Why You Should Add Fish to Your Diet
Consuming just two servings (approximately 270 grams) of fish a week can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost a third. Oily fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel and trout) are widely considered to be nature’s own nutrient-dense super food as they are low in fat and a rich source of iron, protein, vitamin B-12 and omega-3 oils. If you are not a fan of fish because of reasons like their smell, the tiny bones etc. you may want to get over your repellence and eat fish today. Here’s why.
1 It lowers the risk of heart disease
Studies show that people with higher levels of fish oil have much lower stress levels on the heart. The studies demonstrate that participants who substituted fish oil for olive oil had reduced levels of triglycerides in the blood (a chemical commonly associated with causing heart disease). In addition, the omega-3 oils have been shown to help reduce blood clots and inflammation, lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol, reducing the risk of stroke and other cardio vascular diseases. But remember, the fish is better for your health if it is baked or grilled; avoid frying it.
2 Reduces the risk of prostate cancer
A Swedish study of around 6000 men over a 30-year period demonstrated that men who did not eat fish almost tripled the risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those that did. Among many other nutrients, fish is a good source of selenium, a chemical believed to have cancer-fighting properties, particularly against cancer of the oral cavity, oesophagus, colon, breast, ovary as well as the prostate. Salmon, tuna and herring help prevent prostate cancer.
3 Reduces tissue inflammation
The high levels of omega-3 oils found in fish are excellent in reducing the tissue inflammation. They are alleviating some of the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune diseases, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. In fact the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil have been shown to promote overall cardiovascular health as well as increasing lung capacity. This is good news for asthma sufferers, who are around 30% less likely to reach for the inhaler during exercise when they are exposed to a fish-oil rich diet. Doctors suggest oily fish in the weekly diet, particularly in the case of young children. According the many medical studies it is likely to decrease the risk of developing child’s asthma. Consider eating asparagus with salmon at least once a week. Asparagus has incredible anti-inflammatory effects and it’s an excellent source of antioxidants.
4 Perfect for baby’s brain development
The health benefits of omega-3 oils in a baby’s development undeniable. A study conducted in 2003 and published in the Journal of Paediatrics concluded that mothers who took fish oil supplements during pregnancy and lactation increased their children’s cognitive abilities at 4 years of age. Another study in 2005 showed that schoolchildren who had a diet high in fish oil performed better overall in their reading and spelling scores. As a baby’s brain grows fastest prenatally and continues to grow most rapidly in the first year of life, this is the ideal time for a baby to be exposed to the benefits of fish in their diet.
5 Improves the eyesight
This old and well known fact should motivate you to prepare a nice fish meal. Researches suggest that the high levels of omega-3 in oily fish can help to protect the eyesight of those suffering from age related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition causing blurry eyesight usually found in older adults as a result of damage to the retina. Fish also contains retinol, a form of vitamin A which has been known to boost night vision. Eat your favorite fish with grilled or steamed vegetables at least once a week to maintain good eyesight.
6 Tastes wonderful
If prepared well, fish can be much tastier than any other animal meat you prefer. Salmon, tuna or herring are pretty popular in most cuisines around the world. With just a little recipe research you can do a delicious and healthy meal for you and your family.