Fish: Nutrition, Medicinal and Health Benefits
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FISH
A Brief Discussion
Omega 3- Fatty Acids
Fish is a nutritious food, being rich in protein, vitamins and minerals which are essential to maintain good health.
They contains low-fat, high quality protein.
Types of Fish
Nutritionally they can be categorized into three types:
Oily – Salmon, Mackerel, Fresh tuna, Trout, Sardines, Herring etc
White – Cod, Pomfret, Rohu, Tilapia, Plaice, Whiting, Haddock, Sole, Hake
Shellfish – Crabs, mussels, Oysters, Lobster, Prawns.
Vitamins – A, D, C, B2 ,B6, B12.
Minerals, such as
Crab, lobster, and mussels -shellfish group contain selenium, for 100g calories upto 70 – 90.
Fishes like Salmon contain Astaxanthin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory, carotenoid-class antioxidant.
Some contain Selenium which is an essential mineral needed to make enzymes that play key roles in the body’s internal antioxidant network.
What are Omega 3 Fatty acids?
Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and remain liquid when frozen or refrigerated.
Important Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Fish
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish Rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid present in Fishes like Salmon, Sardines, Pilchards, Kipper, Eel, Whitebait, Mackerel, Herring
Essential fatty acids-EFAs , are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize. The term "essential fatty acid" refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel.
Fatty Acids In Fish
Only two fatty acids are known to be essential for humans:
Alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid)
Linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).
Conditionally Essential Fatty Acids
Some other fatty acids are sometimes classified as "conditionally essential," meaning that they can become essential under some developmental or disease conditions; examples include docosahexaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and;gamma-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).
Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, Can reduce blood clotting, Boosts immunity Can contribute to the health of brain tissue and the retina (the back of the eye).
Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by
Reducing blood clots and inflammation,
Improving blood vessel elasticity,
Lowering blood pressure,
Lowering blood fats
Boosting ‘good’ cholesterol.
Can lower risk of developing dementia,
including Alzheimer’s disease.
It is thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Medical benefits of fish
Add fish for a Healthy Diet
It is a low-fat high-quality protein nutrient.
Doctors recommend eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet.
Fish is packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients that can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Benefits For The Brain
Sardines, pilchards, salmon and mackerel have the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids they are also rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy brain, eye and nerve development in babies and children.
They are also beneficial to your heart health and there is emerging evidence to suggest that eating fish reduces the risk of cancer and arthritis.