We all need to eat more fish. Fish is a low-fat high quality protein. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet. [Click to Tweet] Packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients, fish can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
But, there is a legitimate concern about whether the fish is farm-raised or wild caught and how much mercury is in it. There are definitely some fish that contain higher levels of mercury that you should only eat maybe once or twice a week – swordfish, shark, shellfish and king mackerel, for example. Shellfish is a favorite cuisine of many but remember they are the “cleaners” of the sea (bottom feeders), along with other favorites like catfish, tilapia, scallops, grouper and cod to name a few. That’s not to say you should not eat them – just that you should not only eat those types of fish.
Farm-raised fish is not the healthy choice for fish. You do not know what they have been fed, and their living conditions. Medication may have kept them from becoming diseased, medication you are consuming when you eat them! Although farm-raised fish are less expensive than wild caught, the risks outweigh the many benefits of wild-caught. [Click to Tweet]
Among the fish that are the healthiest are: rainbow trout, salmon, pacific sardines, kippers (found in a can), anchovies, oysters, canned (wild caught) light tuna, and black cod.
All fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids though. These essential nutrients keep our heart and brain healthy. Two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Our bodies don’t produce omega-3 fatty acids so we must get them through the food we eat. There are many benefits to omega-3 fatty acids:
- Help keep up a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of sudden death, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes.
- Aid healthy brain function and infant development of vision and nerves during pregnancy.
- May decrease the risk of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and diabetes.
- May prevent inflammation and reduce the risk of arthritis.
So get your “fish on” and eat a few servings of wild-caught fish this week (and every week). Do you have a favorite fish recipe?
December 13, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians