Fish are aquatic vertebrates living in the sea water or fresh water. Most of them have well developed senses of taste, color vision, smell and etc. Lateral line system found in their body acts as receptors and helps them to detect motion of currents and other nearby objects. They are used as very important, delicious and healthy protein rich food by the people around the world. Around 32,000 species of the fish are found however all of them are not eatable, only few species are eaten by the humans. Specially, fish are found of three types oily, white and shellfish which have their own health benefits.
Benefits of Eating Fish
Fish are very healthy food eaten at many places in the world to get required body nutrients, proteins, vitamins and most importantly omega-3 fatty acids. It is very nutritious food can be eaten by any age group people to be healthy and get prevented from many diseases. Some of the health benefits of the fish are mentioned below:
Benefits of Fish for Cancer
Reduces Risk of Cancer
- Eating fish on regular basis for one or two times a week reduces the risk of cancer (esophagus, oral cavity, colon, breast) including prostate cancer and ovarian cancer as it contains omega 3 fatty acids. It contains selenium mineral which creates an enzyme to protect from cancers.
Benefits of Fish for Brain and Eye
Maintains Good Eye Sight
- It contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids which provides better growth and development to the brain tissues, nourishes the retina and maintains the good eye sight.
Reduces Risk of Dementia
- It reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease among elder people if eaten simple fish or seafood for at least once a week.
Prevents from Depression
- It lowers down the occurrence of depression among people when eaten fish on regular basis.
Good Source of Vitamin A
- It helps in maintaining the better eyesight among mothers and babies and prevents from the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retina degeneration as it contains retinol (vitamin A form).
Improves Concentration Level
- It improves the concentration level, promotes good behavior, reading skills and prevents from an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Induces Better Sleep
- Salmon fish contains a special amino acid called tryptophan acts as a natural sedative agent and induces better sleep thus relaxes mind.
Benefits of Fish for Heart Health
Prevents from Cardiovascular Diseases
- If it is eaten on regular basis it prevents from the cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure as it reduces blood clots formation in the blood vessels, reduces inflammations, improves blood vessel elasticity, lowers down blood pressure and reduces blood fats and bad cholesterol level.
Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acid
- Omega-3 fatty acid lowers down the blood triglycerides level and blood pressure thus prevents from clotting, inflammations and abnormal heart rhythms.
Reduces Risk of Hypertension
- It decreases the growth of atherosclerotic (arterial) plaque on the blood vessels thus reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Benefits of Fish for Diabetes
Regularizes Blood Sugar Level
- It helps in regularizing the blood sugar level among diabetic patients thus helps in managing the diabetes conditions and reducing side effects.
Benefits of Fish for Bone
Improves Bone Density and Strength
- Especially salmon fish has calcitonin protein which maintains the bone health by improving its density and strength and prevents from many bone and joints problems like osteoarthritis.
Relieves Rheumatoid Arthritis
- It has anti inflammatory properties thus helps in relieving the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, psoriasis including other autoimmune diseases if taken on regular basis.
Source of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D found in it (tuna and wild salmon) has bone-building and anti-cancer property benefits.
Benefits of Fish during Pregnancy
Prevents Babies from Birth Defects
- It helps pregnant women by reducing the risk of occurrence of prematurity means eating fish regularly prevents from delivering the premature baby or baby with birth defects.
Prevents Post-Natal Depression
- It prevents pregnant women from the post-natal depression and Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD).
Reduces Risk of Vision and Nerves Problems
- It reduces the risk of vision and nerves problems during pregnancy among both the mother and baby.
Provides Development to Infants
- It boosts the sensory, cognitive and motor development among infants if eaten by the mother during last trimester of pregnancy.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
60 g of Salmon fish contains around 1,200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids whereas Sardines fish (1,500 mg), smoked salmon fish (1,000 mg), canned salmon fish (500 mg), canned tuna fish (145 mg), Gem fish (300 mg), squid fish (250mg), Trout fish (350 mg), calamari fish (200 mg), sea mullet (170 mg), sea perch fish (7 mg) and many more.
Prevents from Ageing and Heart Diseases
Fish oil is especially rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids which has variety of health benefits and prevents from ageing and heart diseases. It cannot be manufactured by our body thus it is very necessary to fulfill its requirement through the special diet. Fish oil protects our heart from the air pollution.
Benefits of Fish for Weight Management
Loaded with Minerals and Vitamins
- Fish is a low fat and high protein diet loaded with all the minerals and vitamins which balanced the diet thus helps in managing the weight among really weight conscious people.
Benefits of Fish for Skin
Prevents Skin Damage
- Omega-3 fatty acid found in it protects from the skin problems and prevents from damage and harmful effects of UV sun rays.
Keeps Skin Healthy
- It also prevents from the skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and makes the healthy, soft and glowing.
Makes Skin Firm and Flexible
- Protein found in it is the great source collagen which is a substance making skin firm, strong and flexible.
Benefits of Fish Oil for Digestive System
Protects from Digestive Problems
- Fish oil protect from the serious ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and other digestive problems.
Benefits of Fish for Looking Younger
Rich Source of Antioxidants
- Astaxanthin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent (carotenoid-class antioxidant) found in the salmon.
Prevents Early Ageing
- It maintains the cell functions, enhances cellular regeneration, reduces DNA degeneration thus prevents from early ageing.
Other health Benefits of Fish
Reduces Risk of Respiratory Problems
- Regular consumption of it reduces the risk of various diseases like asthma and other respiratory problems.
Contains High Quality Protein, Vitamins and Minerals
- Fish is a low-fat, high quality protein, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine and etc), vitamins (A, D, E, B) and etc rich healthy food required to maintains the healthy body.
Maintains Functioning of Thyroid Gland
- Iodine found in it maintains the functioning of thyroid gland and prevents from the hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Keeps Lung Stronger and Healthier
- It helps in protecting from the lungs diseases and keeps lung stronger and healthier.
Nutritional Benefits of Salmon Fish per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Energy: 142 kcal
Water: 68.50 g
Carbohydrate: 9 g
Dietary fibers: 8.4 g
Sugar: 0.1 g
Protein: 21.62 g
Alanine: 1.21 g
Arginine: 1.21 g
Cystine: 0.24 g
Glycine: 0.97 g
Histidine: 0.97 g
Proline: 0.70 g
Glutamic acid: 2.85 g
Isoleucine: 0.99 g
Threonine: 1 g
Lysine: 1.82 g
Methionine: 0.66 g
Aspartic acid: 2.12 g
Phenylalanine: 0.80 g
Serine: 0.79 g
Tyrosine: 0.66 g
Total Fat: 5.93 g
Saturated Fat: 1.26 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.992 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.134 g
Trans Fat: 0.2 g
Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 2 g
Omega-6 Fatty Acid: 1.3 g
Potassium: 490 mg
Sodium: 44 mg
Vitamin A: 40 IU
Thiamin: 0.12 mg
Riboflavin: 0.05 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.55 mg
Vitamin D: 0.75 microgram
Vitamin E: 2.70 mg
Nicotinic acid: 8.10 mg
Vitamin C: 0.21 mg
Vitamin B12: 4.50 microgram
Calcium: 12 mg
Iron: 0.80 mg
Magnesium: 29 mg
Phosphorus: 200 mg
Zinc: 0.64 mg
Chloride: 100 mg
Copper: 0.2 mg
How to Select and Store
Always buy fish from the nearest reputable markets looking bright with clear eyes as dull-eyed fish may not be safe to eat. Select fish having shined and vibrant skin, smelling fresh like clean water. Avoid buying nasty and pungent smelling fish; they may harmful to the health. Only buy for a day not for more days as it may spoil your health.
It can be stored in the refrigerator by keeping in the airtight container or covering it with cling film. Do not store live fish into airtight container as they need to breathe, it can be placed in a bowl in the coolest place.
How to Enjoy Fish
Fish can be enjoyed in many ways such as fish curry, fried fish, boiled fish, grilled fish, fish pakaude, fish sticks with sauce, fish with chips, fishcake and etc. It tastes very nice and delicious if prepared using right techniques.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions
Though fish have lots of health benefits, it has various health hazards as well. Eating fish more than the recommended amount on daily basis or weekly lead to the mercury poisoning. Some of the disadvantages, side effects and precautions of the fish are mentioned below to be well conscious before eating more fish:
- Mercury poisoning can affect nervous system with symptoms of numbness means tingling sensation in fingers, lips, toes, developmental delays among children, muscle pain, joint pain, occurrence of heart attack and many more.
- Some of the fish (tilapia and catfish) are not good for the heart health as they have high level unhealthy fatty acids.
- Some of the cooking techniques make it unhealthy for the health such as roasted or baked fish are healthier than deep-fried fish.
- Inorganically grown fish are more dangerous as they are produced on the farms using variety of antibiotics, pesticides or other chemicals which have harmful effects on the human body when eaten.
- Pregnant or lactating women must take care while eating fish and do not consume more than 150 g a week.
- Fish are highly exposed to the environmental pollutant called dioxins which may cause skin lesions, harmful effects on the immune and reproductive systems and etc.
- Person having heart problems must consult his physician before eating fish.
- Raw fish have lots of parasites which may cause parasitic infections of gastrointestinal tract so, it should be washed well before cooking.
- Some people have allergy to the fish thus it should be taken care of.
How much fish should you eat?
Eating fish more than the limit may cause lots of health hazards which have already described in the above part. Eating how much fish on daily basis or weekly depends on the age, sex, weight and health conditions of the person. However, the amount of fish one (healthy person) can eat is 1-2 times (3-4 ounce) a week to get free of the harmful effect of the mercury.
Find the Benefits of other Similar Non-Vegetarian Foods