We have all heard the causations against consuming too much fish. The more fish you consume the more you need to worry about toxic levels of mercury in your system. This warning has caused many people to avoid fish the majority of the time and for some they just cut it out completely. This can lead to negative health effects just as over consumption of mercury can.
The good news? This is an over-hyped claim without all the information.
The notion that we need to limit our fish intake really came about from the FDA and EPA’s recommendation for pregnant women not to consume more than 8-12oz per week. This statement was quickly grabbed by the masses and adopted by everyone. This recommendation however has since been updated from a maximum of 8-12oz to a minimum of 8-12oz.
The benefit of eating fish greatly outweigh the cons.
When consuming the right sources of fish, you get a hefty dose of EPA/DHA in the form of omega-3 fatty acid. Fish however are not all created equal, to get the best bang for your buck the top sources include; salmon, sardines and mackerel even tuna, trout, oysters and mussels can get you a decent amount. There is no other source of EPA/DHA in nature, so by not consuming fish you miss out on a nutrient that impacts the entire body.
Additionally, a much less discussed benefit of fish and one that fights off any mercury present is selenium. Many commonly consumed fish have well over double the amount of selenium when compared to average mercury levels. Mercury only becomes a problem in the body when it surpasses the level of selenium, so when you consume a food high in selenium compared to mercury you essentially nullify the effects. Key fish to be aware of containing equal amounts of mercury to selenium would be shark, swordfish, king mackerel and wale most other commonly consumed fish have a ratio favoring selenium.
Overall the benefits of fish outweigh the supposed danger of mercury toxicity. Go out get some fish and enjoy it, your body and your brain will thank you.
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