The Best and Worst Fish for Your Health

When it comes to superfoods, there are few foods that are better for your health than fish. Nutrients in fish keep your heart strong, your brain healthy and your eyesight clear. Not bad, right?

Although most fish is healthy, several varieties are more beneficial than others. Fatty fish contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) long-chain omega-3s that may be the reason that fish is so nutritious. EPA and DHA omega-3s help regulate blood pressure, maintain triglyceride levels, reduce risk of heart disease, improve brain function and assist in infant vision development.

Even with all these benefits, most Americans do not eat enough fish. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that we eat at least 8 ounces of fish per week, divided into two four-ounce servings. On average, Americans eat an average of 3.5 ounces of fish per week, which is less than half of the suggested amount. Only 20 percent of Americans meet the 8-ounce goal, so we have a lot of work to do.

Because omega-3s are stored in the fat of the fish, you should select varieties that contain higher amounts of EPA and DHA. Most shellfish are not good sources of EPA and DHA, except for oysters and mussels. The fish that offer the best nutritional value in terms of EPA and DHA are:

  • Herring
  • Mackerel (not King Mackerel)
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Tuna (wild Bluefin—canned)

Some fish should be avoided because they contain high amounts of mercury, which is especially harmful for pregnant women and young children. They include:

  • King Mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish

Let’s face it. Some people just don’t like fish. If you are not a seafood lover, you can still get EPA and DHA from other sources. Fish oil pills are good alternatives for those who do not eat fish and for vegans and vegetarians. Just verify that the dose contains around 250 to 500 mg of EPA and/or DHA per serving. You can also eat DHA-fortified foods through milk, eggs, walnuts, breads, yogurts and even chocolates!

Take a step toward better health and add more fish to your diet. There are many other lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your wellness such as avoiding smoking, drinking moderately and getting regular exercise. Talk to your doctor to get more ideas about how to add more nutrients to your diet and how to improve your overall health (Source: Yahoo Health).