Fish, though fresh water or marine is a favorite for many. But, is fish beneficial to our health?A recent study reveals that those who do not consume fish are 23% more prone to heart diseases compared to those who consume it. Fish is an excellent source of fat.
Certain quantity of fat is necessary for the healthy functioning of our body. Fish is rich in healthy fats compared to those present in eggs and meat. Healthy fats are essential in digestive process and also for formation and maintenance of tissues. They are also necessary to make our body immune to diseases. In the nutritional chart, fish finds an important place next to milk, eggs and liver.
Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for normal growth and functioning of human body. The omega 3 fatty acids play a vital role in keeping your heart healthy. Fish contains fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are also essential for healthy functioning of heart.
These fatty acids regulate your pulse rate and also help to prevent formation of blood clots during heart attacks. The fatty acids present in fish can reduce the quantity of triglycerides in blood. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood are the common cause for heart attacks. Hence fish is an integral part of Mediterranean diet prescribed for heart patients. Fish can be included even in the diet chart of acute diabetes patients.
Fish oil can be taken as a substitute for fish. It also contains essential vitamins, A and D. Vitamin A is necessary for good eye sight, and vitamin D for strong bones. Fish oil can be given to children one teaspoon per day along with other vitamin tonics or tablets.
The fatty acids i.e., omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are necessary in adequate amounts for the healthy growth of prenatal baby. Since these are present in fish, nutritionists recommend its intake 3 – 4 times a week, during pregnancy.
Omega 3 fatty acids are not present in dried and fried fish dishes. To enjoy nutritional benefits of fish consume steamed, baked, poached or grilled fish dishes.