Is Oily Fish a Superfood?

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In a world full of fake news and self-appointed online experts, it's little wonder that we're often left pondering what is and isn't right when it comes to our diets? From superfoods to food scares, it seems that everyone has an opinion on the best way to achieve good health and a ripe old age!

Fish has always been top of the class when it comes to health but recently the 'oily options' have crept into that illustrious bracket of 'superfood'.  A tremendous source of vitamin D, protein, some B vitamins and selenium it is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Think salmon, mackerel and sardines and you're on the path to fighting cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia.  Look no further than the Eskimos, who researchers have observed have fewer than average heart attacks and strokes and whose diet consists of - you got it! - mainly oily fish!

Cardiovascular disease
Studies have found eating oily fish can lower blood pressure and reduce fat build-up in the arteries. The evidence is strong enough to warrant a government recommendation that we eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.

Brain Food
All our grannies told us that if we ate up our fish we'd become brainy people and this could be related to the high content of omega-3.  New research now claims it can also improve reaction times, as well as reducing levels of tiredness in the brain after performing tough tasks. British researchers say the findings could be particularly important for older people, with a diet rich in omega-3 having the potential to stave off dementia.

The dietitian's verdict on oily fish

Alison Hornby, a dietitian and BDA spokesperson, says if there's one food that's good for your heart, it's oily fish.

She says: "The benefits of eating at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish, include keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level and improving blood lipids, both of which reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease: the biggest killer in the UK.

"Remember that you can get your omega-3 from a range of oily fish. Tinned sardines and mackerel, for example, are an easy and cheap way to stock up the store cupboard. Eaten on toast with a side salad, this makes a quick, easy and nutritious meal."

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