Diminishing Nutritional Content of FishWhen you were young, you must have heard your grandmother going gaga over the benefits of fish every time you said no to fish curry. Back then, you might have thought of it as just a tactic to make you eat, but you must know by now that they were, in fact, right. The nutrients found in fish, especially omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and support brain health. Since omega-3s are not produced by our bodies, many people include fish in their diet to reap its benefits. As a matter of fact, the American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fish every week for a healthy diet. You might have grown to love fish curry, but the truth is you might want to think twice before you go to buy fish today. Sadly, most local species of fish available in the market nowadays are not even half as nutritious as what you used to eat a couple of decades ago. Environmental degradation and rise in pollution have contaminated a huge percentage of the common wild-caught fish with large amounts of toxins, as confirmed by different studies over the years. Unsafe amounts of mercury, heavy metal contamination and presence of man-made chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish pose some serious health risks to humans.
Despite this, fish continues to be a favorite food in a large part of the country. However, there has been a shift from local species to farmed fish with the growth of aquaculture, or fish farming. While you might think that farmed fish are safer and more nutritious than their free-foraging cousins, the truth is quite disappointing. Farmed fish not only have lower micronutrient content but are fed low-quality feed and a lot of antibiotics that also make them a storehouse of diseases. Studies have also recorded farm-raised fish to have significantly higher toxicity as compared to wild-caught fish of the same species.
While it is difficult to get good quality fish nowadays, you still need to meet your recommended daily amount of total EPA and DHA. A great way to obtain the benefits of fatty fish, even when you aren’t eating enough of it, is by taking fish oil supplements. Derived from tissues of fish, these supplements are the most convenient sources of omega-3 fatty acids in today’s time. They will provide you all the essential fatty acids and have positive effects on your general health and wellness as well as specific areas of the body such as heart, brain, muscles, joints, eye, and skin. However, it is important to learn where the fish are sourced from and how it is processed to produce fish oil.
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If you’re a vegetarian and don’t want to get your omega-3s through fish, do not worry as we have a vegan version too!