Fish are a very important element in the human diet. They are a source of many valuable nutrients through which the body can function properly. There are a number of fish species available on the market which differ in nutritional value and level of pollution, for reasons of the environment in which they were previously resident. So, what fish is worth noting and which is better avoided?
What are the benefits of fish meat?
The fish are rich in vitamins and minerals, which positively affects the body’s work. First of all, they are a source of omega-3, which the body is unable to produce itself, and is essential for the proper functioning of the body. These acids are important for the prevention of heart disease or cardiovascular health and to strengthen the immune system. People who eat fish regularly, have better memory, mating ability, in later years are less likely to fall into Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition, they relieve inflammatory processes, prevent hypertension and atherosclerosis. Fish meat is a source of vitamin A, vitamins B, D and E, so they positively affect eyesight, improve mental abilities and memory. Vitamin D helps to maintain bones and joints in good condition. B vitamins Protect Against cancer, help maintain mental balance and act as an anti-depressants. Moreover, the fish support the normal development of the fetus and children. In addition to vitamins, they also contain valuable minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, copper and selenium.
What are fish contaminated?
Fish are healthy, but keep in mind that their meat is also contaminated with toxins. These pollutants include heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury), dioxins and pesticides. The extent of these pollutants depends on the species of fish, from the water reservoir in which it lives and from age. The older the fish, the more accumulated heavy metals. The main reason for this is water pollution. The source of pollution is industry, oil, municipal and industrial wastewater. Dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs are substances that are produced by industrial contamination and are present in large quantities in the environment. In the Baltic herrings and Salmons there were high levels. These toxins can affect the immune and nervous system, as well as reproductive abilities, can cause fetal malformation and delay mental development. Large fish such as shark, swordfish, tuna and Merlin accumulate larger amounts of heavy metals, e.g. of mercury in toxic organic form, rather than smaller fish and herbivorous. These fish absorb heavy metals along with water and food. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid eating these types of fish. Baltic and farmed fish in the Polish market have a low mercury content compared to the limit values. Cod, herring and salmon contain little mercury, cadmium and lead, while the levels of dioxins and PCBs are quite high but not beyond the permitted standards.