The health benefits of fish, and how often you should eat it

It’s versatile, tastes great and is readily available. But there are even greater benefits to enjoying seafood regularly.

Scientific studies suggest that by eating fish two or three times a week, you are giving yourself one of the best boosts to your health available.

Here, we look at just some of the reasons why fish should be the dish for 2018.


A healthy heart

According to the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, there is significant scientific evidence suggesting fish consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease – a major cause of heart attacks.

Studies also show that eating oily fish helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the build-up of fat in the arteries.


It’s all in the mind

Eating fish two or more times a week provides your body with a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which play an important role in brain function. The results of a number of studies now suggest that omega-3 can help reduce depression and other mood disorders, and can improve memory.

Including vitamin D-rich fish in your diet can also help you beat the winter blues and stay well over the winter months.


Seeing is believing

Oily fish in particular is thought to be good for eye health, with scientists discovering that omega-3 fatty acids may offer some protection against age-related macular degeneration which affects the retina and causes loss of vision. Fish and shellfish also contain retinol, a form of vitamin A, which can help you see better in the dark.

Research also suggests that omega-3 fatty-acids found in fish can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.


Hey, good looking

Fish may well be one of the best kept beauty secrets around! That’s because scientific research has found that fish oil can help protect the skin against sun damage and nourish hair follicles too. It’s thought that omega-3 bolsters the skin cell membrane and helps it hold on to water, leading to moist, softer skin which can also reduce the signs of ageing.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s also been found to be useful in treating skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne.

On the flip side, too little of the fatty acids found in fish has been shown in studies to lead to hair colour changes and even hair loss.


Think twice

According to consumer research commissioned by the public body Seafish, in the UK we are on average eating only one portion of seafood a week which means most of us aren't consuming the recommended amount for optimum health benefits.

The same study found a significant 72 per cent of adults don’t know the advice is to eat two portions of fish a week. One of those should be an oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines. These oily fish are particularly high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to be so important to our health.

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