“Wise men consider that health is the greatest of human blessings; let food be your medicine”
Fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet. It is low in fat and loaded with important nutrients such as high-quality protein, iodine and various vitamins and minerals. Fatty types of fish are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
What are the health benefits of eating fish?
- Asthma – children who eat fish may be less likely to develop asthma.
- Brain– Fish consumption is linked to reduced decline in brain function in old age. People who eat fish regularly have more grey matter in the brain centers that control memory and emotion.Elderly people who eat fish at least once a week may have a lower risk of developing dementia (memory loss) including Alzheimer's disease.
- Neurological disorders –The vitamin A, vitamin D, and selenium present in fish protect the nervous system from age-related damage. Long-term omega-3 supplementation can help prevent and treat Parkinson’s disease also.Fatty fish, such as salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit.
- Cardiovascular disease – eating at least two servings of fish per week reduces the risk of heart diseases and stroke by reducing blood clots and inflammation, improving blood vessel elasticity, lowering blood pressure, decreasing triglycerides and reducing irregular heartbeats. Fish contain unsaturated fatty acids, which when substituted for saturated fatty acids such as those in meat, may lower your cholesterol.
- Diabetes and endocrine diseases – Eating fish has been linked to reduced risk of type 1 diabetes and thyroid disorders.
- Eyesight –Eating fish two or more times a week is associated with reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
- Inflammatory conditions – regular fish consumption may relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (like morning stiffness, tender or swollen joints, and joint pain), psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases.
- Prematurity – eating fish during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of delivering a premature baby.
- Cancer- the omega 3 fatty acids in fish may reduce the risk of many types of cancers by 30 to 50 per cent, especially of the oral cavity, oesophagus, colon, breast, ovary and prostate.
- Bones & Joints -Fatty fish is an excellent source of vitamin D, an important nutrient that over 40 percent of people may be deficient in. The calcium and Vitamin D in fish can help maintain bone strength.The omega-3 in fatty fish is a natural anti-inflammatory and may decrease symptoms of morning stiffness, tender or swollen joints, and joint pain.
- Depression -Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial against depression, both on their own and when taken with antidepressant medications.There is preliminary evidence that eating fatty fish like salmon may lead to improved sleep.
Are there any kinds of fish you should avoid?
Some shell fish can cause mild to severe allergy to certain people. People sensitive to food allergy may try a small dose first before going for a full meal. Also keep in mind that any fish can be unhealthy depending on how it's prepared. Grilling, baking and fish in gravy are healthier options than deep-frying.