With everyone clamoring for sushi these days, it is important to know the health benefits of eating so much fish. Fish has been found to be a good source of a number of important nutrients, but there are some thing that you must consider if you choose to implement a fish-heavy diet in your life.
If you enjoy eating fish, you could be protecting yourself from heart problems. The American Heart Association has recommended that you eat fish twice a week to help protect you from cardiovascular disease. They especially tout the benefits of consuming fatty fish, such as mackerel, albacore tuna, salmon, and sardines, among others.
The reason why doctors encourage the consumption of fish is because it contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are excellent for your health. Omega-3 has been found to promote circulatory system health because they stimulate blood circulation, and may lower blood pressure. Also, omega-3 contributes to the breakdown of fibrin, the buildup of which can lead to blood clots. Lastly, some preliminary studies have shown that they may protect against cancer as well.
Most fish contain two different types of omega-3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The reason why fish are such a good source of these two substances are that omega-3 is usually pretty difficult to acquire, and they are present in fish in a fairly concentrated amount. You can also take fish oil pills if you do not eat enough fish to naturally ingest omega-3 fatty acids. If you are looking for a fish high in omega-3, salmon is one of your best choices, followed by pollock and flounder or sole.
Health Benefits of Eating Fish
Fish health benefits includes providing instant energy, regulating cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, supporting psychological health, supporting respiratory health, treating insomnia, enhancing the skin and treating damaged scalp. Other benefits includes promoting strong muscles, regulating body fluid, treating iron deficiency, supporting strong bones and supplying the body with vitamin D.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micronutrient antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.
Selenium, a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body's antioxidant enzyme systems, is sometimes included in this category. The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied in the diet.
Why Eat Fish Weekly?
Best choices are oily fish rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, such as herring, sardines, salmon, lake trout, mackerel and albacore tuna. But forgo fish oil capsules unless you have been diagnosed with heart disease and can't eat at least two meals of fish per week. People with high triglyceride levels who are under the care of a physician may benefit from omega-3 fatty acids in capsules. The U.S. guidelines also recommend two servings of fish per week, but they doesn't address fish oil capsules in the same detail as AHA.
However, do not eat fish everyday. Eating too much fish can also be detrimental to your health if you have it too much. Fish tends to be at risk for carrying mercury, which can be especially harmful for pregnant women, causing birth defects in their unborn babies. Additionally, some farmed fish, especially salmon, has been show to have high levels of dioxins and PCBs. These are chemical by-products of industrial processes that can cause liver damage and developmental problems in children.
Can Antioxidants prevent Cancer?
That is a good question. Considerable laboratory evidence from chemical, cell culture, and animal studies indicates that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent the development of cancer. However, information from recent clinical trials is less clear. In recent years, large-scale, randomized clinical trials reached inconsistent conclusions.
Various new researches show that a serving of almonds, for instance, contains the same amount of antioxidants called flavonoids as a serving of broccoli. And a one ounce serving of almonds provides as much of these antioxidants as found in a cup of brewed black or green tea, in addition to being an excellent source of vitamin E!
Furthermore, the researchers noted that the main antioxidant compounds found in almonds, catechin, epicatechin and kaempferol, are also the ones that provide the highest degree of protection against cell death from oxidants, a mechanism that appears to play an important role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Antioxidants are also abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods including nuts, grains and some meats and poultry products.
Nutritional Value of Fish
You can obtain following nutrients only by consuming a single serving of fresh fish fillet.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin D
Fish Eating and Respiratory Health
Environmental pollution can affect your respiratory health. You need to consume foods that contain nutrients like potassium and vitamin B that prevent your respiratory system from various chronic diseases. Moreover, nutritionists suggest incorporating salmon and tuna into the diet of asthma patients. The properties of the fish can alleviate factors that contribute to inflammation in the chest due to constant coughs and help relieves breathing difficulty. Also, regular consumption of fish can reduce the risks of asthma in children.
Fish Treats Insomnia
Being an insomniac isn’t only irritating, but it has potential to affect your psychological health adversely. Nutrients like vitamin D, protein, magnesium, manganese, etc. contribute to peaceful sleep for hours and deficiency of that nutrients can lead to chronic insomnia. You can reap these necessary components only by consuming a fillet of fresh fish before going to bad and gradually, it will ward off your insomnia.
The health benefits given above shows that edible fish is essential for your overall well-being. You should consume a single serving of fish at least twice a week to alleviate the health-damaging factors.