Fish are among some of the healthiest seafood to eat. They pack a lot of essential nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B2, phosphorous, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
The new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans(DGA) recommend people eat more seafood. People of all ages, especially children and pregnant women are recommended to eat seafood at least twice a week.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats and can only be obtained from the food we eat. They help to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 oils are also useful in treating joint pain and depression.
There are mainly three types of omega-3 fatty acids. They are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish contains eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant-based foods such as flaxseed and soybean.
It is one reason why nutritionists recommend eating fish twice a week. Eating fish at least twice a week helps in the growth and development of the brain and body. Furthermore, it may lower the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
In this article, I’ve listed some of the healthy fish to eat. They pack high nutritional value compared to other species.
List of Healthiest Fish to Eat.
Atlantic salmons are among some of the healthiest fish to eat. They are also amongst the nutritious fish and pack higher nutrition value. A Single serving of Atlantic salmon (1 oz.) contains 0.9 g of Omega-3s and 5.8 g protein.
It is also high in B vitamins such as vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12. These B vitamins are known to protect your heart and promote brain health.
Atlantic salmons be it farmed or wild leads to a large improvement in omega-3 intake for most people. Although, wild Atlantic salmon packs a higher value of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Salmon skin in particular contains the highest concentration of omega-3s on the fish. Eating salmon skin is good for your brain and heart health.
Some other health benefits of salmon skin include:
- Lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes.
- Improved brain functionalities.
- Healthy bones and teeth.
- Prevents muscle loss.
- Lower risk of suffering from cancers.
- Reduces stiffness and pain in the joints.
- Improves vision.
- Low the Risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- The astaxanthin compound found in salmon is a powerful antioxidant.
The best part about eating salmon is its great taste which is less fishy and more delicate. Furthermore, the omega 3 fatty acid found in salmon may helps to weight by promoting fat burn in the belly area.
Here is a link to some of the healthy baked fish recipes for you to try.
Sardines are amongst the cleanest fish to eat. They are not just good for you but are a powerhouse when it comes to nutritional values. They may appear small but contain a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Sardines are amongst the most concentrated sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. A single sardine contains 1.5 g of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Thus people with high blood pressure can enjoy eating sardines and not worry about having their blood pressure surge.
Sardines are one of the richest sources of animal protein. They pack protein similar to beef steak. A single serving of sardines (1 oz.) contains 7 g of protein. It helps to prevent muscle loss and maintain bone health and make the immune system stronger.
They are also rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron. It makes sardines an ideal diet for pregnant women and children.
Calcium is an important mineral, especially for adults and older people. It is because the risk of calcium deficiencies increases as you grow old. Calcium deficiencies can affect your health in more than one way.
Furthermore, sardines are a rich source of vitamin D and vitamin B12. Vitamin D and vitamin B12 helps to ensure optimal bone health.
3. Atlantic Mackerel
Atlantic mackerel is one of the healthiest fish to eat. They are the best dietary source of Omega 3 fatty acids. A single cooked servings 1 oz. of Atlantic mackerel contain 0.59 g of Omega-3s.
The anti-inflammatory property of omega 3 fatty acids helps to promote cardiovascular health. It lowers your chances of premature death from different kinds of cardiovascular diseases.
They are also a great source of vitamin B12. A 100 g of Raw Atlantic mackerel contains 8.71 ug of vitamin B12. It is equivalent to 145 percent of the daily recommended.
Vitamin B12 is important for stronger immunity and the proper functioning of the nervous system. A vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to a damaged nervous system and anemia.
Atlantic mackerel is a complete source of protein. Meaning they contain a minimal amount of all nine essential amino acids. They are the building blocks of protein. They perform several chemical and biological functions, including building and repairing tissues.
Atlantic mackerel is a great source of the mineral selenium. Selenium found in mackerel supports thyroid health and helps in relieving oxidation stress.
It is also a good source of vitamin D, potassium, and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals help in maintaining your overall health.
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the healthiest fish to eat. They are amongst the most expensive and sought-after delicacies in the world. It is the largest and most endangered species of tuna, mostly caught in the Mediterranean Sea.
Tuna, be it canned or fresh is one of the healthiest fish to eat. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. A 4 oz serving of bluefin tuna contains 5.5 g fats and 26.4 g protein.
Tuna is rich in B vitamins which are important in maintaining bone health. These B vitamins support bone health and prevent possible fractures. They also promote healthy and smoother skin.
Furthermore, vitamin B12 is needed to make DNA and also helps to form new red blood cells (RBC).
It is also a good source of minerals such as potassium and calcium. Potassium in tuna can help to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
The FDA recommends one serving of white tuna and 2-3 servings of light tuna per week. Eating tuna improves your heart health and promotes a healthy heart. It also lowers your risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
One study found that eating tuna is good for weight loss. It is lean meat high in protein content and low in calories. It keeps you full for a longer period of time and helps to lose weight.
Herrings are amongst one of the healthiest fish to eat. They are a great source of obtaining vitamin D making them ideal for people who spend most of their time inside.
Not getting enough exposure to sunlight means your body cannot produce vitamin D on its own. Lack of vitamin D can make you vulnerable to cold and flu. You are more likely to get sick more often.
Eating herring more often can fulfill the vitamin D need of your body and help you to stay healthy. They are also loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It makes them an ideal choice for people with cardiovascular diseases.
Herrings are a rich source of antioxidants namely vitamin E and selenium. These antioxidants play an essential role in fighting against free radicals. They also help in strengthening your immune system.
Herring, much like Atlantic mackerel, is also a complete source of protein. It provides all nine essential amino acids. They are low in mercury content which makes them a safer choice for kids and pregnant women.
Eating herring more often is known to increase the nitric acid content in the blood. Nitric oxide relaxes the inner muscles of the blood vessels and making them dilute. Thus improving blood flow throughout the body.
Here’s a link to easy and healthy fish recipes for you.
Atlantic cod is one of the healthiest white fish to eat. It is a rich source of protein. A single 4 ounce serving of Atlantic cod contains 20 g of protein and 1 g of fats. Protein is important in maintaining the structure, functioning, and regulation of cells.
Codfish are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. They help in the proper functioning of the immune system, endocrine gland, and cardiovascular system.
It is also rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and some forms of B vitamins. Including vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 is important for brain development and metabolism.
Codfish is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Selenium is an important mineral for thyroid function. Phosphorus helps to maintain bone health and potassium helps to lower blood pressure.
Here’s a link to healthy cod recipes that are easy to prepare.
7. Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trout is one of the healthiest fish to eat. They are a great source of protein and taste delicious. You can prefer to cook them any way you see fit and eat to fulfill your body’s protein needs.
Protein is essential for the normal functioning of your body. It also aids in muscle growth, skin repair, hair growth, and more.
They also pack healthy fats i.e. omega 3s which is very helpful when it comes to losing body weight. Fatty acids are also important for healthy aging and good heart health.
Rainbow trout are rich in potassium content. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by negating the effects of sodium in your food. This makes trouts ideal for people with high blood pressure.
It is also a good source of B vitamins such as vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 is known to create different chemicals needed for brain cell communication. Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining cellular health.
Trouts also contain a good amount of selenium minerals. Selenium combined with vitamin E can act as a powerful antioxidant. It helps to lower the risk of heart diseases.
Furthermore, it is low in contamination level i.e. they are low in mercury level and PCBs. It makes rainbow trout an ideal choice for kids and adults alike.
Atlantic halibut is one of the healthy fish to eat. They are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids namely DHA and EPA. These fatty acids help to keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
The omega 3s also helps to reduce inflammation and prevents artery plaques. Artery plaques disrupt the natural flow of the blood and cause high blood pressure.
Halibut is also rich in vitamin B3. It helps to improve digestive functions, nerve functions and promotes a healthy appetite. It is also associated with lowering the LDL cholesterol level and promoting HDL cholesterol level.
Halibut is a good source of minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. Phosphorus helps to prevent muscle loss, promote muscle health, body fatigue, and weakness. Selenium helps to promote a healthy liver. Potassium helps in brain development and proper brain functionalities.
Furthermore, it also contains vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps with RBCs formation and supports bone health. Vitamin B6 helps to improve mood and reduces inflammation. It plays an important role in promoting brain health.
Anchovies are amongst the healthiest fish to eat. They may be small but are full of healthy fats such as omega 3s. The Omega 3s are also known as healthy unsaturated fats. They help to reduce inflammation and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
They are also a good source of vitamin B3 also known as niacin. It helps to improve your cholesterol level. Vitamin B3 also lowers your risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Apart from vitamin B3, it is also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin E. Vitamin A helps to improve eyesight. It also plays an important role in bone growth, cell division, and supports the immune system.
Anchovies also pack minerals such as potassium, calcium, selenium, and iron. Potassium is essential for normal body functioning and promotes digestion. Calcium ensures healthy bones and teeth.
The selenium mineral is known to have antioxidant properties. It helps to prevent certain types of cancers. Iron helps to give your body a much-needed energy boost.
Mahi-Mahi is a beautiful-looking and delicious fish to eat more often. It is a great source of healthy fats, omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is a bodily response against any damage sustained by the body. If it occurs in the arteries, it may cause blockage in the artery and hamper the blood flow. It increases the risk of suffering from heart disease and stroke.
Mahi-Mahi is also rich in lean protein content. Protein is essential for proper cell function. It helps to lower the metabolic rate and promotes weight loss. Protein also helps in muscle building and wound healing.
Mahi-Mahi is one of the most concentrated sources of Selenium. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps to lower inflammation. Adding Mahi-Mahi to your diet also helps to avoid certain types of cancers as well.
Mahi-Mahi also contains other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. Vitamin B3 helps to control cholesterol levels and maintain healthy skin. It is also needed in the proper functioning of the heart. Vitamin B6 is essential for communication between cells.
Perch is one of the healthiest types of fish. It is a great source of protein and phosphorous. A 3 ounce serving of perch contains 20 g protein and 200 g of phosphorous.
Consuming phosphorus-rich foods can make you fit and healthy. Phosphorous manages how your body stores and uses energy. It plays an important role in cell and tissue repair along with cell and tissue growth and function.
Perch is a good source of selenium. It aids in reducing oxidative stress in your body. It also plays an important role in maintaining and strengthening the immune system.
Eating perch also helps to get choline, an essential nutrient. It helps in improving memory and cognitive processes. Choline also helps in boosting metabolism and reducing the risk of pregnancy complications.
Perch also pack a healthy amount of omega 3 fatty acids DHA and RDA also known as good unsaturated fats. The DHA and RDA help in lowering bad LDL cholesterol and also promoting heart health.
Oysters are one of the healthiest seafood to eat. They are also amongst the cleanest fish to eat.
Oysters are low in calories and are jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals. These essential nutrients include healthy fats, protein, and other vitamins and minerals. Such as vitamin B1, B3, B12, vitamin D, selenium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, etc.
The omega 3s compounds lower your chances of developing heart diseases. It also lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D is essential for immune health, bone development, and cellular growth. Vitamin B12 plays an important in RBC formation, metabolism, and nervous system maintenance.
Selenium compound found in oysters helps to maintain proper thyroid function and metabolism. Iron is essential in the production of hemoglobin. It also helps to carry oxygen to the body cells.
Furthermore, oysters are a rich source of high-quality protein. They contain all the nine essential amino acids needed by your body. Consuming protein-rich food can help in losing weight.
List of Fish High in Mercury Content
Most of the big predatory fishes such as sharks contain high mercury levels. Eating fish high in mercury content may possess a threat to one’s health.
According to NRDC’s mercury guide, mercury has a toxic effect. It works as a poison for your nervous system and kidney. Consuming even a little amount of mercury can hamper proper brain development.
Children and Infants are more at risk of mercury contamination. One study found that children exposed to mercury while in their mother’s womb may struggle with memory and motor function. Thus it is that pregnant women and women with infants avoid consuming fish high in mercury.
Following are the fish high in mercury content that you must avoid eating:
- King mackerel,
- Orange roughy,
- Ahi tuna, and
- Bigeye tuna, etc.
Seafood is amongst the healthiest foods to eat. They are a great source of protein and Omega 3s compounds. The FDA recommends eating seafood at least twice a week.
Eating fish at least twice a week is a healthy habit and can ensure optimal health. It may help to avoid certain types of heart diseases and certain types of cancers.
It is however important that you avoid contaminated and endangered species of fish. That way you can benefit more and are at lower risk of suffering from health conditions that occur by eating contaminated fish.
Also, avoiding endangered species will discourage the fishing industry and the species will get time to thrive once again. If not these species will go extinct and the future generation will never get to taste these great fish.