There was a time when eating fish was part and parcel of the average person’s diet. However, in the last several decades most people in the Western world have cut back on their consumption of fish until eating fish for most people is the exception rather than rule.
One of the reasons why people eat less fish today than they once did is because the pollution of our waters has made it risky to eat certain types of fish as these fish contain high levels of mercury and even arsenic. However, an even bigger reason is that processed foods offer a convenience that making meals from scratch simply can’t compete with.
However, studies are now suggesting that the absence of fish in the Western diet is beginning to have serious consequences for our health. In the years since fish consumption has declined we have seen a rise in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and depression.
While no one is suggesting that the lack of fish in your diet is solely responsible for the rise in these serious health issues, there is ample evidence that suggests that the reduced consumption of fish may well play a part in the increase of these diseases and many other health issues.
Reduced Fish Consumption Is Robbing Your Body Of Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential to our overall health. You body cannot make these fatty acids on its own and so must get these essential fats through the food you eat. While some plants do contain limited amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, the biggest source of these acids come from fish and other seafood.
Studies of countries where people consume a high amount of omega-3 show that the people in these countries have less heart disease, less arthritis and less people who show signs of serious depression. Further more when omega-3 fatty acids are added to the diet, people generally have lower level of inflammation, clearer skin, fewer arthritic flare-ups, and even improved memory and cognitive reasoning.
In addition, it is believed that eating fish or taking fish oil supplements can help to increase your metabolism helping to achieve reasonable weight loss and that it may also help to reduce acne breakouts.
When you consider that every organ and system in your body needs these essential fatty acids in order to maintain good health it is easy to see why including fish as part of healthy diet will have many benefits. While fatty fish such as salmon, Tuna, anchovies, and Mackerel contain large amounts of Omega-3 fats the good news is that shrimp, lobster, and mussels also contain omega-3, so there are a variety of seafood that you can eat to get at least some of those good fats that your body needs.
Low in Calories and Filled with Vitamin and Minerals
In addition to being the best source of omega 3 fatty acids, fish are low in calories, and contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs, so fish is an excellent healthy choice of protein for those who are trying to lose weight.
Avoiding That Mercury
One way to make sure that you are getting all the benefits of that seafood without filling your body with poisonous mercury and other pollutants is by thinking small. In the pecking order of fish, big fish eat smaller fish, so the larger the fish the more likely it is that it will contain higher doses of pollutants. Small creatures such as shrimp, and smaller fish feed mostly off plants which reduces (though does not prevent) their chances of ingesting pollutants.
Bigger fish then eat small seafood, which means they are now ingesting all of the toxins that are in each individual small fish, these fish are then eaten by still larger fish thus further concentrating the toxins. The result being the larger the fish is you consume the more likely it is that you will be consuming large amounts of toxins as well.
One way to avoid the worry of eating contaminate fish is to take a fish oil supplement that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. This will give you a safe way to at least get the fatty acids you need. You can also choose to eat fish from less polluted lakes and streams that you catch yourself to get those lower calorie proteins and other vitamins and minerals.