Catch the health benefits of fish

Catch the health benefits of fish

By Kath Webb

Love it or hate it, fish is your health’s best friend. Low in fat, high in protein and rich in super-healthy omega-3 acids, it’s one of the best disease fighters around. We’re not squidding!

The best choices are fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring and pilchards. Just two portions a week reduces the risk of a wide range of health conditions:

Heart health

Learn from the Eskimos and eat more fish! Their diets are high in omega-3s from oily fish and they have very low incidence of heart disease. This is because the unsaturated fatty acids in oily fish lowers inflammation, keeps blood pressure healthy and reduces fat building up in the arteries. Fish also reduces the detrimental effect of mental stress on the heart.

It’s a no brainer

Think about it – fish helps your brain work better. The fatty acids help raise the level of serotonin, reducing depression. Fish also reduces levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s . The omega-3 fatty acids also seem to improve conditions such as ADHD, dementia and psychosis.

Lowers risk of cancer

Eating fish is among the healthy habits to cut cancer risk. A Swedish study showed people who ate no fish had up to triple the risk of developing prostate cancer. For additional protection eat shellfish such as lobster and crab which contain cancer-fighting selenium.

Halves arthritis risk

Omega-3s are fantastic for tackling chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Just one portion of fish a week could more than halve your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent Swedish study. 

Just like going to the gym, it’s the long-term commitment to eating fish which will reap the biggest benefits. So stop carping around and add fish to your weekly health regime!

 

Comments

Clare R.
30 October 2014

Clare R.

it depends on the fish type, Matthew - certainly the cod at the chippie is now a scandalous price because we've basically eaten it all. There are cheaper fish types available, although I am concerned about the food miles on some of them.

Matthew C.
29 October 2014

Matthew C.

If fish wasn't so expensive we would eat more of it

Phillip H.
28 October 2014

Phillip H.

try it in a Thai style stir-fry: fish sauce, anchovies and some cheap white fish, tossed with whatever veg takes your fancy and some chilli. Delicious!

Joseph M.
27 October 2014

Joseph M.

Same as Craig, I wish I enjoyed fish but I just can't stand it.

craig t.
23 October 2014

craig t.

Flippin' shame I've never liked fish.

Frank H.
23 October 2014

Frank H.

We try to have fish at least twice a week if we can but from this list it looks like we need to have more. Like Emma below me I didn't know about the prostate cancer links so this is really useful information - thanks.

Emma C.
21 October 2014

Emma C.

That's interesting to know about the prostate cancer linked to lack of fish in the diet. I shall forward this onto my partner.

Matthew T.
21 October 2014

Matthew T.

Love fish just wish I could get the rest of the family eating it......

Trevor D.
20 October 2014

Trevor D.

holy mackerel, what terrible puns - but definitely whetted my appetite. To the chippy - or is that not the idea?

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