Over the years theres been countless studies conducted about the benefits of including fish and seafood in our diet. Its been said that we should eat fish two to three times a week, but how often do we actually do this?
In a nutshell the inclusion of fish in our diets could result in a healthy and strong heart, improve blood circulation and reduce joint pains thanks to omega oils. Eating oily fish, like salmon and mackerel, and shellfish regularly, is beneficial to our eyes in keeping them bright and healthy. Fish and shellfish also contain retinol, which is a form of vitamin A that boosts night vision. Fish and shellfish boost our immune systems with nutrients like iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium. These nutrients are essential in optimum body function. Some studies have shown that a high intake of fish could strengthen the lungs and reduce asthma problems. When omega-3 levels in our bodies are low, it could lead to all forms of depression which can be avoided when more fish is consumed and at the same time this could lead to healthier skin, as omega-oils protects the skin from UV damage and assists in conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Incidentally, omega-3 also keeps the bowel happy and the brain active. Fish is also high in protein which boosts collagen production in the body. Collagen strengthens and firms the skin.*
Now with all that said, why on earth would we not eat more fish? I can’t for the life of me think of a plausible explanation as to why I dont eat more fish in my own home. After all, its quick and easy to prepare fish cooking times are far less than that of meat and chicken. Fish and shellfish are both open to just about any other ingredients you would like to add. Im thinking delicate Asian tastes like lime, lemongrass and coconut or earthy warm Moroccan influences with cinnamon, chilli and cumin. Indian flavours work well with any fish and so too do French flavours. If you think about it, we should be eating fish and shellfish every other day theres all those fantastic benefits, its easy and quick to prepare and the flavour combinations are endless!
Fresh fish from the ocean is readily available at just about all our supermarkets these days. Its so convenient choosing your fish and having it cleaned and packaged in the comfort of your own supermarket. Its important to buy fish that is fresh it should always be on ice. Dont buy fish thats stored in a watery mess. Chances are pretty good that the quality has been compromised. Other pointers to keep in mind when purchasing fresh fish are firm meat that doesnt indent when pressed, bright eyes, bright red gills and a fresh ocean smell. If the fish has any discolouration on the body or the scales are dull, the fish is probably not that fresh and Id recommend not buying it.
Keep in mind when ordering fish at restaurants or purchasing it from fisheries that it should be species of fish that can be found on the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiatives green list. Species of fish featured on the green list, are from the most sustainable fish populations and therefore do not endanger the species as a whole. (Remember we all want to preserve the good stuff in life for future generations).
Weve featured a number of fish and other seafood recipes in the recipe section of Kitchen.net. Follow the link below to browse these recipes for a little inspiration then make sure to stop by the fish shop really soon to put your new knowledge of eating fish to good use.
*Resource: Sea Fish
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