Fish is an extremely versatile food. It can be boiled, fried, steamed, grilled, and even roasted. On top of this, there are so many variations of fish, all packed with so many healthy nutrients, and at the same time extremely delicious. There is tilapia, Omena, fish fillet, salmon, Nile perch, tuna, and many others. All these have a unique taste and can be seasoned to bring out the taste even more. You have got to love fish!
Fish has very many nutritional benefits, and maybe that’s why it is such a popular source of protein in our world today. Here are a few of those benefits, and why you should include fish in your diet.
- Lowers cholesterol
High cholesterol in the body can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. This can lead to a heart attack or even a stroke. Fatty fish has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your triglycerides a type of fat found in blood, thereby lowering your cholesterol. You see, omega-3 fatty acids are actually healthy. They are considered good fats, unlike the bad saturated fat you find in most meats.
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- Brain Health
In many households, fish is encouraged, especially for young ones. I’ve heard people say over and over that fish can make you smarter. How true is this statement? According to Healthline, fatty fish is an excellent choice for brain health. Summary: Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline. The brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.
By virtue of doing so, studies have suggested that fish can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, a lack of omega-3 in the diet is not linked to learning impairments. There is a substantial commonality in research findings to date around the positive influence of seafood consumption in reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Brain Food: 8 Foods That Promote Mental Health
- Lowers the risk of autoimmune diseases
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. Some examples include lupus, multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, and temporal arteritis. These diseases can be fatal and even lead to death. A US study showed that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids was inversely associated with islet autoimmunity in genetically susceptible children. Fish intake has also been associated with a reduced risk of other autoimmune diseases in adults such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- Protect vision in old age
Issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, dry eyes, and macular degeneration are common, especially in old age. That’s why we must do everything to protect this organ of the visual system. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to improving vision and eye health. This is because the brain and eyes are heavily concentrated in omega-3 fatty acids and need them to maintain their health and function. These fatty acids can contribute to visual development and the health of the retina in the back of the eye.
Studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer. Health: Vision 20/20 – Taking Care Of Your Eyes
- Improves the quality of sleep
If you are battling with sleep issues such as insomnia or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, then the solution for you may just be in fish. Research suggests omega 3 fatty acids from regularly consuming fish may boost your sleep quality, help you fall asleep more quickly, and improve your daytime performance. One study showed these improvements among a group of adult men who ate fatty fish three times a week for several months.
Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid) stimulates melatonin, a key hormone that facilitates sleep. Melatonin works with the body’s circadian rhythms to help the body prepare for sleep by sending signals to the body that it is time to rest, helping you relax, diminishing levels of other hormones that stimulate alertness, and lowering body temperature and blood pressure. Can’t Sleep? How To Avoid Or Beat Insomnia
- Improves heart health
In our world today heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, and heart failure are common. We must, therefore, do everything it takes to keep our hearts healthy, and eating fish is one of those things. The American Heart Association (AHA) says that eating at least two 112 grams of fish servings per week can help to beat heart disease and heart attack.
The polyunsaturated fat called omega-3 has been shown to help lower blood pressure, which is something we should all strive for, as high blood pressure poses a serious threat to our health over time. According to Mayoclinic, eating at least two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death. What Should You Do to Keep Your Heart Healthy?
6 Health Benefits Of Eating Foods Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Their Sources
- Contain development nutrients
A child’s diet is extremely important especially as they go through growth and development. Fish is not only a source of proteins and healthy fats, but also a unique source of essential nutrients, including long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, vitamin D, and calcium. The omega-3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is especially important for brain and eye development. For this reason, it’s often recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat enough omega-3 fatty acids.
- Treats depression
Mental health issues are becoming increasingly common in Africa and in the world at large. In Kenya, the World Health Organisation data estimates that 1408 people commit suicide yearly, and a large number of these are attributed to depression. Chinese researchers found that people who consumed the most fish lowered their risk of depression by 17% compared to those who ate the least. How does this work? Omega-3s can easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression.
Fish is a very good source of Omega 3s which is also good for clearing a chest infection – 11 Natural Remedies For Chest Congestion And Asthma.
Here is a fish recipe you should try – Wet Fry Lake Victoria Tilapia.
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