If you’ve found yourself getting into some naughty eating habits while in lockdown it’s time to SMASH them!
Fish is an incredible food for your health and wellbeing. It’s nutrient dense, protein rich and lots of varieties are full of heart-healthy omega-3s. And the good news is – it comes in tins!
Arguably, the best fish to eat for health benefits is referred to in the acronym SMASH: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. Here’s why…
Great source of Omega 3’s
Omega 3’s are vital to keeping our immune system healthy, supporting our cell membranes and maintaining flexibility, permeability and the activity of enzymes. These healthy fats are easily absorbed, high in anti-inflammatory properties, and can also help reduce cardiac issues and symptoms of auto-immune conditions.
Low in Mercury
Mercury is a concern when consuming fish, but the good news is that SMASH fish are low in mercury. SMASH fish are all small fish because the larger the fish and the longer its lifespan, the higher its mercury content. SMASH fish are also high in selenium, the substance that stops the oxidation in the body that is caused by mercury. Selenium is often lacking in the diet and low levels can be linked to thyroid disease and cardiovascular disorders.
Source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for the body as it is essential for immune function, protecting against cardiovascular disease, and supporting bone metabolism. Fish and fish products are the best dietary sources of Vitamin D, with fatty fish such as salmon and herring containing the highest amounts.
Protective against many chronic diseases
Research shows that eating oily fish as part of a diet has shown a reduced risk of developing problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, which are all risk factors for heart disease. In addition to this, people who follow a Mediterranean diet, that is traditionally high in SMASH fish, are more likely to live a longer life and also are less likely to become obese.
It is sustainable
Sustainability of a species is of importance to maintain healthy levels so as not to impact on the ecosystem. In other words, overfishing a particular species can not only impact directly on the stocks but also as many of these smaller fish are part of the food chain for other larger fish, and overfishing can adversely affect their existence too. SMASH fish are considered to be sustainable due to their prolificity. If managed properly and fished responsibility they can continue to feed us sustainably into the future.
So next time you’re in the food aisle be sure to load up with tinned fish, especially from the SMASH variety.
Article courtesy of the The Lockdown Survival Handbook.