Why Should We Eat Fish?

Why should we eat fish? Fish is high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids, and can reduce some problems associated with PMS, memory loss, cardiovascular functions, colon cancer, and stroke. Unless you have a shellfish allergy, shrimp should be eaten because i.

A well-balanced diet is an essential part of leading a healthy life. In order to have a good diet, one needs to include a lot of variety to ensure you are getting the various nutrients that each food group has to offer. Fish and shellfish are an important part of the equation. Seafood supplements our diets with many nutrients that are not available in other foods.

"Fish are excellent sources of protein, vitamin B, vitamin D, trace minerals, and essential omega 3 fatty acids, which are lacking in most diets. Some fish are richer sources of omega 3 than others, and these are generally also richer in vitamin D. Much like fish, shrimp has a lot of same nutritional value. It's not one of the highest in omega 3 fats, but it's not bad. Shrimp are low in calories compared to the amount of protein that you get," says Dana Reed, a Certified Nutrition Specialist.

"Omega 3's are healthy fats that are important for optimal immune function. They also help to increase metabolism and are involved in hormone production. Some PMS or menopausal symptoms might benefit from extra omega 3's. They are also involved with anything that relates to cognitive function, so sometimes depression, memory, concentration, or learning disabilities can be helped. They are very important for cardiovascular health, any condition that involves inflammation like arthritis, and are helpful in controlling blood sugar levels for people with diabetes," Reed says.

Omega 3 can also be obtained through taking fish oil pills. Eating foods such as tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola oil, walnuts and flaxseed, and their oils are recommended because they contain alpha-linolenic acid, which can change into omega-3 fatty acid in the body, according to the American Heart Association. Conversely, it is recommended that people eat fish to obtain all of the other nutrients that can't be found in supplements alone.

Aside from Omega 3 fats, the protein in fish is one of the best sources accessible. The Mayo Clinic online states that many red meats or poultry will have protein, but they also have more saturated fats, cholesterol and calories than fish. Fish is able to offer the some amount or more protein and less of the negative attributes of meat and poultry. "Shellfish are generally thought to be high in cholesterol, but shrimp has a compound that is similar in chemical structure to cholesterol called beta-sitosterol. That could be confusing, because it is not cholesterol and can actually have some health benefits," Reed says.

There are some concerns that should be looked at when eating shrimp or fish. Due to industrial pollution, some are being tainted with mercury. The mercury found in certain fish and shellfish is a low amount and is of no concern to most. However, women that are pregnant, women that are breast-feeding and young children should be careful about what fish they eat and in what amount. The Environmental Protection Agency released this information along with a list of fish to avoid: Tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark carry the highest levels of mercury and should not be consumed by the previously listed people. Shrimp, salmon, pollocks, canned light tuna, shrimp and catfish have lower levels of mercury, and no more than 12 ounces should be eaten in a week. Albacore also contains mercury and should be held to six ounces of consumption in a week.

Although mercury can be a problem for some people, fish and shrimp are excellent food sources. With all of the research being done they are finding more and more proof that we should be eating seafood.
Update: January 22, 2018

The problem of mercury existing in the food supply of fish (often times mixed in with the food is industrial waste and runoff from illegal dumping) exacerbates the once already prevalent problem existent earlier in 2005-2008 now that more advanced industrial goods and machines are being built, resulting in more subsequent mercury-containing waste produced that must be later disposed. In 2018, if an individual is able to, we recommend that he or she fish for his own using a cheap fish finder with a GPS. Those looking for a higher end solution can invest in a West Marine gear fish finder.

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