The consumption of fish is associated with many health benefits. Fish is an important source of many nutrients, including protein and long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as several vitamins and minerals including selenium, iodine, potassium, D and B vitamins.

Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) are essential to the human body. This means that they cannot be manufactured in the body from the other fats and have to be provided in the diet.

The role of essential fatty acids include:

  • Prevention of blood clots.
  • Protection against heart disease (control of blood pressure).
  • Enhanced transport of oxygen by red blood cells.
  • Protection against ageing process through maintenance of the quality of cell membranes.
  • Reduction of inflammation in arthritis and asthma.
  • Enhanced immune responsiveness.

How much fish do I need to get enough Omega-3?

Fish is one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. That is why it is advisable to eat fish regularly, especially oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout and sardines). The recommended intake of Omega-3 fats is 1.0-1.5 g per day. This can be achieved by eating two portions of fish per week; one of them should be oily fish (one portion is equivalent to one fillet about 150 g).

Someone who doesn’t eat fish for any reason can get omega 3 fatty acids from some other products. For example, n-3 are also presented in smaller amounts in vegetable oils such as flax seed oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, etc. Though remember that overconsumption of these products can lead to weight gain as they are very high in calories.

Anastasia P., Sources: British Nutrition Foundation, YMCA Fit