Those who don’t eat fish may include alternatives like chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and kidney beans which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and offer major health benefits, says rediffGURU Dr Karthiyayini Mahadevan.
You can ask her your health-related questions HERE.
India’s rich cultural diversity is intrinsically linked with Nature and its resources.
Our ancient wisdom has always treated food as medicine. We are what we eat.
In earlier times, what we ate reflected our geographical origin and the ingredients were indigenous to the place where we belonged. There were fewer incidents of illnesses as long as we ate the right food from individual cultural pots.
Throughout history, Nature and its resources have consistently provided the support necessary for life.
In order to lead a wholesome and healthy life, it’s essential to have a balanced diet with the right proportion of macronutrients, micronutrients and dietary fibre.
Globalisation, however, has caused an increase in food-related health issues, often worsened by physical inactivity.
This can be achieved using locally grown seasonal vegetables, fruits and grains, thus minimising the risk of metabolic illnesses.
Similarly, people from coastal areas ate more fish for economic reasons. Due to the salt pans, vegetables also didn’t grow easily in these areas. People who ate fish benefitted from the balanced nutrients it provided.
If you love fish or plan to introduce it into your diet, you must know all about its nutritional contents and health benefits.
Nutritional content of fish
Humans cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential particularly for our eyes during early development.
Fatty fish have two types of Omega-3 fatty acids called DHA-Docoso hexanoic acid and EPA- Eicaso Pentanoic acid which helps develop the retina and maintain the integrity of the retinal layer.
Seawater fish have high sodium, potassium, protein and higher Omega-3 fatty acids while freshwater fish have more calcium, iron, manganese and vitamins A and B9, particularly salmon and bass.
Health benefits of eating fish
- During pregnancy, fish oil helps in the development of vision and nerves.
- Fish oil rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can protect against eye disorders like macular degeneration, glaucoma and dry eyes due to ageing.
- It improves sleep and blood circulation, thus enhancing heart and brain health.
- It prevents the risk of heart disease by preventing the formation of triglycerides and blood clot formation.
- It helps reduce blood pressure and the risk of a stroke.
- Eating fatty fish like sardines and salmon regularly helps prevent inflammation and the risk of arthritis.
- It reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases.
Alternatives for those who don’t eat fish
Those who don’t eat fish may include alternatives like chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and kidney beans which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and offer major health benefits.
Additionally, tofu, jackfruit, chickpeas, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, seaweed and spirulina have the same health benefits as eating fish.
A word of caution
Chemical pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and mercury contaminate the seawater and infiltrate the flesh of fish, mainly the older fishes.
Freshwater fish are less likely to be affected by these toxins.
- You can ask rediffGURU Dr Karthiyayani Mahadevan your health-related questions HERE.
Here are some mouthwatering fish recipes from our insanely delicious stock of recipes.
- Kerala Style Meen Pollichathu
- Fish Amritsari by Depinder
- Swarupa Dutt’s Maachher Kalia
- Ameya’s Stuffed Pomfret
- Masor Tenga from Assam
- Indian-Style Basa, Thai-style Basa, Italian-Style Basa
- Fish Cutlets And Spicy Fish Curry
Dr Karthiyayini Mahadevan is a head wellness and wellbeing at Columbia Pacific Communities
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Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com
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