Fish is a low-calorie, high-protein food that is consumed regularly all over the world. It is multifaceted, and can be cooked a variety of ways including grilling, baking, broiling, frying and poaching. Nutritionists recommend fish intake 2-3 times a week in order to benefit from its nutritional qualities. It can be main staple of protein in meals without having the fat content that other meats contain.
The International Journal of Obesity suggests that adding fish to a nutritionally balanced diet may boost weight loss. According to the Washington State Department of Health, fish is a low fat, high-quality protein, rich in vitamins, minerals and Omerga-3 fatty acids. Fish is especially high in vitamin D and B2, while also containing calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that aid in keeping the heart and brain healthy. Since the body does not produce these acids on its own, the only way to acquire them is through the food we eat. These fatty acids are found in all fish (more so in fatty fish, such as salmon and trout) and help maintain a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Fish is sometimes referred to as “brain food”, which also has to do with the Omega-3 fatty acids. While helping the heart, they aid in brain function, as well. They have been attributed to decreasing the risk of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. Other benefits of these fatty acids are reduced risk of diabetes, arthritis, and have even been attributed in assisting with infant development.
Fish is low in saturated fat and has a long list of nutritional benefits. Along with its cardio protective effect and assistance in brain function, a diet that incorporates fish products can also aid with retinal health, reduce the risk of cancer by 30-50%, especially in the oral cavity, colon, breasts, ovaries, and prostates.
With only a few servings per week needed to gain benefits from the nutrition fish offers, it is easy to add to a balanced diet plan to aid in heart and brain function along with promoting weight loss. So next time you have a craving for some protein, opt for a salmon filet over a steak.
Your heart, mind, and body will thank you.