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Health Benefits - Fish

Oily Fish
Oily Fish

Oily fish contain significant amounts of oil throughout their body tissues and in their belly cavity. Examples of oily fish include:


  • Trout

  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Pilchards

  • Kippers

  • Eels

  • Whitebait

  • Mackerel

  • Herring

  • Tuna


All these fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, whether canned, fresh, or frozen, and are a valuable addition to the Mediterranean diet.


Oily fish is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and potentially lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Both white and oily fish are good sources of lean protein. 

Cardiovascular disease: Consuming oily fish can help protect against cardiovascular disease. A study published by the American Physiological Society suggests that fatty fish oils can also protect the heart during times of mental stress.

Rheumatoid arthritis: A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases journal linked an average daily intake of at least 0.21 grams (or 210 milligrams) a day of omega-3 with a 52 per cent lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Other research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids might protect against the future development of RA.


Dementia: Among people who drink a lot of alcohol, fish oil may offer protection from dementia. Brain cells that were exposed to a mix of fish oil and alcohol had 95 per cent less neuroinflammation and neuronal death compared with brain cells that were only exposed to alcohol.


Mouth and skin cancers: Oily fish consumption may protect against early- and late-stage oral and skin cancers. Omega-3 fatty acid has been found to target and selectively inhibit the growth of malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses that do not affect the normal cells.

Sensory, cognitive, and motor development: Consuming oily fish during the last months of pregnancy can have positive effects on a child's sensory, cognitive, and motor development, research suggests. 

Asthma: The children of women who regularly consumed salmon during pregnancy may be less likely to show signs of asthma at the age of 2.5.


Protecting vision and memory: Scientists have identified a link between oily fish consumption and a lower risk of vision loss in older people. A study also indicates that eating oily fish may improve working memory.


Breast cancer: One meta-analysis of nearly 900,000 women has linked a higher consumption of oily fish with a lower risk of breast cancer. 


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