Eat more oily fish to protect yourself from serious health problems.
If you are trying to eat a healthier diet, there are certain foods you should cut out.
Obviously, eating less sugar and fat will be good for you.
However, it’s just as important to add good foods.
If you’re looking for one food to add to your diet for improved overall health, oily fish is your best bet.
The oily fish category includes salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, trout, tuna, swordfish and mackerel.
Oily fish can help to protect you from the effects of any number of diseases.
NOTE: I am in no way prescribing a certain diet or even stating that these fish will prevent illness. I am simply saying that for some folks the oily fish can help alleviate some of the discomfort and may help them to head off disease.
Arthritis is a broad term that covers many different joint problems. There are two main types of arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), but eating oily fish can help to curb the symptoms associated with both of them. The omega-3 fatty acid in oily fish can reduce inflammation which is one of the major causes of these types of arthritis.
Limiting your intake of red meats and processed foods, as well as making sure you eat oily fish regularly, will lower your risk of developing this debilitating condition.
There is also a strong link between arthritis and hearing loss in older people because small bones and joints inside the ear can become damaged and inflamed (learn more about arthritis and hearing loss). So, eating more oily fish not only improves arthritis symptoms, it can also protect your hearing health as you age too.
In recent years, there has been a lot of research done on the link between omega-3 fatty acids and depression.
Some studies suggest that people with low levels of omega-3 in their blood are more likely to experience depressive symptoms at some point in their lives. In particular, studies have shown that people who eat more oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, and tuna) tend to be less depressed than those who regularly eat red meats and processed foods.
It is still not known for sure how this works. It could be that the vitamins and minerals protect your brain cells from damage.
However, it is important to note that diet is not a treatment for depression on its own.
Adding healthy foods to your diet will help you to develop an overall lifestyle that promotes good mental health.
Heart Attacks and Strokes
Heart attacks or strokes cause almost 1 in 20 deaths in the US. A stroke interrupts the blood flow to your brain. It is often called a ‘brain attack’ for this reason.
Heart attacks and strokes are both linked to high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
Consuming oily fish is proven to increase HDL cholesterol. In turn, your chance of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Fish oil supplements may also be beneficial. However, all pills are not created equally. There may be very little actual fish oil in cheaper supplements. The common suggestion is to be certain to get one that contains at least 300-400mg EPA+DHA per capsule.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-related macular degeneration is a condition of the eye which causes a loss of vision over time. Lower your risk of developing AMD with the addition of salmon and similar fish to your diet.
The high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin E may help to prevent free radical damage in the retina (which leads to AMD).
It is still important that you take steps to protect your vision and you get regular eye tests, but eating more fish could make a big difference and maintain your eyesight for longer.
Ideally, you should try to add more oily fish to your diet to get the benefit of all of the nutrients.