What fish should you eat to enjoy the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids while avoiding the risk of mercury poisoning?
- Omega 3 promotes the proper functioning of the retina, brain and nervous system.
- Thanks to their anti-inflammatory action, omega 3 strengthen the immune system.
- If fish are a good source, avoid consuming those that contain too much mercury in favor of others such as salmon, trout or tuna.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that come only from our diet because they are not synthesized by the body. In an interview with the Cleveland ClinicJulia Zumpano, nutritionist-dietician, indicated that omega-3s help prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease.
These polyunsaturated fatty acids notably reduce the risk of blood clots, slightly lower blood pressure and prevent the formation of plaques in the arteries of the heart. They also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help strengthen the immune system.
Prevent the risk of mercury poisoning
Fish are the main sources of omega-3s. “Fish provides two types of omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need, called EPA and DHA”, noted the specialist. It is generally recommended to eat fish at least twice a week to benefit from the benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
However, Julia Zumpano warned of the risk of poisoning with mercury, a toxic substance which can be contained in certain fish. In particular, mercury can accumulate in the muscle tissue of a fish following its absorption in contaminated surrounding waters.
Mercury poisoning can have serious consequences for the brain and nervous system. “Some fish contain higher levels of mercury and environmental toxins”recalled the nutritionist-dietician.
Omega-3: which fish contain the most?
To limit the risk of poisoning, Julia Zumpano has compiled a list of fish containing excellent amounts of omega-3s and low in mercury:
- the salmon ;
- anchovies ;
- mackerel ;
- trout ;
- the bar ;
- sardines ;
- the tuna.
Besides fish, there are other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. This is particularly the case for avocado, oilseeds and vegetable oils (nuts, olives, rapeseed, etc.).