Fish is an important part of our diet. Even our ancestors knew the benefits of eating fish. Before the invention of airplanes and the massive imports of food, we only had to eat what we had locally.
So, during the winter months, our ancestors ate only meat and fish. Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential nutrients are just a few of the health benefits of fish.
Your waistline isn’t the only part of your body that will be impacted by eating fish. Your brain, liver, and even your sleep will benefit if you start eating fish at least once a week. We’ll talk about fish and the benefits it has on our bodies, so keep reading to learn more!
Benefits of eating fish
1. Important nutrients
Although it may not be noticeable, many people are lacking in at least some important nutrients. One of the most important benefits of eating fish is that it contains many of these nutrients. It is filled with minerals, various vitamins, iodine, and high-quality protein.
Usually, the healthiest nutrient fish has come from the fat group. Also, fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines, trout, and salmon belong to fatty species. They are, fortunately, also the most available species on the shelves of our markets.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common thing among humans in the modern world. We spend most of our time indoors in our homes and offices, so many of us don’t get our daily dose of vitamin D from the sun. Luckily, you can find it in fatty fish and consume it in that form.
An omega-3 fatty acid is essential for the normal functioning of our brain and body. You can eat it with oily fish and reduce the risk of many diseases, which is one of the most important health benefits of fish.
It is recommended to eat oily fish at least once or twice a week to meet omega-3 needs.
2. Reduced risk of stroke and heart attack
Strokes and heart attacks are the two leading causes of death worldwide. There are many reasons for this like smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, but also an unhealthy diet.
But, when it comes to fish, is considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat for normal heart function. That’s why we’re not surprised by evidence from observational studies that show regular fish consumption reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
A study done on 40,000 men in the United States showed a 15% lower risk of heart disease in men who ate at least one serving of fish each week.
Oily fish is considered even healthier due to the amount of omega-3 fatty acids it contains. Find recipes for salmon, sardines, and tuna and use them regularly to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Important nutrients for development
Healthy development and growth are linked to omega-3 fatty acids, according to experts in the field. Eye and brain development are closely linked to docosahexaenoic acid found in omega-3 fatty acids.
This is why fish is generally recommended for nursing mothers and pregnant women. Still, not all fish are good for sensitive groups (like pregnant women). To be more specific, some brain development issues are caused by mercury – and some fish are high in this nutrient.
This is why pregnant women should eat no more than 12 ounces of fish per week. Also, avoid fish high in mercury and stick to trout, sardines, and salmon. Uncooked and raw fish should also be avoided by pregnant women as the fetus can be damaged by the microorganisms present in raw fish.
4. Prevention and treatment of depression
One of the lesser-known benefits of eating fish is that it is really effective in preventing and treating depression. This condition is increasingly common in our culture, but it is not as discussed as obesity or heart disease.
It is characterized by a loss of interest in activities, decreased energy, sadness, low mood, and general disinterest in life. It is one of the biggest health problems in the world right now and many different theories suggest what is the main cause of the disease. An unhealthy diet may be the culprit, according to some experts.
Regular fish consumption is linked to fewer depressive episodes and a lower chance of suffering from the disease.
In fact, a few studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can increase the effectiveness of antidepressants and fight symptoms of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in helping other mental disorders, especially bipolar disorder.
5. Source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is generally taken for granted and many people are not even aware that they are deficient. This important vitamin acts like a steroid hormone in our body and we cannot function properly without it. Nearly 45% of people are low or deficient in vitamin D in the United States.
One of the most important health benefits of fish is that it is packed with vitamin D. In fact, it is one of the best dietary sources of it. The highest amounts are found in fatty fish such as herring or salmon.
To show how effective salmon is in combating vitamin D deficiency, suffice it to say that a 4-ounce serving contains nearly 100% of the daily vitamin D requirement.
Vitamin D is also found in fish oils. Just one tablespoon of cod liver oil contains over 200% of your daily vitamin D needs. Highly effective and very useful for those who live in areas with less sunlight throughout the day.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is also an option, but experts always recommend getting needed nutrients through food, supplements are never a substitute for food.
6. Reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases are also one of the greatest concerns and mysteries for modern health experts. We still don’t know what causes them, and treatment is unclear for many of them.
These diseases occur when a person’s immune system begins to mistakenly destroy and attack healthy body tissue.
Several studies show a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in children who regularly consume fish oil or omega-3 via fish. Additionally, at least one form of adult type 1 diabetes is prevented by eating fish at least once a week. Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are likely responsible for these benefits of eating fish.
Some people believe that the risk of contracting multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis can be reduced by eating fish regularly. If true, this would be one of the best health benefits of fish. Yet we lack formal evidence for these claims.
7. Quality of sleep
Similar to mental disorders, sleep disorders are also very common in the world, but we don’t have much information about them. Usually, sleep disturbances are thought to be related to excessive exposure to blue light.
However, some experts believe that vitamin D deficiency could be the cause. Since we spend a lot of time indoors looking at our screens, we can conclude that these two elements probably have negative effects on the way we sleep.
A study was carried out on 95 men of the same age for 6 months. They were given a serving of salmon 3 times a week and the researchers were able to notice significant improvements in daily functions and sleep patterns.
Lack of vitamin D was likely the cause of irregular sleep according to the research. The salmon helped increase the levels, leading to regular sleep patterns.
8. Protect vision
The main cause of blindness and visual impairment is macular degeneration. It usually happens to older adults but can affect even young people.
There is strong evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids and fish could prevent this unfortunate disease from developing. A study done on the subject showed that women who regularly eat fish are 42% less likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration.
Neovascular AMD is another cause of visual impairment in the elderly. There is evidence that eating fish or using fish oil at least once a week is likely to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
9. Fish is delicious and easy to prepare
This is one of the main reasons why you can easily incorporate fish into your diet. To reap the benefits of eating fish, you need to prepare it at least once a week.
Luckily, you don’t have to waste a lot of time making it, and all you need is a pan and some fish! Even though some people think fish has an unpleasant smell, you can’t get rid of it, you can get used to it after eating it for a while.
It is always better to use wild-caught salmon than farmed fish. Farmed fish generally contain more harmful pollutants and less omega-3 fatty acids than wild fish. For example, salmon naturally has a gray color.
But, his meat naturally turns orange due to his diet. This orange compound is commonly found in shrimp and krill, and salmon change color by eating them. The bad thing is that the farmers put in pollutants that will change the color of the flesh of the salmon even if they don’t eat krill and shrimp.
10. Lowers Cholesterol
We have 2 types of cholesterol in our body: bad (LDL) and good (HDL). The omega-3 fatty acid can lower bad cholesterol levels (when consumed with fish oil). This is very important because high levels of bad cholesterol can lead to blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.
Q: What are the benefits of eating fish?
A: There are many benefits of eating fish. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and proteins important for building our muscles and the proper functioning of our body. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower bad cholesterol and have a big impact on your heart.
Q: Is it OK to eat fish every day?
A: There is no firm evidence showing any additional health benefits of eating fish if you eat it every day. Still, it’s generally safe to fish every day, but experts recommend doing it once or twice a week. Include a variety of foods in your diet for best results.
Q: Is eating fish good for the skin?
A: Eating fish is good for the skin. Herring, mackerel, and salmon are fatty fish that are particularly good for the skin. Good skin health is linked to eating enough omega-3 fatty acids, and all of these fish contain them. Vitamin D is also helpful and you can find it in fish and fish oil.
Q: What is the healthiest fish to eat?
A: All fish have their benefits, but albacore tuna, salmon, and oysters are the healthiest fish you can eat. Rainbow trout, sardines, and coho salmon are also some of the healthier options. Still, you can’t go wrong eating fish – just make sure it’s non-toxic!
Q: Is fish good for hair?
A: Yes, fish contains important nutrients that promote hair growth. Mackerel, herring, salmon, and other fatty fish are really effective for healthy growth. Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive impact on hair growth, and these fatty fish are full of them.
Q: How important is fish?
A: Fish provides micronutrients and nutrients necessary for physical and cognitive development. Fish is an important part of a healthy diet, especially for children. It is also a food that feeds more than a billion poor mouths in the world.
Image Credit: Photo by Dana Tentis from pexels.com