It is common knowledge that oily fish is good for health, as is most fish. Fish is considered to be one of the healthiest food for man. The health benefits of consuming oily fish are numerous as you will find out in this post.
Oily fish are rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that are of immense benefit to human health. Also, oily fish are a rich source of proteins and vitamins that are good for the body. You will learn more about the many benefits of eating oily fish in this post, as well as the possible effects of consuming too much of these fish.
Types of Oily Fish
There are several examples of oily fish and these include Sardines, Herring, Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Swordfish, Anchovies, and Trout. There are other types of oily fish but don’t confuse oily fish with white fish.
Health Benefits of Oily Fish
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oily fish are good for the heart as they reduce inflammation, thereby potentially lowering the risk of a heart attack. Fish oil contains both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) both of which are proven to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Consuming oily fish is also believed to lower the risk of cancer, and prevent both vision and memory loss. The following are some of the health benefits associated with consuming oily fish.
Reduced Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease
The most widely known health benefit of eating oily fish is its cardiovascular benefit. Eating oily fish is good for your heart as it lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack. Oils from fatty fish have been shown to protect the heart in times of mental stress as shown by a study published by the American Physiological Society.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Cancer is a serious health challenge that kills thousands of people yearly. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide uncontrollably, attack, and destroy healthy body tissue. Cancer-causing substances are known as carcinogens. While progress is being made yearly in the war against cancer, consuming oily fish has been observed to be beneficial in protecting people against certain types of cancers. Omega-3 fatty acid in oily fish has been observed to target and selectively inhibit the growth of malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses that are not harmful to normal cells.
Eating oily fish reduces the risk of suffering from Mouth Cancer, Skin Cancer and Breast Cancer. The effect of eating oily fish on Prostrate cancer is not yet conclusive. Some limited research suggests there is a possibility of it reducing the risk of developing Prostrate cancer but some other studies point to the fact that men with high levels of omega-3 oil stand a higher risk of developing Prostrate cancer.
Protection Against Vision and Memory Loss
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid is known to be a primary structural component of the human brain, the cerebral cortex, the retina, and the human skin. So consuming oily fish known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acid furnishes your body with more of DHA and this can help to protect you against both memory and vision loss.
Studies have established a link between eating oily fish and a lower risk of vision loss in older people. There is a possibility that eating oily fish also helps to boost working memory as shown in a study published in PLOS One.
Lowers The Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Regular consumers of oily fish are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than non-consumers. Studies have shown that consuming oily fish regularly reduces your risk of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis by up to 52%. According to a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Journal, consuming at least 0.21 grams (210 milligrams) of omega-3 reduces your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by 52%.
Aids in Sensory, Cognitive, and Motor Development
Scientific study has shown that consuming oily fish by a pregnant woman especially during the last months of pregnancy can be beneficial to the child’s sensory, cognitive, and motor development. These benefits may not be derived from breast milk as indicated by the same study.
Reduced Risk of Developing Asthma
Another benefit of consuming oily fish by pregnant women is that they are more likely to give birth to children who show no signs of asthma at the age of 2.5.
Protection Against Alcohol-Related Dementia
Studies have shown that consuming oily fish may offer alcohol abusers protection against dementia. It was observed that brain cells that were exposed to a mix of fish oil and alcohol had 95% less inflammation and neuronal death than brain cells that were exposed to only alcohol.
How Much Oily Fish Should You Consume?
Eating too much of anything is likely to have negative consequences on the body. Overconsumption of oily fish may have serious implications for your health. A recent study has found that people with both high and low levels of High-density lipoprotein (HDL) risk dying prematurely. Also, high levels of HDL can be harmful to people undergoing dialysis as it increases levels of inflammation. To be on the safer side, The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests consuming at least two servings of oily fish per week. For cooked fish, a serving is 3.5 ounces while for flaked fish, a serving is three-quarters of a cup.
The health benefits of eating oily fish make them a recommended item on your menu. As sources of important nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and proteins, oily fish have an immense benefit on your health if consumed regularly. You should not consume too much of oily fish however, as that could be counter-productive.