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Sunday February 25, 2024

Eating fish keeps number of health threats away

January 29, 2023

Rawalpindi : Fish is considered as one of the healthiest foods on the planet being a great source of getting high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids and iodine along with various vitamins and minerals that are essential nutrients.

According to health experts, one should eat fish twice a week as it would help minimising the bad effects of harsh weather and keep a number of health threats away. The high amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes known as two of the world’s biggest killers while omega-3 fatty acids play vital role in functioning of both the body and the brain.

Experts, however, do not recommend consumption of fish from vendors selling fried fish in almost all major markets in winter because most of the vendors fry fish in again and again re-heated oil that contains trans fats. Repeatedly reheated oil even of the finest quality transforms into trans fatty acids that can be a risk factor for heart disease, breast cancer and prostate along with a number of other serious health threats.

According to health experts, eating fish at least once a week is a must because majority of our population is facing deficiency of much essential nutrients that one can have from fish and fish products. All types of fish are good but some fish are better than the others because of having more omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin D found in fish is a nutrient that functions like a steroid hormone in the body while omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for the body and the brain to function optimally and are strongly linked to reduced risk of many diseases.

Studies reveal that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of chronic diseases in adults such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, as well as infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and even seasonal flu while children with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to get respiratory infections. Fish and fish products are the best dietary sources of vitamin D.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for growth and development especially because it accumulates in the developing brain and eye. Experts say that pregnant and lactating women should eat fish twice a week.

Studies reveal that by regular consumption of fish, decline in the brain function in old age can be prevented. Research has shown that people who eat fish regularly have more grey matter in the brain centers that control memory and emotion. The consumption of fish helps prevent asthma in children and may protect vision in old age.

Studies show that people who eat more fish have a much lower risk of developing macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision impairment and blindness. Consumption of fish improves quality of sleep and minimises the effects of sleep disorders while a few servings of fish in diet each week may reduce the risk of cancers as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a lower risk of cancer.