Fish is one of the foods that nutritionists recommend to consume during your senior years, whether you want to lose weight, find a better alternative to other meats, or you simply want to have a balanced diet from a nutritional standpoint. Generally, 2-3 servings of fish per week are recommended within a healthy lifestyle.
Fish meat is an excellent source of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), protein, vitamins (A, B12, D, E) and minerals (potassium, iron, iodine, phosphorus, selenium). The amounts of minerals and nutrients found in fish differ depending on the type of fish you choose you eat.
White meat contains less fat and omega-3 essential fatty acids than red meat. Beyond this difference, both types of fish and seafood have multiple benefits for the mature human body.
Thanks to the renowned vitamin D, regular consumption of fish helps prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency particularly affects bone health, since calcium absorption is not done properly. A senior adult needs a daily dose of 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D.
The human body is naturally able to produce this fat-soluble vitamin, but this synthesis process requires sunlight in order to be triggered. And, let’s be fair – you don’t always have the opportunity to expose your skin to the sun, therefore you need to include the proper dose of vitamin D into your diet. There are quite a few foods that contain vitamin D, and fish is, of course, among them.
Fish meat contains iron, a mineral that helps prevent and fight against anemia. However, fish couldn’t have an optimal action on this condition by itself, which is why it’s recommended to be consumed along with other foods that are rich in iron (beans, spinach, peas, dried fruits and so on).
Boosts Your Metabolism
Iodine is a trace element essential for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and thus for burning fat. Generally, the proper iodine dose is taken from a healthy diet, this way you won’t need any other supplements. Some of the foods with the highest content of iodine are: fish (sardines, herring, cod, perch, tuna, etc), soy, shellfish, seafood, fresh walnuts, eggs, green beans, seaweed and rye bread.
Thanks to its omega-3 essential fatty acids, regular consumption of fish can reduce (by up to 50%) the risk of cancer. The types of cancer that can be prevented by consuming fish include ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, oesophageal cancer, colon cancer and oral cancer.
Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular diseases occur due to increased cholesterol levels. However, through regular consumption of fish, you can prevent these dangerous conditions. Essential fatty acids help lower cholesterol, prevent absorption of other unhealthy fats, as well as prevent clogged arteries.
Because it contains substances with an anti-inflammatory effect, fish is recommended to be consumed by mature adults who struggle with rheumatoid arthritis. For this reason, many experts suggest that the Mediterranean diet is the best diet to follow in order to keep your joints healthy.
Has a Positive Effect on Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Consumed regularly, fish may have beneficial effects on depression and bipolar disorder, especially if it complements prescription drugs.
Increases the Body’s Calcium Absorption
Fish, especially small ones (anchovies, sardines) and seafood contain large amounts of calcium, a mineral that maintains your bone and teeth health. Also, calcium is essential for preventing hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative brain disorder that causes damage to certain brain functions. Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish and seafood prevent brain cells from being damaged.
Moreover, a study conducted by a team of French researchers has shown that people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week have a lower risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
All in all, fish is a wonderful and tasty food that brings a bunch of precious benefits to your health during the senior stage of your life. Bon appétit!