Food is one of the great pleasures of life, isn’t it? There’s nothing quite like that feeling of satisfaction after a really good meal.
But as well as choosing food we love, it’s important to be aware of the health implications. (Somehow, knowing that a delicious dinner could also be good for you makes the whole thing taste a lot more satisfying.)
Fish is well known as a food with good nutritional properties. But what are some of the lesser-known benefits of fish dishes? We’ve taken a look at the science behind the sizzle:
1. It helps build muscle
Fish is rich in protein, the essential building blocks of the body – required not only to build muscles but also for the body to repair and recover.
If you’re counting your macro-nutrients, you’ll know that protein (along with carbohydrates and fats) should be a component of every meal. Delicious white fish is one way to pack in lean protein at lunch or dinner, with far less fat than beef.
2. It can help with joint pain
Now for the science bit. Oily fish is a rich source of two key Omega-3 fatty acids, which are not only essential for your body functioning as it should, but also have some potential health advantages.
For example, the fatty acids from the likes of salmon, tuna and trout can reduce stiffness and joint pain – with some studies indicating they may even up the efficacy of anti-inflammatory medication to boot.
3. It can lower your risk of heart problems
Not only this, but Omega-3 helps lower elevated triglyceride levels (we told you things got sciencey).
Basically this means that people who eat oily fish or otherwise ensure regular consumption of these fatty acids have a lower risk of heart disease. In a nutshell, eating fish can help keep your heart healthy.
4. It can boost your intake of vitamin B12
B12 is essential for a whole rake of bodily functions – such as the brain and nervous system, cell metabolism and DNA synthesis.
Humans are not capable of creating vitamin B12 ourselves in the body, so it’s essentially we get lots of it in our diets. Here’s where eating the catch of the day comes in – oily fish and shellfish are some of the only proven sources of it.
5. It can help keep your thyroid healthy
Our bodies need iodine to help our thyroid tick along on an even keel. The thyroid is the place where essential metabolism hormones are created, as well as hormones involved in the brain and bone development of children (and pregnant women).
To give your iodine levels a boost, try scallops, sardines, prawns, tuna and cod, which are all a great source of the mineral.
6. It can boost your immunity
A lot of us may be deficient in Vitamin D without realising – especially as a key source of it for the body is related to sunlight, which is often a rare occurrence in Ireland.
Vitamin D is essential for good functioning of the immune system and oily fish is a brilliant source of it and remains one of the few ways you can get it by diet alone.
7. It can help your eyesight
Along with vegetables like sweet potato, spinach and carrots, salmon and tuna are a good source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and also helps vision.
Vitamin A helps absorbs light from retinal receptors and aids the functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea, so your sight can stay razor sharp.
Come along to Octopussies Tapas Seafood Restaurant based in Howth. We provide fish dishes rich in Omega fatty acids and all the natural goodness of the sea. Not only that, but all our dishes are a delicious option for any snack, lunch or dinner.