Improving your diet is one of the simplest ways to decrease your risk of developing a chronic disease and increase your wellness. Eating fish once or twice a week is a great way to improve your diet.
Fish are full of essential nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B complex, and vitamin D. They are also a great source of lean protein. Medical research suggests that there may be up to 12 health benefits from eating fish regularly
1. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Many fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. According to multiple studies, omega-3 fatty acids can widen blood vessels and lower bad cholesterol levels. As a result, incorporating this essential amino acid into your regular diet can alleviate your risk of heart attack and stroke. For those who already have cardiovascular disease, eating fish regularly can reduce your risk of death from cardiac issues.
2. Natural Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in the U.S. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and protect your bones. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and rickets.
While sunlight is the main way you might think about getting vitamin D, you can get this essential nutrient by eating fish too. Thus, you can improve your bone health by eating fish with vitamin D regularly.
3. Natural Source of Magnesium
Magnesium is an important nutrient for our bodies. It plays a role in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels along with muscle and nerve function. Fish are a natural source of magnesium. Eating fish regularly can help regulate your body’s fluids.
4. Increase Energy
Protein is a vital source of energy for your body that helps rejuvenate damaged cells. Fish are an excellent source of lean protein. You can boost your energy without consuming unhealthy fats or bad cholesterol by eating more fish.
5. Low In Calories
Counting calories may not be fun, but it can play an important role in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. Since fish are low in calories and rich in nutrients, it’s smart to incorporate fish into a low calorie diet
6. Improve Respiratory Health
Nutrients like vitamin B and potassium protect your respiratory system from the effects of environmental pollution. They can alleviate inflammation in the chest that can lead to coughing and breathing difficulties. Fish are an excellent source of these nutrients. Studies suggest that children who regularly eat fish have a reduced risk of developing asthma.
7. Increase Mental Health
Studies suggest that consuming fish regularly can reduce the risk of declining mental function in old age. One study demonstrated that eating fish regularly may even improve cognitive function and concentration. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish can also reduce stress, anxiety, and other symptoms of depression.
8. Mitigate Insomnia
Poor quality sleep can have many side effects and adverse health impacts. Many of the nutrients in fish have been demonstrated to improve sleep quality including vitamin D, protein, and magnesium. If you suffer from insomnia, eating fish regularly may help you to get to sleep.
9. Youthful Looking Skin
As you age, your skin tends to lose elasticity which contributes to the visible appearance of aging. Studies suggest that consuming higher levels of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin A, and protein can promote skin elasticity. This is why eating one to two servings of fish a week can aid in keeping skin toned and beautiful. It can also reduce the risk of psoriasis.
10. Improve Muscle Strength
Protein and potassium are the building blocks of strong muscles. Fish are rich in both nutrients. You can improve the function of your muscles by eating fish regularly.
11. Treat Iron Deficiency
Fish is a natural source of iron which your body needs to form red blood cells. Without enough iron in your diet, you can develop anemia and chronic fatigue. Incorporating fish into your diet can reduce the risk of an iron deficiency.
12. Promote Healthy Hair
Omega-3 fatty acids and protein are both important for healthy hair. These nutrients are needed by your hair follicles. This is why consuming fish can promote a healthy scalp and healthy hair.
Why Don’t Americans Eat Enough Fish?
If eating seafood has so many benefits, why don’t most Americans eat two servings a week? This answer varies for every person but there are three main reasons that people in the U.S. don’t eat enough food
Many people know that fish can be high in mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin that can harm your nervous system and brain function. Concern about mercury levels in fish deters many people who strive to eat “clean.” However, numerous studies have shown the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risk of consuming trace amounts of mercury.
Check out NRDC’s Seafood Mercury Chart to find a long list of seafood with low mercury levels. (Their index is based on data from the USDA’s test on seafood mercury levels and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines on safe mercury levels for children and pregnant women.)
Concern about ethical fishing is growing around the world. A recent Netflix documentary has drawn more attention to the issues. But you don’t have to give up seafood to protect our oceans. There are hundreds of delicious sustainable species in U.S. waters. One of the reasons that some fish populations are growing dangerously small is that when Americans eat seafood, we only eat a small variety: shrimp, salmon, canned tuna, and tilapia. Eating a wider variety of seafood is one way to prevent overfishing. Another way is by learning more about sustainable fishing practices. The Seafood Watch website (https://www.seafoodwatch.org/) is a great resource. Be sure to check out their list of Sustainable Seafood to find tasty, environmentally-responsible seafood options to try out.
Many Americans are reluctant to buy seafood because they don’t know how to prepare it at home. Trying out new recipes with new ingredients can make anyone anxious. Cooking fish and shellfish (and doing it well) takes a little practice, Yet, learning how to master the art of cooking seafood is worth it, and not only for the health benefits. Seafood is perfect for busy professionals and families because it cooks quickly. Once you learn how to prepare recipes that you and your family love, it won’t be hard to enjoy it on a regular basis.
Take advantage of the health benefits by making seafood a regular part of your diet. Swing by Black Marlin Bayside Grill and indulge in one of our delicious fish entrees tonight!