The Health Benefits of Oily Fish
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Most oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna contain protein, zinc, selenium, vitamins A and D, and some B vitamins.
It’s omega-3 fatty acids that give oil-rich fish its superfood status.
The first link between omega-3s and health came while studying Eskimos in the 1970s.
Researchers found they suffered fewer conditions such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis than their European counterparts. Despite eating a high-fat diet including salmon, whale and seal.
Eventually, omega-3 fats were recognised as the components of these foods that appeared to offer so many health-promoting benefits.
It’s now well known that omega-3s make blood less sticky, which in turn may prevent blood clots from forming.
Omega-3s also help to keep the heart beating regularly, protect the small arteries that carry blood to the heart from damage and help to lower levels of another type of blood fat called triglycerides.
Research also shows that eating more omega-3s can help improve the chances of survival after a heart attack.
It’s not just our hearts that may benefit from oil-rich fish.
According to US dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone, creator of the Perricone Diet, the unique combination of protein, omega-3 fats and antioxidants in fish like salmon makes it the ultimate wrinkle buster, too, so that we also potentially look younger!
Oily Fish Nutritional Value
Oily fish may be higher in calories and fat than white fish or shellfish but you should still include it in your diet to boost omega-3 levels.
The Food Standards Agency recommends one portion a week.
Salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, kippers and fresh (but not canned) tuna all count.
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