Eating fish is one of the healthiest ways to eat protein that we can find. It has a high concentration of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
In addition, it also offers a great contribution of acids omega 3 fatty, which are essential for the health of our body.
Based on this, we wanted to gather the main scientific evidence on the benefits of eating fish. Since not all species are worth, and we must differentiate those considered as fatty, blue or white fish.
We show you the 9 health benefits of eating fish that medical authorities share.
Benefits with scientific evidence of eating fish
1. Promotes brain activity
Brain activity and the proper functioning of the brain is impaired over the years. It is common in elderly people, men and women, to see cognitive impairment fostered by severe neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Several scientific studies have concluded that people who eat more fish than those who prefer meat have lower rates of mental decline. [See study]
This fact is intimately related to the increased formation of gray matter, the main functional tissue of our brain.
2. Balanced nutritional balance
Eating fish is beneficial since it is loaded with countless nutrients that we do not ingest in the right dosage and amount. This includes so-called high quality proteins, minerals such as iodine and all set of vitamins and essential minerals.
Fatty fish are the ones that provide the most calories and fats, although they do not stop being healthy. This is because fatty meats from, for example, trout, salmon, sardines, tuna or mackerel, contain a large amount of unsaturated fats and the well-known omega 3.
In addition, we must add the vitamin D, a fat-soluble compound that we often do not take in the recommended daily amount.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the perfect function of the organism and brain activity, and are linked to the reduction of suffering from many diseases.
To cover the recommended amounts of this fatty acid, it is advisable to take fatty fish at least once or twice a week.
3. Decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes
Heart attacks and strokes are the two most common causes of premature death in the world [Source of information]
Therefore, eating fish it is considered as the healthiest option for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system.
A large number of large scientific studies show that those who eat fish on a regular basis have a lower risk of heart attacks, stroke or thrombosis. [See study]
One example is the study conducted in the United States with more than 40,000 men subjected to the trial. Those who regularly ate one or 2 servings per week had a 15% lower risk of heart disease.
This is intimately linked to the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Contains essential nutrients for growth
Among all the healthy fats, considered unsaturated, the so-called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is very important for the formation and activity of the brain and vision. [See study]
Because of this, the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids in pregnant or lactating women, favoring the correct development of the brain and eyes in the fetus.
On the other hand, the biggest problem that this type of fish has is its possible mercury concentration, linked to major problems in brain development.
There are some recommendations for fish that contain lower amounts of mercury, such as sardines, trout or salmon, with a maximum of 350 grams per week.
Of course, you should avoid eating any type of raw fish that may contain parasites (the most common being anisakis).
5. Prevent asthma in children
Asthma is a common disease that causes chronic inflammation of the airways, and its incidence is increasing.
Clinical reports have obtained information from which to eat fish reduces by 24% the rate of asthma in children, although no effect has been found in adult patients. [View Report]
6. Eating fish improves sleep quality
The sleep disorders, they have become commonplace in the Western world.
Researchers believe that the absence of vitamin D may have an essential role in the lack of sleep quality. Faced with this problem, a clinical trial found an improvement in soil quality and daily activity with the intake of salmon 3 times a week. [See study]
Read more: medicinal plants that will help you sleep well.
7. May help prevent and treat depression
The depression, it is slowly becoming one of the leading diseases of the Western world.
This disease is characterized by a low mood, continuous feeling of sadness, loss of general interest and decreased energy.
Scientific trials have shown that those who eat fish regularly are less likely to be diagnosed with depression. [View Report]
This seems to be intimately linked to the higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acids.
8. A good dietary source of vitamin D
Nutritionally, vitamin D works as a steroid hormone in our body, and we do not consume it in sufficient quantities. It is estimated that more than 40% of the population in the United States has vitamin D deficiency.
In fish, we find the Best Sources of vitamin D, specifically in those of fatty meat (such as salmon or sardine), with the highest amounts.
|Foods||Quantity (g)||Vitamin D (IU)|
|Cod liver oil||1 tablespoon||2300|
|Sardines (can/fresh)||100 g||480|
|Oysters||6 oysters (medium)||269|
|Mushrooms, shitake||4 fungi (medium)||249|
|Canned tuna, mackerel||100 g||230|
|Shrimp, prawns||100 g||152|
|Evaporated milk||1 cup||97|
|Whole milk, skim||1 cup||92|
|Milk cream||100 g||52|
|Swiss cheese||100 g||44|
|Parmesan cheese||100 g||28|
|Egg yolk||1 yolk||25|
|Camembert cheese||100 g||12|
|Cheddar cheese||100 g||12|
Different fish oils, specifically cod liver oil, offer a concentrated supply of vitamin D, with more than 200% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in a single tablespoon (approximately 15 ml).
However, as you already know, the main source of vitamin D is the Sun, where a brief exposure is enough to complete our basic needs. On the other hand, the northern countries that suffer from cloudy days continuously, need vitamin supplements.
9. May reduce your risk of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that modifies how the body uses glucose, which is the main type of sugar contained in the blood.
Several scientific studies associate Omega 3 with a lower risk of type 1 diabetes, especially in children, and the form of autoimmune diabetes in adults. [Study 1]
In turn, there are some trials, although with weak evidence, that link these fatty acids with the reduction of multiple schlorosis and lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis. In both cases, more scientific input is needed.