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Diet therapy

Fish for good health

Fish is a good source of many essential nutrients.

Fish & Nutrition

Here are just a few:

  • Protein for body growth
  • Vitamins A,D and E for skin, eye and nerve health
  • Iodine, selenium, iron and zinc for the brain
  • Omega 3 fats for nerve and brain development

Fish for the Heart

Studies have found that eating 1-2 servings of finfish each week can substantially lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Fish oils are thought to relax blood vessels. This improves blood flow, reduces blood pressure and protects against blood clot formation. Omega 3 fats in finfish help reduce the susceptibility of heart muscle to develop arrhythmias and subsequent heart attack.

Fish for a Safe Pregnancy

Listeriosis if contracted during pregnancy may cause miscarriage and still birth. As Listeria will grow on refrigerated food careful food handling is necessary. The Minister of Health recommend pregnant women avoid smoked and raw seafood but cooking fresh fish immediately before eating is safe as Listeria is destroyed by heat. Cooked fish is a good source of DHA, an omega 3 fat essential for early brain and nerve development in infants

Fish for Breastfeeding

Fish contains the omega 3 fat DHA as well as protein, iron and trace elements iodine and selenium. These nutrients are important for early brain and nerve development in infants. During pregnancy and when breast feeding a baby draws what it needs from its mother. So to replenish a mothers own stores and give baby a great start eat fish today

Fish for the Brain

Fatty Fish like Tuna, Salmon and Sardines contain Vitamins A, D and E. These vitamins aid vision, balance and reflexes and affects senses such as taste and touch. Fish is a good source of iron and zinc important for improved attention spans, discrimination and concept learning along with memory and concentration. Recent research has found fish reduces depression and may also help dyslexia, ADHD and dementia.

Fish for Fitness

Just 1-2 servings of finfish each week reduces blood clotting, improving blood flow to the heart and lungs essential for aerobic fitness. When not deep fried, fish is a naturally low fat, high protein alternative for muscle growth and repair. The Omega 3 fat in fish helps the body modify its inflammatory response reducing joint swelling, morning stiffness and increasing grip strength. This may also benefit the fitness of arthritis sufferers.

Encourage children to eat fish

Fish contains omega 3 fats, iron, protein and trace elements iodine and selenium which aid brain and nerve health. Always ensure that the skin, scales and bones are removed in fresh fish or use canned fish instead. Mix fish with mashed potato to make fish cakes or mountains; or add fish to mini muffins or mini pita breads. Try pinwheel or club sandwiches and keep servings small and tasty.

Fish and Food Safety

Food bourn bacteria grow quickly in protein rich foods such as chicken, egg dishes, meat, rice, beans and seafood and can cause gastric illness. Always follow food safety instructions on the foods that you buy such as expiry dates and the “cover and refrigerate after opening” comments. To handle food safely always wash your hands before preparing or eating food. Eat fresh fish within 2 days of purchase, for good health and great flavour!

If you would like more fish information then contact us today

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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