Why is fish considered a healthy food?
Because it’s low in fat, high in protein, rich in omega-3s, packed with calcium and phosphorous, full of vitamins such as D and B2, and it’s also an excellent source of minerals including magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and iodine.
Further to its accreditation, fish features heavily in the Mediterranean, Japanese and Nordic diets. All of which are famed for the health boosting and longevity stretching benefits that they bestow on their adherents. But how exactly is fish good for us?
It’s good for the heart
As mentioned, fish contains a huge variety of health boosting ingredients, and the benefits supplied by all of these various ingredients are far too extensive to cover in one short article. Consequently, as fish is the most common dietary source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and because these Omega-3s deliver such range of health benefits, we’ve focused this article on this particular ingredient.
Omega-3 is great for maintaining the health of our hearts. Regular consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure, and this is the case both for those with normal levels of blood pressure, and for those who suffer from high blood pressure. Omega-3 also increases the flow of blood circulation and contributes to the reduction of blood clotting proteins. This helps to promote the health of our hearts, and by extension, the health of our wider cardiovascular systems as a whole. People suffering from circulatory related aliments such as varicose veins my therefore also find that Omega-3 can be of benefit to them.
It’s good for the brain
Incorporating Omega-3 into your diet will also help to elevate the health of your mind, both physically and emotionally.
Omega-3 is essential for the maintenance of our brains. Think of it as motor oil for the mind. Just as your car’s engine would seize up without oil, our brains would cease to function without Omega-3.
Regular Omega-3 consumption has even been liked to an increase in the brain’s volume of grey matter. A study conducted by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh indicated that those of us with diets that are richer in Omega-3 have higher levels of grey matter in the areas of the brain that regulate emotion. It’s thought that an increase in grey matter in these particular areas of the brain can help to alleviate depression.
The same team of scientists has however also cautioned that more studies need to be conducted before they can say for sure that these increased levels of grey matter are directly linked to a higher intake of Omega-3.
It’s good for the hair and the skin
Low fat diets are beneficial to our health in numerous ways, but one less welcome consequence of a reduced fat intake is that the hair and the skin can become starved of the nutrients that provide them with their strength and hydration. But luckily, as Omega-3s fall under the category of ‘good’ fats, they’re great for maintaining the health of the skin and the hair without inflicting the problems associated with all those fats that are not so benign.
These are just some of the main benefits of Omega-3, and as stated at the start of this article, is just one of many healthy ingredients found in fish.
But out of this multitude of healthy ingredients, we think it’s fair to say Omega-3 stands out as the one that really works wonders for many areas of our health. It’s worth noting then, that although you’ll find Omega-3 in all fish, you’ll find particularly high concentrations of it in oily fish. Common varieties of Omega-3 rich fish include: salmon, trout, sardines, herring, canned mackerel, canned light tuna, and halibut.
Our bodies don’t naturally produce omega-3 and so it’s all the more important that we include Omega-3 rich foods in our regular diets, and of the substantial sources, fish is the most readily available.
And those who are not huge fans of fish will be glad to learn that you can enjoy its benefits by eating it just once a week. So if you want a healthy heart, a healthy mind, healthy hair and healthy skin, get cooking some fish and reap the benefits.