High in protein, low in saturated fats and is an excellent source of B vitamins and zinc. Most fish is naturally lower in fat than beef, pork and many other protein sources.
Fish contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been found to be beneficial to cardiovascular health.
Research related to the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease is ongoing, however, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids contribute to:
- Decreased risk of sudden death and arrhythmia
- Decreased risk of blood clot (thrombosis)
- Decreased triglyceride levels
- Decreased growth of atherosclerotic plaque
- Improved arterial health
- Lower blood pressure
The American Heart Association recommends healthy American adults consume at least two servings of fish per week. It particularly recommends fish that contain two types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapennntaenoic acids (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). These acids are prevalent in: Mackerel, Lake Trout, Herring, Sardines, Salmon, and Albacore Tuna.
At the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers have found that men who eat fish as little as twice per month significantly reduce their risk for ischemic stroke compared to men who eat fish less often or not at all.
A 16-year study involving almost 85,000 women found that those who ate fish from two to four times per week reduced their risk of heart disease by 30 percent.
A 17-year study of men with no history of heart disease found that those with the highest levels of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, were more than 80 percent less likely to die of sudden heart disease.
French researchers investigating the connection between dementia and the consumption of fish which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and meat which is rich in saturated fatty acids, found that eating fish may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The fatty acids found in fish are believed to provide protection for arteries, thus improving blood flow to the brain.