Most of us have heard a doctor or dietician expound on the multitude of benefits resulting from incorporating fish into a healthy diet. It is not only beneficial for losing and maintaining weight, it is full of omega-3 fats that are scientifically-proven to prevent or lessen many debilitating ailments like arthritis. Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids needed for the body to operate normally. Although armed with this information, many people feel like a fish out of water when it comes to choosing the types of fish that will reel in the most health benefits.
The top two killers of American men and women, according to a Mayo Clinic website, are heart disease and cancer. Lean sources of protein found in fish, however, can combat those diseases. Salmon, herring, and tuna are not only packed with protein, but are high in omega-3 fats. For example, four ounces of salmon, baked or grilled, has at least two grams of omega-3 fats — more than the average American adult gets from all food during the course of several days.
Other health benefits of fatty acids found in salmon, herring and tuna include triglycerides reduction, prevention of chronic inflammation, promotion of stronger joint cartilage, improved cognitive function, better cardiovascular health, and healthier skin and hair. Vitamin D found in salmon, herring, and tuna is believed to decrease the risks of acquiring breast, prostate and colon cancers. Fish oils also are reported to be effective in maintaining healthy eyesight. Selenium, a potent antioxidant found in tuna, boosts the immune system and can stave off flu and colds.
Rainbow trout also possesses large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It is touted as a protein with the ability to raise metabolism, facilitate muscle growth and fight exhaustion. Trout also has vitamin B12 — a vitamin that plays a role in the normal function of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin B6, which assists in maintaining brain function and forming red blood cells, including niacin, which has lowered cholesterol in clinical tests, are also abundant in trout.
While most trout purchased in American supermarkets is farm-raised, wild caught trout is the healthiest. Farm-raised trout tends to be fattier, contain less omega-3 fats and, in some cases, are more likely to be exposed to pesticides. The same rules apply to shoppers searching for salmon to enjoy. In a scientific study several years ago, researchers learned farm-raised salmon had more carcinogens than those caught in the wild. Shoppers need not fret, because most national supermarkets sell farm-raised or wild salmon.
To ensure the benefits of eating fish can be gained, it is recommended everybody eat six-to-eight ounces of fish per week as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Here are a few recipes to get you started on the road to better health:
4 6-oz trout fillets
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
In a small bowl, mix together paprika, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, cumin, pepper, thyme and salt, and set aside. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pour cup melted butter into a shallow dish and coat each fillet. Dredge the fillets in the spice mixture, making sure they are evenly covered. Pour the remaining melted better into the pan and add fish fillets. Cook fillets about 2 minutes, until charred, then turn them over and repeat on the uncooked side.
Foil Baked Trout
4 6-oz. trout fillets
2 tablespoons. butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400° F. Clean and rinse the fish and lightly and sprinkle with salt. Mix together the butter, parsley, dill, chives, onion, and lemon juice. Place each fillet on a piece of aluminum foil, pour 1/4 of the butter mixture over each, and carefully seal them into an envelope of foil. Bake for 20 minutes, unwrap and serve.