Amid various foods that people consume, fish may be considered as one of the most valuable sources of animl food in human nutrition. World wide, people obtain about 25% of their animal protein from fish and shell fish. About 35% of all fish is eaten fresh, chilled or frozen.
The Beneficial Effects of Fish Intake
Some of the most important health benefits of eating fish may be summarized as follows:
A. Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. A growing body of evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids provide a number of health benefits: 1.They help to maintain the cardiovascular health by playing a role in the regulation of blood clotting and vessel constriction. 2. They are important for prenatal and postnatal neurological development. 3. They may reduce tissue inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. 4. They may play a beneficial role in cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), reducing depression and halting mental decline in older people.
Fish that are high in omega-3s, low in environmental contaminants and eco-friendly include: Wild Salmon, Arctic Char, Atlantic Mackerel, Sardines, Sablefish, Anchovies, Oysters, Rainbow Trout, and Albacore Tuna
B. According to some researchers since fish is low in fat and calories so it can aid in weight loss if it is not fried, breaded or grilled in butter or oil.
C. A research study revealed that fish may help to stave off certain types of cancers. The study that was carried out in Milan, Italy compared 10,000 hospital patients who had cancer to 8,000 other patients who did not have cancer. Before the cancer tests or hospital admission, they were all asked how much and how often they ate fish, on average. Those who ate one or more servings a week showed a definite pattern of protection against different types of cancer.
Latest Finding: Fish Intake may lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s
A recent study revealed that eating baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis improves brain health and reduces the risk of developing Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease.
"This is the first study to establish a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure and Alzheimer's risk," said Dr Cyrus Raji from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "The results showed that people who consumed baked or broiled fish at least one time per week had better preservation of gray matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer's disease."
Alzheimer's disease is an incurable, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and cognitive skills. According to the National Institute on Aging, as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer's disease. In MCI, memory loss is present but to a lesser extent than in Alzheimer's disease. People with MCI often go on to develop Alzheimer's disease.
For the study, 260 cognitively normal individuals were selected from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Information on fish consumption was gathered using the National Cancer Institute Food Frequency Questionnaire. There were 163 patients who consumed fish on a weekly basis, and the majority ate fish one to four times per week. Each patient underwent 3-D volumetric MRI of the brain. Voxel-based morphometry, a brain mapping technique that measures gray matter volume, was used to model the relationship between weekly fish consumption at baseline and brain structure 10 years later. The data were then analyzed to determine if gray matter volume preservation associated with fish consumption reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease. Gray matter volume is crucial to brain health. When it remains higher, brain health is being maintained. Decreases in gray matter volume indicate that brain cells are shrinking.
"Consuming baked or broiled fish promotes stronger neurons in the brain's gray matter by making them larger and healthier," Dr Raji said. "This simple lifestyle choice increases the brain's resistance to Alzheimer's disease and lowers risk for the disorder." The results also demonstrated increased levels of cognition in people who ate baked or broiled fish. "Working memory, which allows people to focus on tasks and commit information to short-term memory, is one of the most important cognitive domains," Dr Raji said. "Working memory is destroyed by Alzheimer's disease. We found higher levels of working memory in people who ate baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis, even when accounting for other factors, such as education, age, gender and physical activity."
Here are also some interesting quotations on Fish:
“I love fish, cheese and meat, and I eat everything, but only in small quantities if it is rich”: Eva Herzigova.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”: Lao Tzu.
“I love to cook comfort food. I will make fish and vegetables or meat and vegetables and potatoes or rice. The ritual of it is fun for me and the creativity of it”: R. Witherspoon.
“Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish; too much handling will spoil it”: Lao Tzu.
Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD
Brainy Quote Website (2011): Online Quotes on Fish
Moisse, K. (2011): Online Article on New Support for Fish in the Fight Against Alzheimer's
Philomena, S. (2011): Online Article on Fish Intake Lowers Alzheimer's disease Risk
Saadat Noury, M. (1976): Principles of Experimental Nutrition, ed., (in Persian), Tehran University Publications, Tehran, Iran
Saadat Noury, M. (1982): Principles of Human Nutrition in Health and Disease (in Persian), ed., Tehran, Iran
Website of BC Food & Wine (2011): Online Note on the Importance of Fish in our Diet
Website of Whole Fittness (2011): Online Note on Fish in your Diet
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