7. Oily Fish
Oily fish refers to fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. Fish oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids which can help lower the risk of heart disease, improve mental ability, and protect against cancer, dementia, and arthritis. Fish are probably the only food which can provide us with vitamin D. While lack of Vitamin D is usually associated with lack of exposure to sunlight, fear of skin cancer has begun to cause Vitamin D deficiency even in sunny countries. Fish oils are also particularly good at lowering the level of a certain type of fat in the blood – triglycerides – an excess of which can collect in your arteries and clog them.
Fish oils also help to lower blood pressure slightly, reduce blood clotting, lower heart and stroke risks and reduce irregular heartbeats. They also increase the levels of the “good” cholesterol, HDL. Of course, they are also a good source of protein with low-fat content. As attractive as fish seem to be in terms of healthy eating, it is possible (but unlikely) to eat so much fish that the levels of fish oils become dangerous. In addition, fish high on the marine food chain, such as tuna, may contain high levels of poisonous heavy metals such as mercury. Pregnant women should be careful about eating certain kinds of fish, though the Omega-3s in fish oil is essential for the baby’s early growth and development.
The oil in oily fish is also useful for carrying certain nutrients which depend upon fat to be absorbed into the body, which makes fish particularly healthy. As is common with most foods that benefit the heart, eating fish regularly offers a variety of other health benefits to many other areas of the body. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, preferably with a meal that contains some fat which helps it to be absorbed. If you are allergic to fish, walnut oil is similar in nature.