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Are you a fan of seafood, especially fish? If yes, there is some good news for you! Apart from enjoying the fish delicacies, you now have more than a few health reasons to consume more of them!
Fish is one of the healthiest foods that have potential health benefits. Loaded with important and essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, it is a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium. Fish is also one of the best sources of essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. These help to keep your body lean and also help in the development of body and improve cognitive functioning  .
An age-old cultural belief in many parts of the world, including India, states that people living in the coastal regions tend to be more intelligent, have better health and a great skin tone, because, their staple food is fish  . That belief may not be just a myth any more, as numerous scientific research studies have also found that fish has amazing health benefits.
Incorporate fish in your diet daily and reap these 10 best health benefits of it now.
Health Benefits Of Eating Fish
Consuming fish not only impacts your waistline, but also helps in other bodily functions including the development of liver, brain, etc., and in regulating your sleep. Consuming fish daily can reduce the risk for some diseases, particularly those related to the heart    .
1. Prevents Alzheimer's
A study published in The Journal Of American Medical Association in 2016, stated that consuming fish on a regular basis improves the grey matter of the human brain which prevents rapid degeneration of brain cells and deterioration of brain functions during old age, thus preventing Alzheimer's disease.
2. Reduces heart disease risk
As per the study published in the American Journal Of Cardiology, consuming fish on a regular basis can lower the risk of heart diseases to a significant extent, as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can keep your heart healthy by decreasing the triglycerides, reducing blood clotting and lowering blood pressure.
3. Treats depression
Consuming fish on a regular basis can help improve the serotonin hormone levels in the brain, which can treat and reduce the symptoms pertaining to depression. Likewise, the presence of omega-3 fatty acids also accords to this benefit.
4. Boosts eye health
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are known to improve eye health, by nourishing the muscles and nerves of the eyes  . Regular consumption of fish can help improve your vision and prevent the onset of vision-related problems.
5. Treats arthritis
As mentioned before, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help your body in various ways. It plays a significant role in reducing the symptoms of arthritis. The presence of vitamin E in fish also contributes toward this health benefit  .
6. Reduces cancer risk
According to a study published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, adding fish to your diet on a daily basis can help lower the risk of many types of cancers such as colon cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, pancreatic cancer etc., as the omega-3 fatty acids in fish can prevent the abnormal multiplication of cancerous cells  .
7. Improves sleep quality
Regular consumption of fish help improves your sleep cycle  . Various studies have backed the assertion that increased consumption of fish improved the quality of sleep for most people. It is due to the high concentration of vitamin D, which aids in better sleep.
8. Lowers cholesterol
Fishes containing omega-3 fatty acids that assist in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are known to help reduce the cholesterol levels and prevent cholesterol from forming in the body   .
9. Prevents autoimmune diseases
Various studies have pointed out that, eating fatty fishes daily can help prevent autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. The high content of vitamin D found in fish assists in the body's immunity and glucose metabolism  .
10. Prevents PMS symptoms
Women who suffer from premenstrual symptoms should include fish in their diet regularly. It is due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids which prevent the symptoms from occurring  .
Healthy Fish Recipes
1. Zesty salmon with roasted beets & spinach
- 4 small fresh beetroots, about 200g
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- 2 skinless salmon
- 2½ small oranges, zest of 1 and juice of half
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 1 avocado, thickly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- Cut the beetroots into quarters then toss with 1/2 tbsp oil and coriander seeds.
- Add some seasoning and wrap up like a parcel in a large sheet of foil.
- Bake for 45 mins.
- Add the salmon, orange zest and heat it in the oven for 15 mins.
- Finely grate the garlic and leave for 10 mins.
- Add the garlic to the orange juice and remaining oil with seasoning to make a dressing.
- Remove the foil from the oven and remove the fish.
- Put the beetroot into a bowl with the red onion, remaining orange zest, pumpkin seeds and spinach leaves.
- Toss well and add it to the fish.
- Some fish, such as king mackerel, shark, and swordfish have high mercury content which can harm the nervous system of a foetus or young child  .
- Nursing and pregnant women should not consume large quantities of fish on a regular basis.
- Contaminants such as dioxins and PCBs have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems  .
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-  Tuomisto, J. T., Tuomisto, J., Tainio, M., Niittynen, M., Verkasalo, P., Vartiainen, T., ... & Pekkanen, J. (2004). Risk-benefit analysis of eating farmed salmon. Science, 305(5683), 476-477.
-  Pieniak, Z., Verbeke, W., & Scholderer, J. (2010). Health‐related beliefs and consumer knowledge as determinants of fish consumption. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics, 23(5), 480-488.
-  BBD Good food. (n.d.). Healthy fish recipes [Blog post]. Retrieved from, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-fish
-  Maslova, E., Rifas-Shiman, S. L., Oken, E., Platts-Mills, T. A., & Gold, D. R. (2019). Fatty acids in pregnancy and risk of allergic sensitization and respiratory outcomes in childhood. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 122(1), 120-122.
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