Eating fish has great health benefits including being good for the heart, brain and eyes as well as improving your mood. It is also packed with vitamins, nutrients, protein and minerals. Guidelines recommend we eat at least 2 portions of fish per week with at least one being oily such as, salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and tuna (not tinned tuna). These oily fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for the brain and body to work effectively and also the heart. They are called Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Key benefits eating fish have on our health and well being are:-
- Reduces the risk of Heart Attack and Stroke – Studies have found that eating oily fish in particular is great for the heart as it lowers blood pressure and reduces fat build up in the arteries.
- Omega 3 is crucial for development and growth – Evidence suggests that fish oils during pregnancy helps with the IQ in newborns and again at age 8 & 9 it shows a positive effect on IQ. The omega 3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) builds up in the eye and brain.(2)
- Good for Mood – People who eat fish regularly are less likely to be depressed according to studies and it’s suggested that taking omega 3 on its own or alongside antidepressant medicines can benefit mood.
- High levels of Vitamin D – Oily fish in particular has high levels of vitamin D which helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. If you don’t get enough sunshine it might be worth increasing your fish intake.
- Good for the Eyes – Some evidence to say that eating fish and fish oils prevents against macular degeneration.
- Anti-Inflammatory - Omega 3 oils have also been found to help inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, bone and joint problems and neurodegenerative diseases such as, Parkinson’s and MS.
So, plenty of good healthy reasons to eat more fish on a regular basis and it might taste even better when fresh if you have caught it yourself!
In addition to the nutritional health benefits of the Omega 3s. Fishing is also said to be a great de-stressor, getting back to nature and allowing you time to be mindful and in the moment… reconnecting your mind and body. So maybe give it a try and enjoy.