Fish is possibly one of the healthiest foods in the world. Not only is fish an excellent source of protein and vitamin D, but it is also one of the best sources of the extremely beneficial and essential omega-3 fatty acids.
There are a number of scientifically proven reasons, why fish is a great healthy food.
Fish is full of essential and healthy nutrients, including the highest quality protein, vitamins, fatty acids, iodine and a number of other different vitamins and minerals. Fatty fish is especially healthy because of the omega-3 fatty acid which is crucial for the proper functioning of the human brain and body as well as with fat based essential nutrients, such as vitamin D. Eating fish at minimum twice a week is the recommended quantity necessary to provide the body with the necessary omega-3 fatty acids.
So, no doubt fish is one of the healthiest foods, because of its nutrient-rich content and especially due to the fact that it is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
The regular consumption of fish could lower the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, according to certain studies. This is largely due to the positive effect which omega-3 fatty acids have on the cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as to the multitude of other essential vitamins and minerals which are contained in fish. A study found that men who eat one or more servings of fish per week have a 15 % lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Thus, the regular consumption of fatty fish (at least one serving per week) can lower the risk of heart disease and suffering heart attacks and strokes.
Another reason why fish is one of the healthiest foods is that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA which it contains is essential for the growth and development of the human brain and eyes, and this is why pregnant women and nursing mothers are urged to consume sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. But expectant women need to be careful with the type of fish they consume during pregnancy as well as while nursing, because some types of fish have a high content of mercury which can actually harm the brain development. The recommended fish consumption for pregnant and nursing women includes maximum 12 ounces of salmon, trout, sardines or other fish which has lower mercury content.
Conclusion: the omega-3 fatty acids in fish is essential for the proper and healthy development of the brain and eyes of the baby, so it is recommended they consume enough omega-3 and at the same time be careful with the high mercury content in some fishes which may cause brain damage to unborn babies.
The regular consumption of fish can help keep the brain functioning properly with aging, and can slow the cognitive decline associated with getting older. There is a study which has found that people who eat fish every week have 14% more grey matter in their brains – namely in the sectors where emotions and memory are regulated, and have a lower risk of memory loss.
Thus, if you want your brain and memory to remain well functioning as you age, you should start consuming fish on a regular basis.
The consistent consumption of fish can also help fight off depression, and make you a happier person. Depression is a very serious condition, and in fact it is one of the biggest health problems in the world right now. According to some studies, people who eat fish often are less likely to become depressed. Fish oil is being prescribed to patients who suffer from depression and to people with bipolar disorder. This correlation was first noticed by scientists who found that in the countries and regions where a lot of fish is eaten there are fewer numbers of depressed people. Thus, another reason to increase your fish intake is that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in it will make you a happier person.
Apart from being an excellent source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, fish is also the sole dietary source of vitamin D, which is like a steroid hormone for the human body. More than 40% of the population of the US actually suffers from vitamin D deficiency. One serving of salmon contains the recommended intake of vitamin D. There are certain fish oils which provide even more of the recommended daily intake with a single spoon. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a variety of different health problems, starting from bone weakness and ending with cancer.
Although there are numerous vitamin D supplements available, the best dietary source is fatty fish, and the other source is sunshine.
Eating fish on a regular basis can also help reduce the risk of developing autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes type I. Once again, the probable main reason for this health benefit is the fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids in fish. Nevertheless, this is yet another health benefit from eating fish regularly is that it can protect the body from autoimmune diseases.
For children eating fish regularly could be very important not only for their proper brain and body development and growth, but fish consumption has also been found to reduce the risk of and prevent the development of asthma among kids. Asthma is a very serious and in some cases a dangerous health condition which has become quite a common problem these days. There are studies which show that the consumption of fish regularly can reduce the risk of asthma in children by 24%.
Apart from helping keep the brain functioning and active with age, the consumption of the recommended quantities of fatty fish can also help prevent the common vision loss problem called macular degeneration which is also common among aging people. It has actually been found that the consumption of fish can reduce the risk of these vision problems by 42% to 53%.
Not only will regular consumption of fish improve your health and help prevent some serious health problems, but it can help improve sleep quality and thus better daily functioning. Once again, it is the vitamin D which is thought to have such an effect on people and especially among elderly people.
Last but not least, it is recommended that fish is consumed at least once a week not only for the health benefits, but because of the fact that fish is delicious and it is easy to prepare in a multitude of different ways. Naturally, it is preferable that the fish is fresh, and that it has been caught in the wild rather than being farmed in order to get the best out of it. Branded as “brain food” by some, fish is a low calorie and yet highly nutrient food, which should definitely be a part of your and your family’s menu.