The season of Lent is upon us, which means that millions of Catholics and other liturgical Christian denominations are to seeking meat alternatives on Fridays through April 13th. And the number one main meal alternative? Fish. Luckily, fish is one of the healthiest options available, and we've got the scoop on exactly why.
For a constant feed of healthy fish recipes, check out our show The Posh Pescatarian, where host Stephanie Harris-Uyidi travels to exotic locations to create fantastic pescatarian dishes. And by the way, you're not ready to go all-out pescatarian, our show Hemsley + Hemsley has a broader roster of healthy recipes, with the occasional fish recipe thrown in.
Here are 5 big reasons you should eat more fish (any time of the year!):
1. You’ll Probably Live Longer.
We recently looked at practices linked to living a longer and healthier life, and one constant we found was that consuming more fish promotes longevity. Countries with some of the highest life-expectancy rates in the world—i.e. Japan and Singapore—primarily follow fish and plant-based diets. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids (one of the most healthy elements of fish) have been linked to promoting longevity.
Also on Z Living: How Olives & Feta Can Save Your Aging Brain
2. Fish Is A Rare Dietary Source of Vitamin D.
There’s a reason you instantly feel better on spring’s first sunny day after a long, dark winter: Vitamin D. The nutrient is linked to maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and it helps prevent certain types of cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Fatty fishes like tuna or salmon, or fish oils like cod liver oil are clean, edible sources of Vitamin D, which lack unhealthy drawbacks like other dietary sources like milk and butter.
3. Fish Can Help Fight Colon Cancer & Other Deadly Diseases.
It’s been widely reported in recent days that colon cancer rates are rising amongst young people. This piece from WebMD looks at multiple studies showing that individuals diagnosed with colon cancer have a better chance at surviving with higher levels of omega-3s in their body. Additionally, this piece from Fox 13 Salt Lake City discussing cancer-preventing foods talks about the importance of lean proteins, and suggests eating fish a couple of times a week as a steadfast in your cancer-preventing diet.
Also on Z Living: Adding Fish To Your Diet Is Easier Than You Think
4. Fish Can Help Prevent Heart Disease.
This 2011 study from the American Heart Association says that women who rarely, or never eat fish likely increase their chance of cardiovascular disease by 50 percent or more. Since female heart conditions are a serious problem, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country, it seems like adding some fish into your diet is a wise move.
5. Fish Is Healthy. And Luckily, It's Delicious Too.
Whether you start at the source and catch something fresh or pick up some fillets from a local seafood market, fish makes for a fun and different meal. From sushi to ceviche to poke, it’s at the heart of many trendy dishes. For more ideas, be sure to check out some episodes of Z Living’s Posh Pescatarian, and Hemsley + Hemsley.