While the omega-3 fatty acid content of fish – particularly herring, salmon and mackerel – has long been said to have benefits for heart health, two new studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences go into intricate detail on the topic of why adding fish to your diet may improve your well being.
A statement from Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Jena University Hospital – the organizations behind the pair of studies – explains that fish shouldn't hinder digestive health and is loaded with protein. The organization's new research specifically pertains to the fatty acid known as docosahexaeonic acid, also called DHA.
"Administration of DHA should result in an expansion of the blood vessels and consequently a drop in blood pressure," announced professor Michael Bauer, M.D., of Jena University Hospital.
Other expert opinions on eating fish
Plenty of other experts have documented the benefits of the fatty acid present in fish oil. For instance, the Mayo Clinic has stated that a mere serving or two of fish every week could lessen an individual's chances of succumbing to a heart attack by approximately 33 percent. This is due to omega-3 acids purported ability to reduce inflammation and how the unsaturated fatty acid could, in fact, improve unhealthy cholesterol levels, unlike the cholesterol typically found in meat. However, the organization cautions that catfish and tilapia fish are thought to have a higher content of the bad kind of fatty acid.
Meanwhile, Medindia.net points to a laundry list of conditions regular fish consumption is said to reduce the chances of developing, including asthma, depression and diabetes, and it's also said to lessen the likelihood of a pregnancy coming into fruition prematurely. The source continues to note that omega-3 acids could improve brain health and help preserve the retinas of the eyes.
What kind of fish is best?
It goes without saying that some methods of preparing fish may be healthier than others. While frying fish notably isn't on SouthBeachDiet.com's list of the healthiest ways to prepare fish, grilling, poaching, baking and broiling are all mentioned as healthy options for cooking fish.
There are disadvantages to eating some types of fish, however. Foodbeat.com indicates that the high levels of mercury in certain types of tuna, swordfish, Spanish mackerel and gag grouper may make people want to think about not including them in their diet.