How the Omega-3 in Fish Can Help You to Stay Healthy

How the Omega-3 in Fish Can Help You to Stay Healthy

The reason for eating fish is not just because of the lean protein you can get. Research reveals that fish offers more amazing benefits to your health, so it is best to add this to your regular diet.

Fish is low in calorie, high in protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically the popular omega-3 fatty acids. The human body needs the omega-3s to be healthy, but it cannot produce this substance naturally, so it must be sourced from food like fish. For a long time, omega-3-fatty acids are associated to having a healthy heart. But recent studies shed more light to the importance of this substance to total wellness.

How much fish should you eat?

You’re not fond of eating fish? It’s all right because according to research, you can still get the desired health benefits even if you just eat fish one to two times per week. The recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids is at least 2 percent of your total calorie consumption per day or approximately 4 grams, according to the National Institute of Health. To give you an idea of how much fish you need to eat, 4 ounces of salmon gives about 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acid. You can also get omega-3s from tuna, halibut and sardines.

If you really can’t eat fish, then you can alternatively get your fatty acids from supplements of omega-3 DHA or fish oil. Consumer reports show that more Americans indeed buy omega-3 supplements, however, sourcing this nutrient from fish is still the best way.

Now, let me list down seven reasons how you can have better health by taking your regular servings of fish every week.

Reduce your risk for heart disease

According to a study published in the Journal of American Heart Association, not eating fish increases a woman’s risk for heart problems by 50 percent compared to those who eat fish even if just once a week. Also, women who do not eat often are three times more likely to have heart disease than those who do. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood fat levels, which results in reduced heart disease risk.

Reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease

The results of a study showed that eating fish at least once a week can preserve the part of the brain that is responsible for good memory and cognition. Eating broiled or baked fish instead of fried fish gave a more positive result as brain cells associated to learning and memory remain large. Experts think that maintaining a large brain volume reduces cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.

Have better-looking hair and skin

When you go on a low-fat diet, a common complaint is having dull and dry skin and hair because of the lack of healthy fat. Eating fish along with its omega-3s helps to nourish the the skin and keep the hair shiny. Some researches were also conducted on treating psoriasis and other skin problems through omega-3 consumption.

Reduce your depression symptoms

According to several studies, antidepressant medications are more effective when taken along with omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Another study also showed that pregnant women had reduced postpartum depression with the intake of 300-mg omega-3 capsules.

Improve brain health

During the child’s brain development years, the EFA omega-3 from salmon and other fish is very essential. Studies on ADHD show that omega-3 can help control its symptoms. But before you give your child an omega-3 supplement, consult your doctor first.

Get an extra dose of vitamin D

Saltwater fish is a good source of vitamin D. Having enough vitamin D is necessary to maintain bone and mental health and keep away diseases. Eating three ounces of salmon is enough to meet 75 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D.

Have healthier sperm

A study comparing men who were given fresh fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to those who had unhealthy diets showed that a healthy diet helps men have stronger and good shaped sperm cells.  But more research is necessary to connect the results to omega-3s in fish.

Photo credits: Omega-3 fish oil capsule by Health Gauge via Flickr, CC by 2.0

Categories: Health, Nutrition
Tags: fish, omega-3

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