What is the best fish to eat? It turns out to be SMASH fish. The SMASH fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Herring) are the special few that make up this latter category, and it’s easy to see why.
These five distinct types of fish are the best fish to eat because they offer bountiful supplies of essential nutrients, a plethora of omega-3 fatty acids, minimal levels of mercury, consistent delight for your tastebuds and more.
Best Fish to Eat: 5 Benefits of Eating SMASH Fish
The benefits of eating SMASH are truly too numerous to encapsulate in a blog post, but here are some key ones you need to know:
High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
SMASH fish possess high-quality supplies of omega-3 fatty acids unparalleled by practically any other food or supplement.
With a single serving of salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines or herring, you can easily reach your daily target of 250-500 mg of omega-3 fats.
So, why is this important?
Omega-3 fatty acids can provide a wide range of health benefits, including:
• Improved Cardiovascular Health
• Reduced Inflammation
• Stronger Bones and Joints
• Reduced Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
• Enhanced Brain Function
This first benefit is especially noteworthy, as steady consumption of quality omega-3 fatty acids can decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting and more – – all greatly enhancing heart function.
Low in Mercury
Mercury is a heavy metal found naturally in air, water and soil, but is also a toxic chemical that can build up in the tissues of certain types of fish and when eaten too often, can negatively affect humans.
Excessive consumption of high-mercury fish (swordfish, Chilean sea bass, tilefish, Bigeye tuna) can lead to mercury poisoning — particularly in pregnant women and young children — which temporarily raises the risks of:
• High Blood Pressure
• Unhealthy Levels of LDL Cholesterol
• Inhibited Brain Function and nerve damage
Fortunately, SMASH fish are notably low in mercury, making them safe for routine consumption by all adults and children.
To be more precise, look below at SMASH mercury levels compared to those of high-mercury fish. The differences are stark:
• Salmon: 0.022 ppm
• Mackerel: 0.011 ppm
• Anchovies: 0.017 ppm
• Sardines: 0.013 ppm
• Herring: 0.084 ppm
• Swordfish: 0.995 ppm
• Chilean sea bass: 0.354 ppm
• Tilefish: 0.380 ppm
• Bigeye tuna: 0.689 ppm
Excellent Source of Iodine
Iodine is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in regulating your growth and metabolism, the chemical processes that keep your organs functioning.
It achieves this by helping your thyroid produce vital hormones that protect your cells, nourish your organs and maintain a stable, healthy metabolic rate.
Though iodine is pivotal in the pursuit of optimal health, it can often be challenging to find in many foods and beverages.
This is concerning, as iodine deficiency can be very dangerous, potentially leading to adverse side effects like:
• Hair Loss
• Pregnancy Difficulties
• Inhibited Brain Function
• Weight Gain
Luckily for you, SMASH fish are chock full of essential iodine, helping you easily reach your target of 140 micrograms per day when consumed regularly.
Quality Source of Selenium
Selenium is another essential mineral, playing an even broader role in your health than iodine.
Adequate consumption of selenium – – only 55 micrograms per day – – can offer numerous benefits such as:
• Boosted Thyroid Function
• Cell Protection from Free Radicals
• Lower Risk of Heart Disease
• Slowed Cognitive Degeneration with Age
A deficiency of selenium can potentially lead to:
• Muscle Weakness
• Increased Risk of Anxiety
• Diminished Immune Function
• Impaired Thyroid Function
• Enlarged Joints
As you can probably guess by now, all types of SMASH fish are excellent sources of selenium that can help you sidestep these negative outcomes.
In fact, just a few servings of the SMASH fish a week can quickly help you clear your selenium threshold.
Research from institutions like the American Heart Association suggests that consuming SMASH fish twice a week can potentially lengthen your lifespan.
While this claim sounds too good to be true, one only needs to look at diets in global regions where people live the longest to see the correlation between SMASH and longevity: from Okinawa, Japan to Sardinia, Italy, areas of the world with incredible average lifespans often feature SMASH fish as part of their culture’s well-rounded and nutritious average diets.
Click here to learn more about the best fish to eat.