Why Eat Fish? Learn About the Health Benefits of Eating Fish
There are many claims stating that eating fish regularly may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and also extend a person's life expectancy. There are also lots of noises saying that fish are no longer safe to eat because of the high content of mercury and also the presence of PCBs and dioxins. These opinions make consumers confuse and wonder whether to eat or not to eat fish.
Let's take a look first at this chart to see the calories in fish and the amount of fatty acids in 100 grams of raw fish. The data is obtained from the USDA National Nutrient Database website. The fish mentioned here contain the least mercury. You can view the full list of fish with the least mercury to the highest mercury at the Natural Resources Defense Council website.
|Types of Fish||Calorie||Protein||EPA||DHA|
|Atlantic Wild Salmon||142||19.84||0.321||1.115|
|Flatfish or Flounder||70||12.41||0.137||0.108|
One of the benefits of eating fish is you get direct source or EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid which are Omega-3 fatty acids. Among the benefits of EPA include reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases and certain types of cancer and also improving mental health. DHA has the potential to improve memory, prevent the growth of colon cancer cells and support the health of the retina.
According to doctors, one of the benefits of fish is it could reduce the risk heart attacks. The American Heart Association suggests that people eat fish rich in omega-3 at least twice a week.
Another one of the benefits of eating fish is your body will obtain the protein it needs. The recommended daily intake of protein for male adults is 56g per day. Adult women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding should take about 45g of protein per day.
Your body needs protein for many bodily functions and also to produce enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. It also supports healthy hair, nails and skin.
Besides protein and omega-3 fatty acids, fish contain vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, choline and niacin. And they contain calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and selenium. The presence of selenium helps in reducing the risk of cancer and also against cardiovascular diseases.
Studies also indicate that the benefits of eating fish include reducing blood clots, managing blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of asthma in children and dementia and Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.
If you don't want to eat fish, you can supplement your diet with fish oil. Eating green leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, soybean, tofu and walnuts will provide your body with ALA or alpha linolenic acid. Your body will then convert it to EPA and DHA. But it isn't the best alternative because the process is slow. It is better to take EPA and DHA supplements.