If you eat fish regularly, you know very well that it is a delicious and satisfying food and that it can be beneficial to your health. However, there is much more to take from fish than just its great taste. Let's put this in perspective. A study published by the Washington State Department of Health revealed that this light, flaky meat is low in fat and high in protein.
In addition, it is also an excellent source of vitamins D and B2. Fish also contains calcium and phosphorus. Both minerals promote strong, healthy bones and teeth.
On the other hand, adding more of the light meat of fish to your diet can provide you with a wealth of health-enhancing minerals. Those essential elements include iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. In short, a fish dish will delight your taste buds and at the same time improve your overall health.
What you may not know about fish
While most types of fish are rich in vitamins and nutrients, some contain much more than others. For example, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and other fatty fish contain more omega-3 fatty acids than other types of fish.
Additionally, these omega-3 fatty acids can provide great benefits for improving heart health. However, you must eat a lot of fish that contain these essential fatty acids to take advantage of this health benefit.
You should eat fatty fish at least twice a week. This will give you a healthier heart and better overall health.
Other health benefits of eating fish twice a week
Still not sure if you should eat fish twice a week? Then the next section may interest you.
In addition to helping, you have a stronger, healthier heart and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, eating fish on a regular basis contributes to these health benefits:
1. Lower your chances of developing neurodegenerative diseases
A large percentage of the US population is struggling with some form of neurodegenerative disease. To put this in perspective, a study published by the National Institutes of Health revealed that 5.4 million Americans are currently battling Alzheimer's disease.
And that number could reach 12 million in the next 30 years, according to the same study. With that said, it is essential to note that dementia and Parkinson's disease are also neurodegenerative diseases.
While getting older puts you at risk for developing these diseases, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. And this is where eating more fish-based foods comes in. Another study revealed that eating fish-based foods twice a week can reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 47 percent.
For those who have concerns about mercury and prefer to eat fish a little less often, adding even small amounts to your diet can be beneficial.
2. Fish can help reduce inflammation
Are you dealing with osteoarthritis or some other type of joint disease? A diet that includes fish-based foods can help ease the inflammation that is contributing to your symptoms. This is because inflammation is the root of stiffness, swelling, and even pain.
That said, an article from the Arthritis Foundation revealed that people who ate fatty fish saw considerable relief from their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. This is because fatty types of fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids
And people struggling with osteoarthritis experienced even greater relief from arthritis-related symptoms. It should be noted that consuming more fish-based meals will not prevent any of these joint diseases from developing. However, doing so can make everyday life a bit easier.
3. They can help lower high blood pressure
Considering that high blood pressure is linked to heart attacks, strokes, and chest pain, you should do everything you can to keep your blood pressure levels under control.
And this includes eating lots of fish-based foods. Studies show that consuming fish, along with regular exercise, can help lower high cholesterol, further reducing the likelihood of developing heart problems.
4. May reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease
While it's clear that eating fish-based foods twice a week can improve heart health, it can also reduce the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a study published by the American Heart Association.
In another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a peer-reviewed medical journal, researchers found that study participants who ate at least two fish-based meals per week lowered their chances of coronary death by as much as 36 percent.
In general, eating mackerel, herring, salmon, and sardines, to name a few, can help you live a longer, healthier life.
There are many more health benefits associated with eating fish twice a week. However, the ones we mention in this article are possibly the most significant.
What about mercury?
Most scientists, researchers, nutritionists, and dietitians will agree that the positive health benefits of eating fish-based foods twice a week far outweigh the negatives, namely exposure to mercury.
And this especially for middle-aged and older men, as well as postmenopausal women. Additionally, the 100-gram serving of cooked fish that the American Heart Association recommends consuming per meal can help keep exposure to this heavy metal to a minimum.
Of course, if you're still worried about eating fish twice a week, you can make sure to only eat dishes that contain salmon, canned light tuna, catfish, and pollock, all of which are low in mercury. On the other hand, the foods that you should avoid are the following, since they contain a good amount of mercury:
The fish richest in mercury, according to the FDA:
· Scomberomorus cavalla (King Mackerel).
· Tilefish (from the Gulf of Mexico).
· Blue fish and grouper.
Which people should avoid eating fish twice a week?
Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish aside, consuming seafood twice a week is completely safe for most people who are not allergic to shellfish. However, pregnant women should avoid or limit the number of fish they eat.
According to a study published by the American Pregnancy Association, the mercury in these foods is linked to fetal brain damage and developmental delays. Additionally, another study revealed that a fetus exposed to a high concentration of mercury while in its mother's womb is more likely to develop:
· Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
· Autism spectrum disorders
· More likely to demonstrate antisocial behavior
Keep in mind that the American Pregnancy Association cautions pregnant women about consuming seafood with a high concentration of mercury. They also recommend eating salmon, canned tuna, catfish, and pollock in moderation.
However, it is a good idea if you are pregnant to talk to a nutritionist, dietitian or doctor. These professionals can determine a specific nutrition plan for your pregnancy.
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