A fish lover will claim fish to be a mind booster, heart protector, energy giver and delicious food, every health diet should include. And he has reason for that. In fact, not one, but multiple reasons. Fish from either sea or fresh water is low in fats and high in vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Protein value of fish is higher than other protein sources. Fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines and tuna are most beneficial since they contain maximum omega-3 fatty acids. But irrespective of fish you eat, you will benefit multiple folds from adding a fish in your diet daily or every other day. Why so?
Protect your heart
Unlike meat, fish is not high in saturated fats which are bad for heart. Fish is high in proteins, unsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids which lower blood cholesterol. No wonder, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing blood clots, improving blood vessel elasticity, lowering blood pressure, lowering bad (LDL) lipids and increasing good (HDL) lipids. American Heart Association endorses fish as great food for heart.
Enhance your memory
Omega-3 fatty acids facilitate growth of new brain tissue, making you smarter. EPA and DHA in fish oil improve memory. DHA has been associated with reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Eating non-fried fish has been found to help preserve an average volume of brain matter in Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week may have a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
Boost your mind
Eating smart makes you happier! Studies have found that Omega-3 and DHA found in fish oil can elevate mood. Fish may serve as a boon for those coping with depression and mood swings.
Breastfed babies of mothers who eat fish have better eyesight, perhaps due to the omega 3 fatty acids transmitted in breast milk facilitating growth of brain and the retina (light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye).
Benefits to fetus
Being good source of energy and proteins, eating fish during pregnancy may promote optimum growth of fetus, reducing chances of premature birth and low birth weight baby.
Stronger and healthy bones need protein, calcium and vitamin D. Fish is good source of calcium and high in protein. Zinc and vitamin D in seafood and shellfish encourage strong bone formation. Advancing age especially after menopause leads to osteoporosis, thinning of bones. By virtue of being high in protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin D and strontium, fish is effective for managing osteoporosis.
Silky hairs and beautiful skin
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish keep your skin looking nourished and hair shiny. Research has suggested role of omega-3 fatty acids in treatment of psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by scaly and itchy skin.
Enhance your libido and swimmers
Researchers found that fish eaters with balanced diet have stronger sperms as compared to unhealthy diet eaters. In addition, fish can also improve testosterone, a male hormone responsible for enhancing sexual performance and desire in both men and women. Seafood like scallops, shrimps, lobster and oysters, are rich in iodine and zinc, which are critical for normal functioning of the male reproductive system.
Strengthen your immune system
Fish is rich source of essential elements like vitamin D, amino acids, Calcium and DHA and EPA that facilitate strong immune system to fight infections and cancers. Fish has also been found to alleviate asthma, diabetes, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and other autoimmune disease.
Lose extra inch
Fish being rich in protein and low in saturated fats, facilitates slimming if taken with pinch of regular exercise.
If you are a fish lover, you may want to make it your daily diet. If you are the one who is still evaluating the benefits of eating fish, try experimenting at least once a week and see the benefits on your own. A fish is fresh if it has red or pink gills, is tumescence, does not smell much. Select a fish from a source not contaminated by pollutants or heavy metals like mercury. If you are going to cook at home, try baking, frying or grilling. Any of the ways, it will still taste yummy. As old Indian sages said, you are what you eat. You will be healthy, happy and smart if you eat happy, healthy and smart fish!