It is that time of year again where, for many, fish consumption increases. Now March tends not to be prime time fishing season, but it is Lent Season. Lent, the Christian season preparing for Easter, is when their is 40 days of fasting. For some, this means no meat on Fridays. For those individuals who celebrate Lent, many restaurants and churches will have fish specials to celebrate the season. However, you don’t have to be religious to receive the health benefits of fish that the Lent Season provides. Fish Fry anyone?!?
Now frying is certainly not healthy but the fish being fried is. Fish is actually a very important part of a healthy diet. For example, white fish, which is used for a fish fry, are beneficial for your health because:
1) White Fish tend to be low in fat.
People who are trying to lose weight tend to substitute fish for other sources of meat to keep their protein levels high by reducing their fat and calorie levels.
2) White Fish is high in B vitamins.
B vitamins increase your metabolism which burns calories and maintains a healthy weight. B vitamins are also good for your skin, cells, and your immune system.
3) White Fish is rich in Selenium.
Selenium, just like B vitamins is good for the skin and cells. By consuming the recommended intake of selenium it may help prevent problems related to thyroid conditions.
4) White Fish is a good source of Iodine.
Iodine is important for good thyroid function. Good thyroid function aids with many things ranging from fetal development to prevention of depression. Many people get their iodine today from iodine table salt. However, you can also get it from white fish.
5) White Fish is a great source of Protein.
You need protein for cell growth, muscle growth, muscle recovery, and metabolism for use as enzymes. Some sources of protein are better than others and protein from fish is one of the most lean proteins there is.
Now, sources of white fish like cod, tilapia, walleye, etc. are not the only fish in the sea. There are plenty of other kinds of fish and these fish also provide their own unique nutritional profile. The most well known of these include omega-3 fatty acid fish due to their heart healthy properties. These Omega-3 rich fish include: Wild Alaskan Salmon, Arctic Char, Atlantic Mackerel, Sardines, Black Cod, Anchovies, Oysters, Rainbow Trout, Albacore Tuna, Mussels, and Pacific Halibut.
These omega-3 fatty acid fish have numerous health benefits.
1) Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
2) Omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease triglycerides
Triglycerides are important to human life and are the main form of fat in the body. They are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in meals. High triglyceride levels, however, may lead to heart disease.
3) Omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure
“Blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.High blood pressure (HBP) is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.
4) Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce blood clotting
Most heart attacks and strokes result from the sudden formation of a blood clot on a waxy cholesterol plaque inside an artery in the heart or brain. When the plaque ruptures suddenly, thrombogenic substances inside the plaque are exposed to blood, triggering the blood clotting process.
5) Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease stroke, heart failure risk, and reduce irregular heartbeats
Due to all of the above.
Eating at least one to two servings of 3.5oz a week of fish, particularly fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death. However, this does not mean you have to limit yourself to consuming fish only twice per week. Try consuming other types of fish like white fish as well as other types of sea food such as clams, shrimp, scallops, etc. for a low-fat, high protein, well-balanced diet.