Can We Call Fish A Superfood?

30 Nov 2017
enfermedades cardiovasculares

Superfoods are those foods so rich in nutrients that are very beneficial to health. Due to this concept, which understands food as an important part of disease prevention, they are increasingly demanded by consumers.

In the group of superfoods there is no room for fast food or high calorie or saturated fat products. But they are no longer limited to only plant products.

That is the reason why fish, a great source of vitamins and minerals, could also be considered a superfood. These are some arguments.

It Is A Very Complete Source Of Nutrients

If superfoods are characterized by providing the body with a good number of beneficial nutrients to health, fish meets the requirement.

One of the most important ones are proteins, which must provide between 10 and 15% of the total calories consumed, as reflected in the NAOS strategy of the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) of the Ministry of Health .

The reason lies in amino acids, which function as "building blocks of life" without which the body could not perform any function, as FAO points out.

In addition, fish is a good source of iron, iodine, phosphorus, fluoride, calcium, zinc or vitamins A and B, in addition to unsaturated fats, that are very important to prevent heart disease. This is what FAO says in its learning module Eating Well For Good Health, where you can find many notions about nutrition and healthy eating.

It Helps To Prevent Many Diseases

As we said at the beginning, superfoods act as a barrier because they help prevent many diseases. Thus, fish nutrients contribute to good health and well-being, especially if the product is consumed properly prepared.

For example, proteins are fundamental for the development and repair of body tissues; vitamins and minerals of fish prevent ailments such as anemia, caused mainly by the lack of iron; iodine and vitamin A are beneficial for brain and vision; and other nutrients, such as zinc and calcium, contribute to better growth and development, especially important issues in certain stages of life such as pregnancy and childhood.

It Is A Good Ally Against Cholesterol

Pero, sin duda, uno de los mayores beneficios del pescado es su riqueza en grasas denominadas insaturadas, que contribuyen a la creación del “colesterol bueno” (HDL) y a la reducción del “malo” (LDL).

Es el caso del famoso Omega-3, un ácido graso que está muy presente en el pescado, especialmente en el pescado azul, y que ayuda a disminuir el riesgo de enfermedades del corazón y de derrame cerebral.

Además, FAO indica otras virtudes menos conocidas del Omega-3, como su capacidad para reducir la inflamación, algo que “es favorable para el asma y la reducción de los efectos de la artritis”, y su “rol esencial en la función cerebral, crecimiento y desarrollo normales”.

No hay que olvidar que las enfermedades cardiovasculares continúan siendo la primera causa de muerte en España (tres de cada diez fallecimientos), de acuerdo con el último informe del Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE).

But, undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits of fish is its richness in so-called unsaturated fats, which contribute to the creation of "good cholesterol" (HDL) and the reduction of "bad" one (LDL).

This is the case of the famous Omega-3, a fatty acid that is very present in fish, especially blue fish, and that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

In addition, FAO indicates lesser known virtues of Omega-3, such as its ability to reduce inflammation, that "is favorable for asthma and reducing the effects of arthritis" and its "essential role in brain function, normal growth and development. "

Do not forget that cardiovascular diseases continue to be the leading cause of death in Spain (three out of ten deaths), according to the latest report from the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE).

Experts Recommend Weekly Intake

AECOSAN recommends the intake of fish not only for its great protein richness, but also for its fat, which "provides less calories", while having a "better fat profile" by containing "significant amounts" of Omega-3.

Thus, the agency of the Spanish Ministry of Health recommends taking "two to four servings of fish per week", alternating blue and white fish.


That is the same reason that the World Health Organization (WHO) points out, whose recommendation is that between 0.5 and 2% of the lipids consumed daily has to be Omega-3 fatty acids.

The Spanish Heart Foundation also emphasizes its importance. Its experts indicate that "we should eat fish at least three times a week".

Do you think that the fish you eat is enough?

enfermedades cardiovasculares