Now, more than ever, people are turning away from meat in favour of more sustainable, healthful ways to satiate themselves. And, along with wolfing down copious quinoa and plentiful amounts of plant protein, the onus has once again turned towards fish as a healthy way to up the nutrients in our diet.
Currently, the NHS recommends we eat at least two portions of fish a week (a target which is not yet being met by the general population). Of these two portions, the NHS emphasises that we should make sure at least one is of the oily fish variety.
Oily fish is one of the only natural sources of omega 3s, a healthy collection of fatty acids. They are considered ‘essential’ as they have properties which boost metabolic and brain function – they’re also strongly connected to reducing heart disease.
So, what else is good about oily fish and why should you be eating it more? Take a look, below, to find out.
What is omega 3 and why is it good for me?
Omega 3s are a collection of long-chain healthy fats which are not readily produced in the body (this means the only way to get enough omega 3 is to consume it). There are two types of omega 3s which are particularly crucial to our health: EPA and DHA; these are primarily found in oily fish.
EPA and DHA are essential for a healthy lifestyle due to their high density of vitamins, minerals and protein. They have also been proven to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and play an essential role in brain health (the human brain is nearly 60 per cent fat, which, just like the water in our bodies, needs constantly replenishing).
Fish which are high in omega 3
Oily fish contain the most omega 3 (they contain at least 10 per cent fat), so, as a general rule of thumb, look for the type of fish which is greasy and, oftentimes, stinky. While some white fish and shellfish does contain long-chain omega 3s, they don’t have nearly as much as oily fish.
The main oily fish sources of long-chain omega 3s are:
The main shellfish sources of long-chain omega-3 are:
Making sure you get at least two portions of fish a week is essential. Whether you choose to throw a tin of sardines into a salad or opt for chopped salmon in a hearty fish pie, it couldn’t be easier to add oily fish to your weekly diet.
For more info, visit the NHS website.