A healthy, balanced diet should include at least two portions of fresh fish every week, including one of oily fish

NEW FOR JANUARY

We’ve teamed up with Dr Jenna Macchiochi PhD – a Hove-based immunologist, lecturer, fitness instructor and keen home cook – to bring you a collection of healthy recipes you can try this month using our fresh fish and shellfish.

Fresh fish is a great source of Vitamin D

Dietary sources of vitamin D are few, but oily fish is a great source. Getting the right amount of vitamin D from your diet becomes more important right now, during the winter months, as our main source is from the action of sunlight on our skin. And in the summer months, some people may not have sufficient exposure to the sun to keep their level topped up. 

Between October and March, the government suggests that adults take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10mg a day, and that this continues throughout the summer months for people without adequate sun exposure. A tasty salmon fillet for your dinner gives you just the right amount.

It’s important to get enough vitamin D as it plays a role in the functioning of many parts of your body. Number one is that it helps your bones develop properly and keeps them strong. Teeth and muscles also need vitamin D.

Fish also provides a great source of bone-friendly calcium if you eat the whole fish including the bones, such as whitebait or the soft bones of oily fish like salmon and pilchards. But steer clear of the hard bones of other fish – don’t worry,we fillet your fish first!
 

Fresh fish is high in important nutrients

Fresh fish is packed with many nutrients that most people are lacking. This includes high-quality protein, iodine, and various vitamins and minerals.
 

Oily fish species (salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel) are especially healthy because they're higher in fat-based nutrients, including vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient that many people lack.

 

Oily fish also boast omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for optimal body and brain function and strongly linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. Eating oily fish twice a week will help you meet your omega-3 requirements.

Fish reduces heart attack & stroke risk

Heart attacks and strokes are of the two most common causes of premature death. Fresh fish is considered one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat.
 

Many scientific studies have shown that people who regularly eat fresh fish have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart disease.
 

Researchers believe that oily fresh fish are even more beneficial for heart health due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content.

Fresh fish is a key component of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet that also includes lean protein sources such as white fish. It also includes foods rich in unsaturated fats like omega-3 rich oily fish. 

A major review published last year found that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, overall cancer incidence, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.

Fresh fish contributes to good vision and eye health

The omega-3 in fresh fish is beneficial to the development of our eyes and nervous system, starting before birth. A good intake of omega-3 is important during pregnancy, in childhood, and throughout our lives. If you’re pregnant, stick to just two portions of oily fish each week and avoid shark, swordfish and marlin.

 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in older adults. Evidence suggests regular consumption of omega-3 is associated with a reduction in risk of development of ARMD.

Fresh fish may help your sleep quality

Sleep disorders have become incredibly common worldwide. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, eating more oily fish may just do the trick!
 
In a six month study of 95 middle-aged men, a meal with salmon three times a week led to improvements in both sleep and daily functioning.
 
Researchers think that the salmon meals helped maintain the men’s vitamin D levels during the winter-time study, and that this could be associated with better sleep. But they point out that vitamin D is just one of a host of useful nutrients in fish. 

Eating fresh fish reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues.

 

Studies link the omega-3  in fresh fish and fish oil intake to a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in children, plus a form of autoimmune diabetes in adults.

Some experts believe that eating more fresh fish may alleviate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.