Fish has long been considered one of the healthiest foods offered by our planet. Apart from being easy to cook and great to eat, fish are teeming with a great deal of fat, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can improve your overall health, including your brain, vision and immune system. When you learn about the research-proven benefits of fish, you'll see why fish are such irreplaceable treats to add to your weekly diet.
1. Fish is high in several nutrients you're probably missing
Your body might be lacking in nutrients, such as high-quality protein, iodine and other vitamins and minerals you can get from eating fish. These nutrients are highly important for your body and brain to function at their best, and they may also reduce your risk of getting diseases. This is especially relevant for the omega-3 content that is mostly found in fatty fish. Apart from this, fatty fish should be preferred over other fish because of their fat-soluble vitamin D. Such fish include salmon, trout, sardines, tuna and mackerel.
2. Eating fish regularly may lower your risk of heart diseases and strokes
If you want a healthy heart, fish should be at the top of your list. Studies have found that people who eat fish regularly often have a lower risk of developing such serious conditions. Consuming fish, particularly fatty fish, at least once a week will reduce your chances. It has been shown that people who follow this rule lower their risk of heart disease by 15%.
3. Fish can aid in growth and development
Because it accumulates in the developing brain and eye, omega-3 in fish is crucial for your body's health. One should, however, be aware that some fish, especially ones high in the food chain, may contain high amounts of mercury, which actually works against growth. Pregnant women should only eat fish like salmon, sardines and trout (which are low in the food chain), without exceeding 340 grams per week, and they should also avoid eating raw fish such as sushi.
4. The more fish you eat, the less age-related cognitive decline you'll experience
Cognitive decline happens because of the loss of grey matter - a major functional tissue in your brain that contains neurons responsible for memory. Eating fish has been shown to increase the amount of grey matter in your brain and slow down cognitive decline. This could in turn regulate one's emotions and memory, and lessen the risk of developing serious diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
5. People who eat fish have less of a chance of getting depressed
It's common to suffer from depression, and you can find several forms of medication out there that will help you fight it. However, eating fish can surprisingly reduce your risk of suffering from it. According to research in the field, omega-3 acids are advantageous against depression and can even enhance the effect of medications treating it. If you want to improve your emotional well-being and be a happier person, you may want to consider adding some nutritious fish to your diet.
6. Fish adds a rich source of Vitamin D to your diet
In the U.S., 41.6% of the population is vitamin D deficient. Fortunately, 113 grams of cooked salmon (= 1 serving) contains 100% of your recommended vitamin D intake, whereas some fish oils, such as the famous cod liver oil, serves an impressive 200% of this intake.
7. Children who eat fish have a reduced likelihood of developing Asthma
Asthma is a disease that involves the chronic inflammation of the airways, and can trigger shortness of breath. To help prevent your child from suffering from this unpleasant condition, provide them with a regular source of fish in their weekly diet. It has been found that this habit can lead to a lower risk of Asthma in children by 24%.8. Fish is beneficial for the vision of older people
As people age, they start becoming more susceptible to vision diseases such as macular degeneration, which causes vision impairment and possibly even blindness. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may build a protection against such vision problems, and according to studies, could lower your risk of vision problems by a whopping 42%.
After a 6-month study carried out on 95 middle-aged men, in which they all ate salmon 3 times per week, it was shown that consumption of fish may indeed lead to improvements in sleep, as well as in daily functioning. So if you have problems sleeping, try increasing your intake of fish.
10. Fish is delicious and simple to cook!
What's stopping you from cooking more fish? Whether you've bought it fresh or stored it frozen, fish shouldn't create any problems when it comes to cooking. Add herbs, salt, a squeeze of lemon, or anything that might enhance its devouring taste. Opt for wild-caught fish over farmed ones, since wild-caught fish tend to have more omega-3 and potentially, fewer pollutants than farmed fish.