Is your goal to keep your body thriving with robust health? Then fueling your body with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables paired with protein sources such as fatty, wild-caught fish, plant-based lentils or quinoa, and healthy, vitamin-rich beans, can help boost your health with a vast array of potent nutrients, including all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
However, additional guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency is touting one specific piece of advice about your diet: eat more fish!
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fish are a key component of a “healthy eating pattern” that can keep you looking and feeling your best. Fish provide key nutrients such as omega-3's (in the form of DHA and EPA), omega-6 fatty acids, iron, iodine, and choline. In addition, fish are an excellent source of dietary protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium.
Consuming fish is especially beneficial during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or early childhood, and helps support a child’s brain development with a variety of preformed, active vitamins and absorbable minerals. The choline found in fish sources may help support the development of a baby’s spinal cord. Iron and zinc from fish can help support a child’s immune system.
In addition to support for pregnancy and child development, eating fish may have substantial heart health benefits, can promote bone health (decreasing the risk for fractures), decrease the risk of colon and rectal cancers, and decreases the risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Which fish are best?
Despite the nutritious value of fish, be careful choosing which sources to add to your diet. Avoid fish such as swordfish, marlin, or king mackerel, as these may contain high levels of mercury (particularly dangerous for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as well as children). Fresh, wild-caught fish such as salmon, cod, black sea bass, or trout are considered the “best choices” for your diet.
If you struggle to get enough nutrition from your food, taking nutritional supplements can supply critical vitamins, minerals, and other key health compounds to your diet. For example, an easy swap for fish in the diet could be adding an EPA/DHA fish oil supplement to your daily routine, reaping the health benefits without worrying about the sourcing of the fish.
When it comes to nutritional supplements, be sure to select a trusted, high-quality supplement company that has strict testing standards so that you can feel fully confident you are getting the best formulas with real ingredients.