Fish is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It is packed with essential nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, and is an excellent source of protein to keep your body lean and your muscles strong. There are many health benefits of eating fish, including keeping your heart healthy, soothing skin problems, improving your mood, and enhancing your sleep quality. The American Heart Association urges us to include fish in our diets at least twice a week for optimum health benefits.
Let’s go more in-depth about the top ten reasons to eat more fish.
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1. Fish is rich in essential vitamins and minerals
Fish is a rich source of many essential nutrients, including iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, B12, and D. Eating fish regularly can help ensure you get all these essential nutrients in your body. Some good fish choices are salmon, catfish, tuna, mackerel, herring, anchovies, haddock, sardines, Cod, and trout.
2. May lower your risk of heart disease
With so many people suffering from heart disease, it is important to understand the ways you can protect your heart. Fish contains higher levels of omega-3s, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and protect against blood clots. Modern studies suggest that eating fish two to three times a week helps lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. May improve skin health
Research suggests that eating fish regularly can reduce inflammation in the skin, which can help with conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are also thought to help keep skin hydrated, promote wound healing, and protect against sun damage.
4. Improves brain health and memory
Studies have shown that people who eat more seafood tend to have a better cognitive functions, including improved memory and concentration. This is likely due to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, which are essential for proper brain development and functioning. Getting enough omega-3s can also protect against age-related mental decline, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
5. Good source of natural vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. This is important for strong bones and a healthy immune system. Fish is one of the few good sources of natural vitamin D. Multiple research indicate that consuming fish regularly can increase your vitamin D levels. Best of all, it may reduce your risk of certain illnesses, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
6. Can help you lose weight
Packed with high-quality protein, fish can help keep you feeling full for longer and reduce your overall calorie intake. Believe it or not, eating fish instead of other animal protein sources may help you lose weight, as it is lower in fat and calories than most other types of meat.
7. Improves sleep quality
Consuming fish regularly has been linked to improved sleep quality. Fish is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin, which can help you relax and aid in better sleep. Moreover, fish have high levels of vitamin B and magnesium, both of which can help promote better sleep.
8. May improve your mood
There is evidence that suggests that eating fish at least two times per week may ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. This may be due to the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the brain, as well as their anti-inflammatory properties.
9. May reduce inflammation
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are known to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. This may help protect against many chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other inflammation-related conditions. Eating more fish may also help reduce symptoms of existing inflammatory conditions like asthma and certain skin disorders.
10. Protects your lungs
There’s growing evidence that suggests that fish may help protect against respiratory infections. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are thought to ease inflammation in the lungs, which can help protect against respiratory illnesses like asthma, colds, and flu. Also, studies suggest that eating fish more often may help lower COPD symptoms for those suffering from chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Consider adding a few servings of fish each week to boost your immune system and help protect against respiratory illnesses.
Eating fish on a regular basis can provide numerous health benefits, from improved heart and brain health to better skin and sleep. It is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids that play an important role in many bodily processes. Fish can also help protect against chronic illnesses like diabetes, depression, and respiratory infections. Therefore, including fish in your diet is a great way to stay healthy and improve your overall quality of life.
- Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. American Heart Association. 2021
- 11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Eating Fish. By Joe Leech, MS. HealthLine. 2019
- Health Benefits of Fish. Washington State Department of Health.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). 2022