For many of us, choosing to eat fish isn’t something that comes naturally. Perhaps we didn’t like it when we were children or it seems too much of a faff to prepare in the kitchen at home. However, there are plenty of health benefits to adding more fish to your diet so maybe it’s time you started eating more of it.
Unless you’re used to cooking fish, it’s a meat that can make people nervous that they might overcook it or not cook it enough. If that sounds familiar, there are other options, of course. You can eat fish when you eat out. For other people, it’s not the cooking that puts them off fish; it’s the look – seeing a whole fish on their plate gives them shivers! In that case, why not have a dish like sushi instead? With so many takeaway services like Deliveroo around, there’s no end of possibilities for getting a fish dish prepared and brought to you.
What’s so good about eating fish?
Fish is a great source of protein while being low in fat. And the fish that is oily may be even better for us than the fish that is not. That’s because the main health benefits from eating fish come from the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in fish. These are substances we can’t make naturally so we can only get them through our diet or take supplements. Some types of fish are particularly high in omega-3, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna.
So what can the omega-3 fatty acids in fish do to benefit our health?
Many health conditions are connected to inflammation problems – arthritis being a key example. In arthritis, the joints are inflamed and, due to a lack of lubrication between them, the areas swell and cause the person a lot of pain. Studies have shown that increased amounts of fish oil in the diet have led to a reduction of arthritis symptoms through less inflammation.
Reduce heart disease risk
Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to reducing the risks of cardiac disease and strokes. One study in the US showed that eating one or more helpings of fish per week could reduce a person’s chances of developing heart disease by 15%. Planning in a meal that contains fish once a week along with a healthy lifestyle is a proactive way to protect your heart health.
Improve our sense of well-being
Millions of people are affected by depression and the symptoms of lethargy and sadness that accompany it. However, eating fish – and getting a boost of omega 3 – could help stave off depression. These fatty acids have also been shown to improve the effectiveness of some anti-depressants. So, if you want to improve your chances of keeping depression at bay, adding fish to your diet could help.
Boost our brain function
Included in omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which both contribute to healthy brain function. By feeding your body with fish, you could, at the same time, feed your brain with EPA and DHA, and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and ADHD. Anyone who is pregnant should also aim to eat fish regularly as it can assist in the healthy development of the infant’s brain. Of course, if you really don’t like eating fish, there are omega-3 fatty acid supplements available.
As you can see, the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish have been linked to multiple health benefits. This is great news if you already enjoy fish as part of your diet, and a really good reason to learn to like fish if you don’t.