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Nutritional benefits of fish that you need to know about

By Naseerah Nanabhai | naseerahnanabhai@gmail.com
08:03:2023 | 12:45 PM CAT
1 min read

Photo Credit: Frontiers

Loaded with essential nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is considered among the world’s healthiest foods. Fish is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.

The nutrients people lack are found in fish, including high-quality protein, iodine, and various vitamins and minerals. Fatty species are sometimes considered the healthiest. That’s because fatty fish, including salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, and mackerel, are higher in fat-based nutrients. This includes vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient that many people lack. Fatty fish also boast omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for optimal body and brain function and strongly linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

Unsurprisingly, many extensive observational studies show that people who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart disease. One study of more than 40,000 men revealed that those who regularly ate one or more servings of fish per week had a 15% lower risk of heart disease. Researchers believe fatty fish are even more beneficial for heart health due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for growth and development. The omega-3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for brain and eye development. For this reason, it’s often recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat enough omega-3 fatty acids. However, some fish are high in mercury, which is linked to developmental brain problems. Thus, pregnant women should only eat low-mercury fish, such as salmon, sardines, and trout, and no more than 12 ounces (340 grams) per week. They should also avoid raw and uncooked fish because it may contain micro-organisms that can harm the foetus.

Overall, fish boosts your brain health. Your brain function frequently declines with ageing. While the mild mental decline is typical, neurodegenerative severe ailments like Alzheimer’s disease also exist. Many observational studies show that people who eat more fish have slower rates of mental decline. Studies also reveal that people who eat fish every week have more grey matter — your brain’s primary functional tissue — in the parts of the brain that regulate emotion and memory.


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