When we talk about family, what comes to our minds and probably our nightly prayer is good health. So us parents would always want the best food on the dining table for the family — something that would not only light up smiles on their faces when they come and sit down for dinner, but also give them the nutrients their young bodies need. But no matter how careful we are, once or twice a year we would experience sickness which may be caused by infectious diseases from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
So we don’t settle for less. Vegetables, fruits and, of course, fish are often the stars of our dining shows at home. Pork, beef and chicken meats have their cameo roles but not too often, and most of the time on special occasions; however fish is the most in-demand.
Fish has high nutritional value. It’s no wonder our kids are active and don’t get sick too often. Here are some nutritional facts on how we can benefit from eating fish.
- Aside from iodine, which is the most common nutrient, high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals are also contained in fish. But the healthiest ones are those fatty types like salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel. These types contain fat-soluble vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. Fatty acids help both body and brain function properly. That is why we prepare our favorite tilapia recipe at least once or twice a week.
- Fish may also lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends seafood consumption of non-fried fish once or twice per week to lower the risk of heart diseases.
- Nursing and expecting mothers are recommended to eat enough omega-3 fatty acids — 12 ounces or 340 grams per week — as it is important for the child’s growth and development. However, they should avoid those kinds that have high mercury content like king mackerel, which may affect brain development.
- Brain deterioration is also slowed down with enough and continuous omega-3 intake, and including other foods like blueberries, nuts, coconut oil and foods rich in choline and vitamin B. A study showed that people who maintain healthy diets had a 24 percent less chance of memory decline and thinking skills.
- Fish fatty acids also help reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes in children and young adults. Harvard researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids increase levels of adiponectin hormone, which is linked to insulin sensitivity.
- Fish may also help prevent mild to moderate asthma attacks, reducing the production of IgE while improving asthma symptoms.
- Fish oil is good for the skin. It hydrates and wards off acne and wrinkles, as per skin expert Flor Mayoral, M.D. She added that omega-3 have anti-inflammatory properties, and it also helps prevent hair damage and loss.
- Fish oil may also provide protection against vision impairment like macular degeneration. A study showed that regular consumption of fish, at least once per week, may lower risk of macular degeneration, especially for women.