Although nutritionists point out that these foods must be found on the menu, at least three times a week, you have to keep in mind that fish can be harmful to your health.
Some fish contain high levels of mercury, PCB and other toxins. These fish include Tuna, Mackerel, Swordfish, Shark and so on (the bigger the fish, the higher the risk). Farmed fish could also have higher levels of toxins. Pregnant women and children should avoid these fish. Everyone else shouldn’t eat too much either (less than than 7 ounces) of these fish a week (source: WebMD on Omega-3).
Fish is a source of healthful nutrients
Fish is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, making it a frequent choice for athletes and people who care about nutrition. It is abundant in potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, zinc, bromine, fluorine, cobalt and copper, which are used as building blocks of the body and vital nutrients. Sea fish is a significant source of the precious iodine.
This food is also rich in vitamins A, B, D and E, and it is much easier to digest than the meat of other animals. It doesn’t produce such large amounts of uric acid in the human body like other meat, which is definitely a positive effect on the people who consume it. But, let’s take a look if the fish is really so healthy…
Omega-3 fatty acids are the key
Some say that fish maintains the bone health, but… Recent studies have shown that elderly people who frequently consume fish have preserved bone density and are at lower risk of developing osteoporosis. This is strictly related to omega-3 fatty acids, not to the fish meat itself.
Some say that it prevents cancer, but… It has been shown that regular intake of fish reduces the risk of colon cancer and rectal cancer by as much as 12 percent. Also, a diet rich in this kind of meat prevents the formation of malignant tumors of the reproductive organs.
However, experts point out that this effect reverses if the fish is fried at high temperatures and prepared on the grill because, in this case, it creates carcinogens. These effects are also related to the nutrients in the fish, not the meat itself.
It prevents hyperactivity, but… It is scientifically proven that kids who eat fish 2 times per week are much less common to develop attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. However, the fish we buy today is full of mercury which creates a completely opposite effect – a higher risk of attention deficit disorder.
Preserves the loss of eyesight, but… Research has shown that regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids prevents the age-related macular degeneration, a disease that leads to progressive loss of eyesight. However, this is also related strictly to omega-3 fatty acids, not the fish.
Maintains the brain function, but… Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the development of the cerebral cortex, thus improving the memory, and are useful for all persons engaged in intellectual work. These acids also prevent the Alzheimer’s disease and a depression. However, these are omega-3 fatty acids, not the fish meat itself.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in plants
The truth is that fish like salmon and herring are rich in essential fatty acids. However that’s not the their only source. Some plants are extremely rich in these fatty acids – seeds (especially flaxseeds and flaxseed oil), nuts (especially walnuts), green vegetables and legumes (especially soybeans) are packed with essential fatty acids.
There are so many advantages of getting your omegas from plants.