It’s important to eat protein, with a lot of that coming from meat, dairy, and grains. In fact, it’s about a ⅓ split between those three categories in terms of the average daily protein consumption while fish gets left behind at only around seven percent. Additionally, only around 17 percent of the meat consumed around the world is in the form of fish, but those numbers really should be higher.
That’s because the health benefits that you get from eating fish far outweigh the benefits that you get from eating red meat or pork on a regular basis. While it might not be the cheapest or easiest to prepare, you’ll find yourself living a much better life if you incorporate more fish into your diet. Here are some of the great health benefits that you get from eating wild-caught fish.
The Nutritional Difference
There are some advantages that farm-raised fish have over wild-caught, including having a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids because of the food that the fish are given. However, that doesn’t mean that wild-caught fish don’t have this important fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids have a wide range of benefits from boosting your mental health to helping your vision to even reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Wild-caught fish tend to have other minerals that you don’t really find in farm-raised fish. You’ll want to make sure that you avoid some of the larger wild-caught fish because there can be a higher mercury content. On the other hand, wild-caught fish have a good amount of omega-6 fatty acids to go along with omega-3, and this fatty acid can boost your skin’s health while promoting hair growth and bone health.
We’ve already touched on how omega-3 fatty acids found in wild-caught fish can help your heart health, but let’s take a look at how exactly your heart sees the benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation in your body, and better blood flow leads to a long list of benefits. Your heartbeat will be more regulated with better blood flow, and you’ll be lowering your blood pressure as well as the amount of dangerous LDL cholesterol.
Every major study that’s been conducted to figure out the link between omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease has backed up the belief that omega-3 plays a major role in reducing the risk of heart disease. At the lowest, studies have shown that the risk of heart disease drops by just over 20 percent, while some have shown a nearly 45 percent drop. Either way, it’s a significant number that should be taken, well, to heart.
There are plenty of great nutrients that promote brain health, but very few are as beneficial as omega-3 fatty acids. We mentioned that better blood flow is one of the biggest benefits of getting enough omega-3 in your diet, and that alone is enough to improve your brain’s function. However, it goes even beyond that, with omega-3 having a high concentration of polyunsaturated fat, the best type of fat for your body.
In a study of more than 2,000 participants at the University of Texas, those who had a diet higher in omega-3 fatty acids had larger volumes in their hippocampus, the part of the brain that promotes memory and learning. The study concluded that omega-3s also promoted better logical and abstract reasoning. Those who get enough omega-3s in their diet also reduce their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by around 20 to 30 percent.
With a majority of people in the United States either overweight or obese, many of us are looking to lose weight, and it’s estimated that more than 15 percent of people are on a weight-loss diet at any given time. Weight loss experts say that you should be incorporating more protein and lowering your calories, and eating lean meat should be one of the biggest staples of any weight loss plan.
One trap that a lot of people fall into, however, is that they opt for chicken or turkey until they get bored of these foods, fall off the wagon, and put the weight back on. That’s why people on a diet should mix things up a bit and make sure to incorporate plenty of wild-caught fish to go along with the lean bird meats. Wild-caught fish is incredibly high in protein while being very low in calories. For example, three ounces of cooked cod has just 70 calories while also providing 15 grams of protein.
Great Source of Nutrients
By now, you’ve probably heard everything that you need to hear about omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but those aren’t the only nutrients found in wild-caught fish. You’ll also be able to get a high concentration of vitamins including A, B, and D to go along with minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, and selenium.
A good balance of all of these vitamins and minerals is almost equivalent to taking a daily vitamin. Of course, you’ll want to mix in vegetables and fruits to really get the most out of your diet, and you’ll be feeling healthier in no time.