Swordfish for Your Health
Seafood has long been considered “brain food”, for good reason. Fish, including swordfish and tuna, play a significant role as part of a balanced, healthy diet. Fish is a good source of many of the nutrients we need throughout life from infancy through to old age. This is because fish is low in calories, very low in fat, high in protein, and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers worldwide have discovered that eating fish regularly, at least one or two servings per week, may reduce the risk of diseases, ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week.
Many fish, including swordfish and tuna, contain important micronutrients such as selenium. Selenium has been shown to play an important role in fighting cancer and heart disease. It is also an important antioxidant and a critical mineral in maintaining proper function of the thyroid gland. In addition, selenium has an unusually high “binding affinity” for mercury. This means that when the two elements are found together, they tend to connect, which prevents the human body from absorbing the mercury. In fact, studies have shown that dietary selenium from fish not only neutralizes the mercury in that seafood, but can also neutralize the mercury in your body from other dietary and environmental sources. Click here to learn more about mercury in seafood, including the important role of selenium in mercury metabolism.
Fish is a good source of protein which is essential for the body’s growth and repair. Fish protein is of very high quality and contains sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids required by the body for growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. The proteins in fish, as well as similar foods of animal origin, make up complete protein sources in many people’s diets around the world. The protein source can be important to lose weight because high quality proteins, such as the protein in most fresh fish, can be used to maintain an active metabolism. Low quality protein does not contain all essential amino acids required for use in protein synthesis, and thus the protein must either be used for energy or converted to fat.
Fat and Omega-3
White fish contain little or no fat. Much of the fat it does contain is “good fat”, essential to your health. Swordfish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Research indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids found in oil-rich fish can help lower the risk of heart disease and may be beneficial in treating rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower blood triglycerides and blood pressure, prevent clotting, and reduce abnormal heart rhythms. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids play an important part in aiding the development of our brains.
Fish is a good source of vitamins, helping to maintain healthy nerve tissues, strong bones and teeth, and a glowing complexion. Fish contain many of the B vitamins essential for the conversion of food to energy in the cells and also for healthy nerve tissue. Oil-rich fish are a good source of the fat-soluble vitamins A and D. In fact, oil-rich fish is the best natural source of D. Vitamins A and D are essential for healthy bones.
Iron has been considered an essential mineral for our bodies for over a century. This mineral functions primarily as a carrier of oxygen in the body, both as a part of hemoglobin in the blood and of myoglobin in the muscles. It also aids in immune function, cognitive development, temperature regulation, energy metabolism, and work performance.
Phosphorous helps build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorous is also involved in the release of energy from fat, protein, and carbohydrates during metabolism, and in the formation of genetic material, cell membranes, and many enzymes.
Iodine is essential for normal growth and development. 60% of the iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, which plays an important role in controlling the basic metabolic rate of the body. Other benefits of iodine are removal of toxins from the body and help in utilizing calcium and silicon.
Fluoride is important for healthy bones and teeth. Fluoride increases the density of bones and also can stimulate the growth of new bone. Fluoride increases the amount of minerals in our teeth and can even reverse the progression of dental cavities.
Zinc plays an important role in the formation of protein in the body and thus, assists in wound healing, blood formation, and general growth and maintenance of all tissues. Zinc also supports immune function and the storage, release, and function of insulin. Zinc is a component of many enzymes, so it is involved in most metabolic processes.
Calcium is the major mineral found in our bones and teeth. Along with phosphorous and other nutrients, calcium builds the hard structure that makes bones and teeth strong. We also need calcium for proper muscle and nerve function, blood clotting, and other body processes. These functions are so critical that calcium is taken from the bones to maintain blood calcium if dietary calcium is inadequate.
For the real facts behind the rhetoric concerning mercury in seafood, click here.