Fish is a healthy food option for omega-3s and needed for boosting heart health as well as brain functions.
Why are some fish unhealthy to eat?
Most fish now are improperly farmed and contain very high levels of mercury. This is really bad for your health. Mercury is the heavy metal associated with the mad hatter syndrome linked to exposure to mercury vapors. During farming process fish can be fed grains and foods not fit for sea life as it alters the correct balance of omega 3’s. This in turn makes the fish sick so that we are eating sea food that are carrying all kinds of diseases and parasites.
Mercury toxicity will cause many symptoms which include insomnia, Muscle twitches Weakness Tremors Memory problems Vision problems Numbness in the skin nervousness, anxiety and mood disorders.
In general you should avoid frozen fish as additives are added to glaze the fish before freezing.
High in mercury and mostly farmed, salmon is the first to avoid. Most supermarket salmon and even fish mongers stock mostly farmed salmon. What makes salmon a really bad choice is pigments added to make it look more like natural salmon color. In most supermarkets you will see these labelled as Atlantic salmon.
Alternatively wild salmons are a lot brighter and vibrant in color. Although you can eat wild salmon as a healthier option it still may contain high amounts of mercury. Wild salmon though pricier is a better option because it is not farmed therefore making the salmon healthier to eat and you ensure your chances of getting the right balance of omegas in your diet.
- Basa Fish (White Fish)
Basa fish may be labelled as white fish in the supermarket. This is a common fish used in processed food. It is farmed and contains high levels of mercury.
Instead you could try Pollock.
- King Mackerel
When it comes to King Mackerel it is definitely king of heavy mercury contamination. Again this fish is widely farmed and fed an improper diet.
Other mackerel such as Atka mackerel may be a better option as they have lower levels of mercury.
Avoid tuna where possible. The problem with larger fishes such as Tuna is they have a tendency to contain high levels of mercury. This may be due to their larger body and longer lifespan in the sea during which time they are likely to get contaminated with mercury.
Swordfish is another large fish to avoid as it is heavily contaminated with mercury.
What fish are healthy to eat?
When picking a healthy fish think in terms of size. The smaller the fish the less mercury it is likely to contain.
Sardines are an incredibly healthy food. They are most affordable compared to other fish. Sardines are smaller in size and have shorter lifespan so that they have very low levels of mercury. They are also not farmed like most other fishes and contain a healthy balance of omegas. Tinned sardines are fine to use. It is best to avoid sardines in sunflower oil and choose sardines in olive oil as sunflower oil can cause in imbalance in omega fatty acids.
Just like sardines they are smaller fish and have low mercury levels. Tinned anchovies can be added to salads or snack foods.
Finally there are steps to remove mercury from the body. Mercury can reside in different organs of the body. Adding selenium supplement to your diet is a good way to help remove mercury and other heavy metals.