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The benefits of adding fish to your diet

Like most children, fish was a dinner I could skip. But as my Mom would always say to me, “If you want to be smart in school then eat your fish”. Was this a real thing? Would eating fish make me smarter? Was it because fish swam in schools? Well there are some truths to a few of these questions. 

Fish has a positive effect on your heart health. Having one or two servings of omega-3 rich fish (we’ll talk about these later) will cut your risk of heart attack by one-third, compared to those who eat fish less than once a month or don’t eat it at all.

Fish is much lower in calories and saturated fat than other meats that people typically consume as a source of protein. The iron in fish is also easier for the body to absorb than iron found in plants. Fish is a great source of essential nutrients your body needs such as vitamins A, B, and D, iodine, selenium, and zinc.

Related: 7 Foods Packed with Vitamin C

But not all fish are created equal. There are certain fish you should limit, and others you should make part of your weekly menu. Fish that you should avoid or limit in your diet because they can be high in mercury include: swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, farmed eel, bluefin tuna, and orange roughy.

Here are the fish (or other seafood) that are the healthiest for you:

Salmon

This delicious fish is popular for a reason—it’s a good source of protein, fatty acids, vitamins A, B, and D, and minerals such as calcium and iron.

Trout

As one of the easiest fish to get fresh, trout has a lot of protein, vitamin B12, potassium, and omega-3 acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Tuna

Considered heart-healthy fish for a reason, tuna has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.

Tuna can be high in mercury, so pregnant women and children should avoid it; lighter varieties of tuna are a safer option.

 

Oysters or clams

Oysters are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and are particularly high in zinc, which can help boost our immune system. This seafood is low enough in mercury that you can eat it up to three times a week.

Sardines

They may be tiny and low in calories, but they’re packed with nutrients like selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins D, B12, and B2. Opt for the low-sodium variety if you’re trying to control your sodium intake.

Shrimp

Low in fat and high in iodine, shrimp can be a healthy and nutritious addition to stir fries, salads, or served on its own as a light appetizer.

Crab

While technically in the shellfish group, crab has a lot of protein, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.

The bottom line, fish is one of the most healthiest sources of protein one can eat. And remember…Mom knows best!

Coach John

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