There’s nothing fishy about the benefits of eating fish. For years, many people shied away from fish, worried about its mercury content, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other contaminants. But research has proven time and again that fish is a critical part of a nutritious diet, providing healthy omega-3 fats and nutrients like vitamin D and selenium. Plus, it’s high in protein and low in fat. If you’re still wary about adding more seafood to your plate (perhaps in place of risky red meat), scroll down to learn about its many advantages.
Benefits of Eating Fish
Eating fish promotes healthy aging.
Although we all want to live longer lives, we also want our sunset years to be healthy and happy, not plagued by disease. According to a recent study published in the BMJ, the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seafood were associated with a higher likelihood of healthy aging. In this case, the concept of “healthy aging” is defined as living into one’s senior years without chronic conditions like heart disease, dementia, or cancer, or dying after age 65 without any of these conditions.
Although omega-3 fatty acids are found in other foods (like flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and walnuts), the study found that omega-3 fatty acids from seafood were most strongly associated with healthy aging. If you want to enjoy these benefits, try to eat seafood at least twice a week.
Eating fish may benefit adults at risk for dementia.
According to a study published in JAMA that looked at people carrying the ApoE4 gene variation (which increases one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease), eating seafood is associated with higher levels of mercury in the brain. That may sound scary, but the mercury was not correlated with any brain abnormalities. Higher seafood consumption was, however, linked to lower densities of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which are believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. And you don’t need to eat loads of fish to enjoy this benefit; eating seafood at just one meal a week may lower your risk of dementia.
Eating fish protects your heart.
According to strong evidence, eating fish (or taking fish oil supplements) benefits your heart and blood vessels, reducing your risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent. The omega-3 fatty acids accomplish this in several ways, including preventing cardiac rhythm disturbances, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and improving the function of blood vessels. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s safe to say we could all benefit from adding a little more fish to our diets.
Unfortunately, less than one in five Americans eats fish at least twice a week. Half of Americans rarely or never eat fish, in fact! So we encourage you to find seafood dishes that you enjoy, such as grilled salmon, fish tacos, or seafood paella.
If you’re looking for a new home where you can enjoy your golden years, check out The Shores of Lake Phalen in Maplewood, Minnesota. Located in a wooded setting near two lakes, our community offers apartment-style housing with the atmosphere and elegance of a resort. Thanks to the team of dedicated staff members, residents enjoy a carefree lifestyle without the common worries of running a household. Schedule a tour to explore our community or give us a call at 651-777-7784. We look forward to hearing from you!