Fish is an important part of a healthy human diet. Many people don’t include enough fish in their diet , even though it is an excellent source of protein and nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, iron and zinc.
Forbes found out which fish is best to eat.
What are the health benefits of fish?
According to Kimberly Homer, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in private practice in Miami, fish contains many essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit a person’s overall health, including:
- Protein , which is needed by every cell in the body to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin.
- Vitamin A promotes healthy vision, immune function, cellular communication, reproductive function in men and women, and the formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs and other organs.
- B vitamins , including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate and others, support cell function, especially the brain and nervous system.
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, strengthening bones, allowing muscles to move, carrying messages along nerves from the brain to the rest of the body, and strengthening the immune system. Vitamin D also helps fight viruses and bacteria.
- Omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy heart, lungs, blood vessels, immune and endocrine systems.
- Calcium is essential for bone strength, muscle function, hormone secretion and blood circulation.
- Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which are needed to control metabolism and support bone and brain development during pregnancy.
- Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, myoglobin and some hormones.
- Selenium promotes reproduction, thyroid function, DNA production, and protection against infections.
- Zinc strengthens the immune system and is involved in the production of DNA and proteins.
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are better than lean white fish like flounder because fatty fish contain essential omega-3 fatty acids and fat-soluble nutrients that the body can absorb, explains Homer.
7 healthiest fish
The healthiest fish is the one that contains many nutrients and practically no harmful ones.
The healthiest fish:
Possible side effects from fish
Eating fish is generally safe for most healthy people. However, if you are allergic to fish, you may experience some side effects, including:
- hives or skin rash;
- nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing;
- Anaphylaxis is a breathing disorder.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, fish allergies can appear suddenly in adulthood. In addition, a person may be allergic to a specific type of fish and seafood.
Mercury contamination is a common problem for fish. A naturally occurring element, mercury can enter the environment through household or industrial waste, as well as through the use of fossil fuels. When mercury settles in water or sediment, bacteria naturally convert it into methylmercury, a powerful neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system.
Small marine life can feed on these bacteria and are then eaten by small fish, which are eaten by larger fish typically consumed by humans.
Larger and older fish contain more mercury, so avoiding them is recommended. Mercury accumulation during pregnancy can cause developmental delays and learning problems in infants and young children. In adults, mercury can harm the central nervous system as well as the cardiovascular system.
Pesticides and industrial chemicals can also be found in fish. However, according to the FDA , the levels of these contaminants are unlikely to be high enough to affect human health.