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All fish are high in first class proteins and, in some cases, a very rich source of healthy oils. White fish such as cod, have lean flesh with most of their fats and oils stored in the liver. By comparison, oily fish store most of their oil within the muscular flesh and contain far more of these healthy oils than non-oily fish. Taking one high strength (1000 mg) krill oil capsule is a way to consume these healthy fatty acids on a daily basis.


Sardine tin

It is important to consume fat s because it helps the body absorb many fat-soluble nutrients and it is a good source of energy and the essential fatty acids that the body can not make itself. Oily fish are one of the most concentrated sources of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DHA and DPA which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. They are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 which promotes cardiovascular health as it is intricately tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance; homocysteine can damage artery walls, with elevated levels being a risk factor for atherosclerosis.

The omega-3 fatty acids are connected to a decreased risk for several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. Regular omega-3 intake has been proven particularly effective against the blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Consumption of oily fish also presents substantial protection against renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer.

The high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids in oily fish offer substantial protection against macular degeneration (AMD) of the eye, a condition in which fine vision deteriorates, resulting in central vision loss and is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Studies also strongly suggest that the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids also reduces the risk of dry eye syndrome, a common cause of ocular complaints
Omega 3’s also lock moisture into skin cells, encouraging the production of strong collagen and elastin fibres, which contribute to more youthful looking skin. They are also known to alleviate skin blemishes and maintain good hair lustre. They also provide nourishment to hair follicles, helping hair grow healthy and preventing hair loss. A rich supply of proteins is also important for hair growth.

They are also a superb source of bone-building calcium and contain surprisingly high concentrations of vitamin D, a nutrient not so readily available in the diet. Vitamin D prevents unwanted inflammation and helps bones in their absorption of calcium. Lack of sunlight on the skin can cause vitamin D deficiency and is on the rise in northern hemisphere countries so oily fish a good choice to consume during the winter months. For many years, researchers have known that vitamin D participates in the regulation of cell activity. Because cell cycles play such a key role in the development of cancer, optimal vitamin D intake may turn out to play a significant role in the prevention of various types of cancer.

Oily fish are a great source of phosphorus too, a key mineral in strengthening the bone matrix. Recent studies also show that the omega 3s found oily fish support joint cartilage and help regulate and stabilise the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue. They are also a good source of selenium which is a mineral with powerful antioxidant activity and regular dietary intake has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer.

Oily fish is rich in protein, which provides amino acids. The human body use amino acids to create new proteins, which are the foundations for cells. Proteins form the basis of muscles and connective tissues, antibodies that keep the immune system strong and deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Consuming oily fish regularly lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels and strengthens the bones, supports joint cartilage, helps regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue and reduces free radical damage and inflammation. It can also reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome, promote more youthful skin, alleviate skin blemishes, give good hair lustre and prevent hair loss and helps with brain and eye development in infants. Pregnant and nursing women may benefit from eating oily fish to increase the amount of docosahexaenoic acid in the diet. 



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Ailments oily fish can help to treat and preventAnchovies

Significant nutrients in oily fish

Vitamins in oily fish

NOTE: Unnaturally fed farmed fish is often lacking in some nutrients such as vitamin D.

Minerals in oily fish

Oily fish

  • Anchovies

  • Bloater fish

  • Catcha

  • Carp

  • Eel

  • Herring

  • Hilsa

  • Jack

  • Katla

  • Mackerel

  • Orange roughy

  • Pangas

  • Pilchards

  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Sprats

  • Swordfish

  • Trout

  • Tuna (fresh only)

  • Whitebait


Non-oily fish

  • Ayr

  • Catfish

  • Cod

  • Dover sole

  • Flounder

  • Flying fish

  • Grouper

  • Haddock

  • Halibut

  • Hoki

  • John Dory

  • Kalabasu

  • Lemon Sole

  • Ling

  • Monk fish

  • Parrot

  • Plaice

  • Perch

  • Pollack

  • Pomfret

  • Red/grey mullet

  • Red fish

  • Rock Salmon/dogfish

  • Sea bass

  • Skate

  • Snapper

  • Tuna (tinned)

  • Whiting

  • Bloater fish are a type of whole cold smoked herring.
  • Kippers are split smoked herring.
  • Pilchards are a type of small herring
  • Sardines are younger smaller herring

NOTE: Tinned pilchards or sardines in tomato sauce are very high in sugar and salt and should be avoided. They are best purchased fresh or in brine.

Cod is a deep sea white fish belonging to the same family as haddock and monkfish and found in Arctic waters. One 4oz serving provides 119 calories, 29g of protein, which is about 53% of the RDA, 75% of the RDA of selenium and over 90% of the daily requirement of tryptophan. Cod is best eaten poached or baked not fried.

Kippers are an oily fish close to the bottom of the food chain and contain lower levels of toxins (such as mercury and PCBs) than many other types of fish.

The monk fish is a large, bottom-dwelling fish found in the coastal Atlantic region. Monkfish is a low-fat, low-calorie source of selenium, but is lower in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish. Monkfish is relatively low in mercury. Monkfish are typically sold as tails, livers or whole gutted fish. The firm, boneless white tail meat is called “poor man’s lobster” for its suggested flavour. Livers are eaten as sushi (ankimo) and most are exported to Asia for Japanese cuisine. There are 270 calories,12g protein (25% RDA), 1.3g of fat and less than 1g carbohydrate in one 3oz serving of monkfish. This makes monkfish a good source of lean proteinand of the fat in monkfish, the majority is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, including omega-3 fatty acids.

Halibut is one of the most nutrient dense foods and a very good source of high quality protein. A 100g serving or about 3.5oz of dry cooked halibut contains 111 calories. A 100g serving of cooked halibut contains 23g of protein. One serving meets nearly 50% RDA. A serving of halibut meets more than 50 percent RDA of vitamin D and tryptophan 106.2%, protein 60.5%, omega-3 fats 25.8%, vitamin B3 40.4%, vitamin B6 22.5%, vitamin B12 25.8%, 0.2mg of iron, magnesium 30.3%, phosphorus 32.3%, potassium 18.6%, selenium 75.8%. Halibut helps to prevent and control high blood pressure, protects against fatal heart arrhythmia and can control triglycerides levels in the blood. Because it contains a healthy amount of magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin D and vitamins B6 and B12 it is a vital food to be eaten by people taking certain medications including diuretics, cholesterol lowering medications and diabetics. See the Drugs page.

John Dory fish, also known as St Pierre or St Peter fish, is a deep-sea white fleshed fish with a flat, round body shape, olive-yellow colour skin with a silvery white belly and one large dark spot on each side and grows to a maximum size of 2 ft (65 cm) and 7 lb (3 kg).

Krill oil (Euphausia superba): This nutrient dense oil comes from krill a tiny, bottom-of-the-food-chain crustacean approximately one to six centimetres in length, and are a dietary staple for whales, small fish and seabirds. Krill exist in large numbers and are an integral part of the aquatic food chain. They feed on phytoplankton and are found in all the world's oceans. One species known as the Antarctic Krill makes up an estimated biomass of over 500,000,000 tons, which is roughly twice that of all humans on earth. The reason the oil from krill has gained popularity is because it contains the antioxidant astaxanthin. This is what gives the bright red pigment to the oil and is what colours krill and other crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, and prawns. The oil from krill is reported to have a higher concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid and also reduce or eliminate the fishy burps associated with taking traditional fish oil.

Inflammation is associated with Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and many other chronic illnesses. The powerful antioxidants in krill oil can reduce inflammation and thus protect from and treat these disorders. The nutrients that taking one krill oil capsule per day will provide are astaxanthin, calcium, chitin, chromium, copper, iodine, lysine, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, trimethylamine oxide, vitamins A, B6, B7, B9, B12, D, E and K and zinc. One advantage of taking krill oil over other ocean foods is that because of their small size and short lifespan, krill have no detectable mercury contamination.

Benefits of daily consumption of krill oil

  • Healthy cell membrane formation.

  • Hormone production.

  • Development and functioning of the brain and nervous system.

  • Regulation of blood pressure, blood sugar, liver and pancreas function, immune and inflammatory responses.

  • Thyroid and adrenal activity.

  • Breakdown and transportation of cholesterol.

  • Healthy skin and hair.

  • Regulation of blood clotting (omega-6 encourages blood clot formation, whereas omega-3 oil reduces clotting, making the goal to achieve balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids).

NOTE: Individuals taking anticoagulants or blood thinners such as warfarin, heparin or high dose aspirin therapy should be aware that krill oil can increase the anti-coagulating properties of their medication, possibly prolonging bleeding time. It may also lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, so patients taking medications for these conditions should check with a healthcare professional before beginning krill oil therapy.

Menhaden fish, also known as bunker or pogy, have been called 'the most important fish in the sea' Small, silvery and packed with nutritional value, menhaden are filter feeders that consume plankton and in turn are food for striped bass and other important fish, as well as marine mammals and sea birds. They are in effect a critical link in the marine food web. But in 32 of the past 54 years menhaden were overfished and they are now at their lowest level on record. There are laws currently being put in place to stop the over fishing of this valuable fish which will hopefully bring  bring it back to healthy numbers.

Salmon flesh is typically pink but their colour can range from red to orange. The chinook and sockeye varieties are fattier than pink and chum, while coho falls somewhere in the middle. Pink salmon is primarily used for canned food. Chinook salmon are the largest and sockeye the smallest salmon.

Turbot contains 122 calories per 100 g plus 62 mg cholesterol, 150 g of sodium, 20 g protein. Several lesser quality flatfish are often passed off as turbot but their inferior flavour and lower nutritional value cannot compare with true Atlantic turbot. Global supplies are limited which accounts for the high price for this fish.

Heavy metals and fish

Industrial use of heavy metals elements has caused spillage and leakages into the environment that have contaminated food and water resources and is cause for concern as they are toxic to animals and humans and can lead to many serious conditions when levels increase in the human body. They often go undetected for a long period of time and this can cause even more harm to organs like the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and the glandular, immune and nervous systems and lead to degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease..

Heavy metals can replace the minerals and trace elements that are required in the body causing even further problems in a world when minerals in foods are being reduced by intense farming techniques and removed by the heavy refining and processing of food. Minerals are so essential to so many bodily processes that any imbalance or reduction is worrying. Minerals are required as cofactors for thousands of other nutrients and are used in all bodily processes including those involving the brain.

There are many types of foods that should be consumed regularly to protect against and treat heavy metal contamination. Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system of people of all ages. Deep sea ocean fish have been found to be contaminated with mercury. Farmed fish, such as salmon, is usually far less contaminated than wild deep sea fish. Oily fish is nutritionally important in the diet and should not be avoided due to mercury contamination. Rather, add foods that can protect against this and detoxify the body.

For foetuses, infants and children, the primary health effect of mercury is impaired neurological development. Mercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish and shellfish that contain it, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system and have impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language and fine motor and visual spatial skills. Pollution can add to the toxic build-up of metals in the human body but this can be treated very easily through a cleansing diet. In the worst cases, those contaminated by heavy metals may suffer from changes in heart rhythm, liver and kidney damage, high blood pressure, paralysis, bronchitis, damage to blood vessels, dementia and even death. In pregnant women, overexposure to these harmful elements may even trigger miscarriage.

Fish most likely to be contaminated by mercury

  • Ahi and bigeye tuna

  • Halibut

  • King mackerel

  • Marlin

  • Orange roughy

  • Sea bass

  • Sea bream

  • Shark

  • Swordfish

  • Tilefish

  • Turbot

Oily fish close to the bottom of the food chain, contain lower levels of mercury than many other types of fish.

Consuming certain foods when eating these fish can help to stop mercury being absorbed into the bloodstream and chelate any that is there already.

Foods to consume to help eliminate mercury

Foods rich in sulphur can also help to eliminate mercury and other heavy metals from the body. See Sulphur

For more natural foods that can eliminate mercury see Heavy metals

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC


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