Fish is a source of healthy food with amazing anti-ageing properties. They are also said to be one of the best sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids and protein. But some fish have high levels of mercury which are injurious to health. This is particularly true in the case of pregnant women and lactating mothers, as these high levels of mercury are known to damage the fetus and the growing baby. So, which fish are best for health? Let us find out.
Why Add Fish in Your Diet?
Fish is a rich source of protein. It contains good fats and omega-3 essential fatty acids that help maintain good cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. Studies reveal that fish is an important part of the diets of people and races that have been blessed with longevity.
The Problems with Fish
All fish contain small traces of mercury that are generally not detrimental to health. But the problem arises only with fish that contain high levels of mercury. Expectant and nursing mothers have to be careful in the consumption of such fish as it is known to jeopardize the growth of the growing fetus. High mercury levels are also known to adversely affect the functioning of the brain and kidneys in adults. The FDA advises only two servings of not more than twelve ounces of fish with low levels of mercury per week for children below 6 years and pregnant women. Salmon and sardines are the two types of fish that are considered good for health.
Cold water fish like the salmon, tuna and mackerel are all rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. They have anti-inflammatory properties and help in the maintenance of a healthy heart, prevent cancer, aid the working of the immune system and also the working of the brain. Half a fillet (about 175 gm) of salmon contains 350 calories and ten grams of fat. It is advisable to use eco-friendly and caught-in-the-wild Alaska salmon to other varieties of salmon.
These fish are considered a wonder food and one of the richest sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. About 3ounces of sardines (90 gm) are known to contain 2 gm of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These acids provide an excellent boost to memory and improve brain power. Sardines also contain rich reserves of Vitamin D and help in strengthening of the bones.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the use of local advisories to know the mercury content of fish. This can be checked from the local EPA website where you are residing.
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