There are many benefits of eating fish as you age and some caveats too. We will present below a balanced view on why you should add fish to your diet and how much you should restrict it.
As you get older, eating high-protein, carbs, and fiber with low-fat food can help boost your energy levels, improve your mental sharpness, and increase your resistance to illness. Seniors should eat fish as it comes with a range of health benefits.
As people age 40, their metabolism slows due to less physical activity. It is essential to limit the calories intake while gaining complete nutrients from your diet, and fish contains low fat and more protein, which help seniors avoid weight gain.
Seniors have more reasons to start eating fish mentioned in this article.
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What Nutrients Are Present in a Fish?
Fish is a food option high in protein and low in fat content. Fish is filled with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B2, and vitamin D. Fish is ideal for people who need high omega-3 acids in their diet. Fish also contain several minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, iodine, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.
The AHA recommends people eat fish at least two times per week because it has many health benefits. Most fishes are packed with proteins, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that help reduce the risk of stroke by lowering blood pressure.
However, different types of fish have slightly different nutrients, but all are rich in calcium and phosphorus.
Omega-3s found in fish help protect the heart, eyes, and brain in older adults. There are more benefits of eating fish for seniors.
Benefits of Eating Fish for Seniors
Help Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Strokes
As you know, fish are rich in protein, vitamins, and omega-3s; you should eat fatty types of fish as they are more nutritious. Fish contain a great amount of omega-3 fatty acids to help lower the risk of heart disease. Eating fish regularly also helps lower your risk of heart attack, storks, and premature death caused by heart disease.
According to one study, 40,000 Americans who ate one or more servings of fish showed 15% fewer chances of developing heart disease.
Boost Brain Health
People experience a decline in their brain function with aging. Older people can develop serious neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Eating fish slows down the rates of mental decline and boosts brain health.
One study shows that people who eat more fish have more gray matter in their brain centers than others. The gray matter helps regulate your emotion and memory.
Help Treat Depression
Encountering depression is common for you as you age. Many people experience sadness, low mood, decreased energy, and loss of interest in life due to many reasons. However, some foods like fish can brighten the mood and calm the mind of people.
According to a study, eating fish helps fight depression as many people with fish in their diet are found less depressed.
Scientists also believe that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent depression symptoms in people, and it works similar to antidepressant medications.
Seniors should eat fish as it also helps treat other medical conditions like bipolar disorder.
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Lower the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
Older adults may develop autoimmune disease, in which their immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues. It can also develop in children.
Many studies indicate that eating more fish helps reduce the risk of autoimmune diabetes in adults. Eating fish also lowers the risk of type 1 diabetes in children.
Scientists believe that omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in fish help lower the risk of autoimmune disease. Scientists also believe that eating more fish is related to a lower risk of multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Help Improve Sleep Quality
Aging can also lead you to develop a sleep disorder due to deficiency of vitamin D. Doctors recommend people with insomnia to eat more fish with high vitamin D, generally two servings per week.
The research explained that increased exposure to blue light could also be the reason behind the sleep disorder in people.
In a study, researchers observed 95 middle-aged men and found that eating salmon three times per week helped improve both daily function and sleep quality.
Older men and women are likely to worsen their eyesight. Most common eye problems like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affect the daily life of older adults.
Doctors advise seniors to eat more fish high in omega-3 as it helps protect against vision impairment or blindness in people.
One study suggests that eating more fish helps lower the risk of AMD in women by 42%.
One more study shows that people who eat fatty fish once a week have a 53% decreased risk of neovascular AMD.
Lower the Risk of Colon Cancers
With aging, the risk of certain cancers may increase. According to a study, eating fish lowers the risk of colon cancer in adults by 43%. Doctors also recommend older adults add fish to their diet to lower the risk of certain cancers.
Researchers found that fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation and vitamin D, helping lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
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Help Lose Weight
Older adults often have fewer activities that consume less energy. Seniors should eat less fat and more nutrient-dense food. Fish can provide you with a rich source of protein along with omega-3 acid. Omega-3 fatty acids help cut down on food cravings and provide satiety. Fish ultimately help you lose weight and maintain your fitness. Protein helps muscles grow and builds more muscles in adults.
Promote Bone Health
Fatty fish like salmon contain bone-boosting nutrients vitamin D that help promote the health of your bone. Vitamin D helps the body absorbs calcium and omega-3 fatty acids that strengthen the bones.
Three ounces of fatty fish contain 187 mg of calcium that aids your bones. Doctors recommend fish to people with bone fractures because omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce joint pain and swelling.
Uses of Fish
- People have been using fish as a food for its benefits for thousands of years. Many varieties of fish are available worldwide. Some people also use fish oil supplements to fulfill the need for omega-3 fatty acids.
- Many industries manufacture fish oil capsules from different types of fish. These capsules are rich in omega-3 acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). People use fish oil supplements as it helps reduce pain and swelling. These oil capsules have similar health benefits to fish. However, older adults use fish oil supplements after consulting their doctor.
- People also use fish as glue; they boil the bone skin and swim bladders of fish.
- Many people use fish as an excellent source of income and employment. Farmers raise the fish with the help of workers. And profit from the production of fish.
- Many industries made fish fertilizer from the remaining fluids of fish during oil production.
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Reasons Why the Elderly Should be Careful When Eating Fish
For most older adults, the risk of getting too many contaminants such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is often outweighed by the omega-3 fatty acid’s health benefits. However, older adults should eat fish within the limit directed by medical experts.
The quantity of mercury is high in the following fish, including tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel. Mercury can increase the toxicity level and accumulate the toxin in your body. The FDA suggests older men and women limit the amount of fish they eat to lower the mercury and PCBs side effects.
Older adults should eat at least two servings of 8 ounces of omega-3 rich fish per week. People also pay attention to the preparation method of fish. You should use health options including grilling, baking, and broiling the fish instead of deep-frying it.
Another reason why you should think twice about eating fish is the exploitation of fishing by massive industries to make more profit.
Answers to More Questions About Eating Fish
Why should older people eat fish?
Naturally, fish is an excellent source of protein, and people of all ages can easily digest it. Fish also contain other crucial nutrients that help in the development of the brain and eyes.
What happens to your body when you eat fish every day?
Eating fish every day can bring you many health benefits, including improved sleep quality, metabolism, and skin quality. However, overeating fish can increase the risk of mercury poisoning.
Does fish increase lifespan?
Eating fish lowers the risk of heart disease and premature death, resulting in increasing the lifespan of adults.
Is fish healthier than chicken?
Both fish and chicken are great sources of protein and provide several health benefits. However, fish is healthier than chicken because fish contains omega-3, which has many great health benefits.
As people age, they change their lifestyle and physical activity, affecting their diet. So, as you get older, you should use more nutritious food like fish that brings you many health benefits.
However, consuming too much fish can affect an older adult’s health. You should limit your seafood intake as it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
We hope we were able to present a balanced view about fish-eating like we set out to do. If you find the article useful in deciding how much fish to add to your diet, do give us a thumbs up on social media.
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