and nursing women are also recommended to add fish in their diet, but the one which is low in mercury and they should consume it in moderation.
- Fish improves grey matter and prevents age-deterioration
Older generations often suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s, but fish can slow down this aging process and decrease the risk of getting these diseases. One study proves that consuming fish helps in increasing the grey matter in the brain. People who consume fish regularly are proven to have bigger cells in terms of memory and learning parts of the brain. Researchers at the Radiological Society of North America found that people who eat baked and broiled (not fried) fish have bigger brains and cells, which leads to lowering the risk of cognitive decline. The reason behind this is that fatty acids help brain tissues development and create larger cells.
- Fish may make you happier and treat depression
Depression is a big taboo disease spreading more and more each day. Studies show that people who consume fish regularly do not develop depression. Omega 3s help in treating depression as well, and can be used along with antidepressants.
Fish as a Vitamin D source
Vitamin D is usually consumed on a warm sunny day, but also by eating saltwater fish. Our body cannot produce vitamin D, but fish can help. Salmon (one three-ounce serving of it) has 75% of the daily recommended need of vitamin D.
- Fish reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases
People nowadays often suffer from autoimmune diseases, which happen when the body attacks its healthy tissues thinking it should act against them. One such disease is type 1 diabetes and fish is thought and proven effective in treating it. Omega 3s help in lowering the risk of developing children and adult diabetes. Fish may help managing the blood sugar levels of these people.
- Fish helps in asthma prevention
Asthma is a common disease sometimes found in children as well as adults. Children who consume fish regularly are less likely to develop asthma, according to the research by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Children should consume fish in moderation because of the possible toxins fish may contain. The recommended dose for children is to have fish once a week.
Fish improves eyesight
Omega 3 acids are known to protect the retina (the back of the eye). If older people eat fish two or more times a week, their risk of age-related macular degeneration is reduced. Breastfed babies with mothers consuming fish may develop better eyesight, probably because of the fact that the omega 3s are transmitted in the breast milk.
Fish improves sleep
Lack of sleep is often caused by not being able to sleep normally. Sleep disorders can be caused by a lack of vitamin D as well. Research says that incorporating fish in your diet can improve your sleep and energy levels. The best results were proven with the help of people eating salmon for the purpose of a 6-month study. There were 95 men of a middle age consuming salmon three times a week, and their sleep improved significantly, probably due to the presence of vitamin D in the fish.
Fish is easy to prepare
Fish can be consumed in different ways, and it is a taste you will want to try every day. It is not good to fry it because it loses its health benefits. Wild fish is better to consume because of the richness of omega 3 acids.
There are many more benefits of eating fish, some of which include:
- reduces the risk of cancer;
- reduces the risk of delivering a premature baby;
- improves your hair and skin;
- creates conditions for a stronger sperm.
Enjoy your fish diet and always be careful of how you choose fish in the market!