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By Damilola Faustino

Not eating enough fish? You’re not alone. Nearly half of us consume less than the recommended two portions a week, despite the doctors’ recommendations. Here are some healthy reasons that will inspire you to up your intake:

fish

It’s nature’s antidepressant

The essential omega-3 fatty acids – found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna – are vital for healthy brain function. In fact, people who eat a fish-rich diet are significantly happier and less stressed than those who don’t.

It may reduce risk of bowel cancer

People who eat a diet including fish and vegetables – but no meat – are 43 per cent less likely to develop bowel cancer. The most significant factor here could be the absence of meat: eating a lot of red and/or processed meat is a major risk factor for the disease. However, people who ate fish appeared to derive the greatest benefits, compared to vegetarians and vegans.

It could prevent hearing loss

People who eat fish at least twice a week are less likely to develop hearing loss. Consumption of any type of fish – tuna, dark fish, light fish or shellfish – tended to be associated with lower risk, ‘The diet from these fishes may be important in the prevention of acquired hearing loss.

It can improve your memory

Stick to a fish-rich diet and you’re less likely to experience memory problems in later life. Also, older people with memory problems may witness a slowing of symptoms if they up their intake of fish oils.

It can fight stroke

Need another reason to eat two portions of oily fish each week? It can ‘moderately but significantly’ reduce risk of stroke.

It might halt your headaches

Consuming more oily fish may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. If you are the type that experiences migraines, you should simply increase your fish intake to cushion its effects.

It’s good for your eyes

Eat at least one portion of oily fish each week and you could reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration which is a common cause of blindness.

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