Gifts from the sea - Fish as an integral food source for health and nutritional value
Fish is one of the most healthy and delicious foods available to us! It is low in fat, low in calories and low in cholesterol, and pound for pound it contains more goodness than any other type of food. Fish is also very easily digested.
All fish are an excellent source of the high quality protein we need for the growth and repair of all the cells in our body. They are also rich in a variety of essential minerals, like phosphorus which is important for strong bones, and most types provide calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. The soft edible bones of small fish such as sardines, canned salmon and mackerel are a particularly good source of calcium.
Oily fish is perhaps our greatest gift as it provides us with vitamins A E and D, the latter being important for calcium absorption. The B group of vitamins are abundant in Halibut, Herring, Mackerel and Tuna. In addition we have fish oils which contain two essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA) forming part of a group of fatty acids known as the Omega 3 series. EPA, in particular, protects our heart and arteries by reducing our blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, the fats associated with heart disease. Fish oils can also significantly reduce high blood pressure and insulin concentration, and so can be useful in cases of diabetes. They have been used with good results in place of anit-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and skin diseases such as dermatitis and psoriasis.
Research has shown that Granny was right - eating fish is good for the brain! Studies carried out during pregnancy indicate that the baby's brain growth benefits from a good supply in the mother's diet, of essential fatty acids (DHA in particular) provided by oil fish.
for those of you who are unable to eat fish, Omega 3 can be supplied by other sources.