6 reasons why fish should be in your weekly diet

Wardha Hussain Rizvi Nov 22 2015
fish

Our body cannot naturally produce all the nutrients that it needs, which is why nature has bestowed us with different kinds of foods to eat. Fish is reputed for being a low calorie, high protein brain food full of omega 3 fatty acids which cannot be naturally produced.

Omega 3 fatty acids have long been known for having overall health benefits to the body, inside and out. New research has provided even more evidence for fish being great for hair, skin and heart health. Recently, it has also been discovered that having fish once or twice a week is enough to reap most benefits out of it, which is great news for people who are fish fans.

National institute of health recommends people to consume 2% of their daily calorie intake in omega 3 fats – which makes four grams per day. One four ounce piece of salmon gives you 1.5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon is the highest natural source of omega 3 fats. Other than that tuna, halibut and sardines are also enriched with it.

Fish has been undeniably hailed as a heart health booster and waist slimmer over the past centuries. However, that is not where the advantages for eating fish end. Here are a few more reasons to make fish a part of your weekly diet.

PREVENTS HEART DISEASE

Not only does eating fish boost your heart health, it can prevent disease too. According to Hypertension: Journal of the Heart Association, a study done on 4900 women proved that those who ate no or little fish had 50% developing heart problems than those who did. Fish also slashes bad fats from the body which helps keep heart diseases at bay.

REDUCES ALZHEIMER’S RISK

Fish only eaten once a week can help preserve gray matter neurons; it is that part of that brain which helps with memory and cognition. According to Radiological Society of North America, people who consume baked or boiled fish have bigger neurons and larger brains. Bigger brain volume can help lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

IMPROVES SKIN AND HAIR

Women on low fat diet often notice their hair and skin getting dry and dull. That happens because the skin and hair get deprived of essential fats while they are on their diet. Omega 3 fats found in fish are the best kind of fats for hair and skin. They leave the skin looking nourished and hair shiny. It can also help avoid skin diseases like psoriasis.

HELPS AVOID DEPRESSION

According to several studies, having fish helps patients with diagnosed clinical depression. Antidepressant medication is known to work even better with a diet routine including fish. Another study shows that omega 3 fats taken in form of fish or supplements reduced the risk of post-partum depression.

BOOSTS BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Enriched with omega 3 fats and iodine, fish boosts brain development of babies – in utero and during the first decade of life – when the brain is developing. According to a few studies, it can also help with symptoms of ADHD. However, no supplements or food should be given to pediatrics without informing their doctor.

MAKES BONES AND TEETH STRONG

Salt water fish are known to be sunless source of vitamin D, which means no tanning in return of vitamin D. It can ward off a number of diseases and is especially important for absorption of calcium from food. It is said that taking calcium without vitamin D is useless as it cannot be absorbed in the blood stream. Therefore, fish helps absorb calcium and make bones and teeth strong. In pregnant females, it helps the baby grow better and healthier and prevents chances of rickets. In post-menopausal women, eating fish keeps away osteoporosis.

Fish are a blessing for us. Let’s make the most of this blessing.

Wardha Hussain Rizvi

Wardha Hussain Rizvi:

Wardha is currently a student of M.B.B.S second year in Ziauddin University and aspires to be the best dermatologist in Pakistan. Due to her dissatisfaction with the current health industry she is doing her bit in creating health awareness by freelance writing for HTV, Pakistan's most effective health platform.