Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fish

When it comes to meats, we tend to think of or opt for beef, pork and chicken instead of fish. 

 
According to the Australia's health research boy - the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), suggests that we should eat more fish.

 Researchers worldwide have also discovered that eating fish regularly – one or two serves weekly – may reduce the risk of diseases ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer.
 
While there are health benefits of eating fish, researchers have also had a word of warning on some fishes that contain high levels of Mercury - should be eaten rarely or not at all (more information of fishes contain high level of Mercury below).
 
Healthy ways to enjoy fish include baked, poached, grilled and steamed.

 

 
 

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids


The recommended daily amount of omega - 3 fatty acids from fish is 200 – 600mg and from plants it is 1–2g.

The following are approximate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids per 60g serve of varieties of fish:
  • Salmon (fresh Atlantic) 1,200mg
  • Smoked salmon 1,000mg
  • Canned salmon 500mg
  • Sardines 1,500mg
  • Trout (fresh rainbow) 350mg
  • Gemfish 300mg
  • Blue-eye, shark (flake), salmon, squid 250mg
  • Scallop or calamari 200mg
  • Sea mullet, abalone 170mg
  • Canned tuna 145mg
  • Orange roughy or sea perch 7mg.
The following are approximate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids per 60g serve of other foods:
  • Two slices of fish oil enriched white bread 27mg
  • Lean beef or lamb 40mg
  • One fish oil enriched egg 200mg
  • Fish oil enriched margarine (10g) 60mg
  • One regular egg 40mg.
The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish, rather than fish oil capsules.
Health benefits of eating fish
 
Regular consumption of fish can reduce the risk of various diseases and disorders. Selected research findings include:
  • Asthma – children who eat fish may be less likely to develop asthma. 
  • Brain and eyes – fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to the health of brain tissue and the retina (the back of the eye).
  • Cardiovascular disease – eating fish every week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing blood clots and inflammation, improving blood vessel elasticity, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood fats and boosting ‘good’ cholesterol.   
  • Dementia – elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week may have a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Depression – people who regularly eat fish have a lower incidence of depression (depression is linked to low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain).
  • Diabetes – fish may help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.   
  • Eyesight – breastfed babies of mothers who eat fish have better eyesight, perhaps due to the omega-3 fatty acids transmitted in breast milk.
  • Inflammatory conditions – regular fish consumption may relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and autoimmune disease.
  • Prematurity – eating fish during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of delivering a premature baby.

A word of caution on mercury


While it is recommended to eat one to two fish meals a week, it is wise to avoid fish high in mercury. Excess mercury appears to affect the nervous system, causing: numb or tingling fingers, lips and toes; developmental delays in walking and talking in children; muscle and joint pain; increased risk of heart attack.

Fish high in mercury include shark, swordfish (broadbill) and marlin, ray, gemfish, ling, orange roughy (sea perch) and southern blue fin tuna.
 
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, women planning pregnancy and children up to six years old should avoid these fish.

If catching and eating your own fish, don’t fish in polluted waters. Bottom feeder species, such as catfish, may ingest more pollutants.

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