20 Ways Eating Fish Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals

Fish has so many benefits, it’s almost unfair to compare it to any other food. Just two servings of fish each week will provide you with enough omega-3 fatty acids to boost your metabolism, help keep cancer away, and more. Also labeled a “brain food,” eating more fish can level up your journey to better health, whatever your goals may be.

Improve Your Quality Of Sleep

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Unsplash/Bruce Mars
Unsplash/Bruce Mars

Eating fish can help you sleep? Studies say yes. Research published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who increased their fish consumption reported improved quality of sleep. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help people fall asleep more quickly, and vitamin D helps you reach a deeper sleep.

Also, the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish stimulates melatonin, one of the key components of helping you get a good night’s rest. Better sleep can also benefit your waistline, in case you needed one more reason to add salmon to your dinner plate.

Fish Is Full Of Vitamin D

salmon
Unsplash/Ramille Soares
Unsplash/Ramille Soares

Sadly, 70% of the U.S. population does not get the daily recommended amount of vitamin D, according to The National Institutes of Health. On a positive note, fish is full of vitamin D, and consuming more of it can help you achieve your daily recommended intake of the essential nutrient.

Vitamin D found in fish can also help your body to better absorb calcium, improving overall bone health and growth. Just a little bit of fish means a lot of vitamin D.

Decrease Depression

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Unsplash/Kim Carpenter
Unsplash/Kim Carpenter

Although more research still needs to be done on the subject, some studies have found that consuming fish can help decrease symptoms of depression in adults. Omega-3 fatty acids have eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, both of which commonly low in brain chemicals of people with depression.

Eating fish a few times a week can raise EPA and DHA levels. It’s also believed that taking fish oil can have the same effect.

Fend Off Alzheimer’s Disease

fish market
Unsplash/Colin Czerwinski
Unsplash/Colin Czerwinski

Did you know that fish is also good for your brain? In fact, it can even help ward off Alzheimer’s disease as you age. The Journal of American Medical Association published a study that showed a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in people who ate a diet with a moderate amount of seafood.

Grey brain matter is a sign of future brain functioning complications, and people who ate fish showed less of it.

Improve Eyesight And Vision

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Unsplash/Mari Helin
Unsplash/Mari Helin

Since fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids it’s also one of the best elements of your diet for your eye health. Both your brain and your eyes require omega-3 fatty acids in order to properly function, and the more the merrier!

Whenever you add fish to your meal, your eyes and vision are receiving a much-welcomed health boost, too. Not only is this good news for your eye health now, but also as you age.

Rev-Up Your Metabolism

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Unsplash/Bill Oxford
Unsplash/Bill Oxford

If your weight loss goal is at a standstill, consider eating more fish. According to research from the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help boost your metabolism.

The study showed that fish can help out your metabolism both while resting and exercising. And for older women, eating two or more servings of fish each week can assist with fat oxidation.

Decrease Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Nigiri
Unsplash/Tamas Pap
Unsplash/Tamas Pap

Incorporating more fish into your diet can help your heart! A review published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that eating fish can help lower the risk of total coronary and fatal heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids are very heart-healthy and beneficial. Thankfully, fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids! This can aid in protecting your heart by reducing inflammation that can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes.

Packed With Protein

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Unsplash.Hellooodesign
Unsplash.Hellooodesign

While it’s important to get your protein, it’s just as important to make sure you’re getting it from the right sources. Eating too much protein that’s high in saturated fat can lead to other health problems. But you don’t have to worry about that with fish!

High in protein, fish is a lean meat, that’s much lower in saturated fat compared to beef, lamb, or pork. That’s good news for your heart health, too.

Protect And Clear Your Skin

fish meal
Unsplash/Marine Dumay
Unsplash/Marine Dumay

If you have troubled skin, increasing fish in your diet might help! From adults to teenagers, fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel can help with healthy skin. Vitamin E found in fatty fish acts as an antioxidant for your skin, protecting it against damage caused by free radicals.

Omega-3 fatty acids help moisturize the skin and have also been proven to decrease inflammation, reducing acne and redness. The same nutrient also helps protect skin from harmful UV rays, making it less sensitive.

Help Treat Psoriasis And Lupus

baked salmon
Unsplash/Melanie Andersen
Unsplash/Melanie Andersen

Because omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the skin, adding more fish to your diet could also help treat psoriasis and lupus, according to The National Institutes of Health. Omega 3s fight against inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, helping people manage symptoms.

Reap the benefits of its anti-inflammatory properties by adding fish to your plate, or by taking a fish oil supplement to fight and prevent psoriasis and lupus flare-ups.

Relieve Pain From Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Experiencing joint pain is no fun. Chronic inflammation can have you rubbing your achy wrists and knees and hoping for relief. Taking a look at your diet and seeing where you can add in fish might help.

A study by the American College of Rheumatology found that increasing fish consumption can help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, helping you find pain relief. Nutritionist Kim Larson said, “The marine omega-3 fatty acids nip inflammation in the bud before it ignites. They really help to tamp down inflammation in the body on a cellular level.”

Improve Liver Health

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Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images
Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Yep, eating fish is good for your liver health, too! Oily fish like salmon can help reduce inflammation and fat buildup in the liver. If you’re concerned about your liver health, it’s worth noting that fish is a healthier meat alternative to beef or pork, which contains harmful fat.

Eating more fish also promotes a healthier weight and BMI, which lowers your risk for liver disease. Picking a tuna fish sandwich over roast beef is a good place to start.

Eat Fish To Focus And Prevent Dementia

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Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Foods high in protein can help improve your focus, and that includes fish! Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eating two servings of fish per week can boost your brain’s power to concentrate on the task at hand.

Because of this benefit, protein-packed fish is sometimes called a “brain food”. Eating more fish has also been linked to a decreased risk of dementia. Adding a serving of salmon with breakfast can go a long way!

Lower Your Risk Of Cancer

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Unsplash/National Cancer Institute
Unsplash/National Cancer Institute

According to a study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate more fish lowered their risk of developing cancer. Adding more fish to your diet can help prevent oral cavity, liver, pharynx, colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer.

DHA and EPA omega-3 fats have been linked to altering cell function to reduce inflammation. Although fish oil can be a beneficial dietary supplement for people without heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends that people get their omega-3s through eating fish instead.

Naturally Lower Cholesterol Levels

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Unsplash/Travis Yewell
Unsplash/Travis Yewell

Another incredible benefit of eating fish and those powerful omega-3 fatty acids is that it can help lower your cholesterol levels. The omega-3 fatty acids battle “bad” cholesterol in the body, lowering those cholesterol-building lipids in the blood.

Two servings of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring each week have been shown to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Consuming fish instead of taking a fish oil supplement might be best for people with high cholesterol, as too much fish oil can lower triglyceride levels but not LDL, Dr. Leslie Cho, MD told Cleveland Clinic Medical Center.

Lower Your Risk Of Heart Failure

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Rosario Scalia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Rosario Scalia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Thanks again to omega-3 fatty acids, fish is a very healthy option for your heart. Eating at least two servings of fish each week can improve your heart health, which is especially good news to people who are at high risk for heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish to help decrease inflammation in the body, including blood vessels. Fish can help decrease your risk of heart attack and reduce irregular heartbeats.

Decrease Blood Pressure

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Unsplash/Jesse Orrico
Unsplash/Jesse Orrico

If a recent trip to the doctor has you worried about your blood pressure, consider eating more fish. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has high blood pressure, which is concerning considering the higher risk this poses for stroke, heart failure, and kidney diseases.

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help reduce high blood pressure. Preparing the fish by grilling, baking, or broiling is recommended. And eating fish is a better option than routinely taking fish oil dietary supplements.

Decrease Your Risk Of Diabetes

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Unsplash/Janeris Marte
Unsplash/Janeris Marte

Thanks to the high vitamin D in fish, eating more of it can help prevent developing autoimmune diseases like diabetes. People who eat at least two servings of fish each week are at a lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Eating fish is also good for diabetics who want to improve their health by making healthy lifestyle and diet choices. The American Diabetes Association recommends grilling, broiling, or baking fish as the healthiest options.

Reduce PMS Symptoms

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Getty Images
Getty Images

Finding relief from the monthly pain of premenstrual symptoms can be a woeful task for many women. Eating foods high in vitamin D can help alleviate PMS symptoms. Luckily, salmon, oysters, and sardines are full of it.

Upping your intake of omega-3 fatty acids while experiencing PMS symptoms can make them more bearable. Yet another reason why keeping your fridge stocked with fish is a good idea– the prep time isn’t too bad, either.

Prevent Strokes

sardines
Pinterest
Pinterest

Eat your sardines to reduce your risk of strokes! The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish to protect your health down the line. Just two servings a week of heart-healthy fish can make a difference, preventing harmful inflammation in the body that could otherwise lead to a stroke.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to reduce your risk of having a stroke. This is good news since someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.