Benefits of eating fish

Eating plenty of fish on a regular basis can help protect you from a range of serious diseases. But are there any dangers in eating too much?
SalmonOily fish such as salmon have the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids

Fish is a superfood. Packed with vitamins and minerals, and a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, fish can help to protect against a range of diseases, from cancer to heart disease, depression to arthritis.

The benefits of eating fish

Heart disease

No wonder the Government wants us all to eat more, with the Food Standards Agency recommending at least two portions a week of fresh, frozen, or tinned seafood (one of them of oily fish). The British Heart Foundation says eating oily fish can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your chances of survival following a heart attack. Fish does this by lowering levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood - raised levels are associated with heart disease. Fish oils also appear to help reduce blood clotting and abnormal heart rhythms after a heart attack.


Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in many fish may prevent damage to brain cells. Eating fish can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which is linked with dementia. A French study of 2000 people showed that those who ate seafood at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of dementia over a seven-year period than those who didn't.


A Swedish study of 6000 men over a 30-year period showed that those who didn't eat any fish had between double and treble the risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to those who ate moderate or large amounts. Shellfish, such as crab and lobster, also contains selenium, thought to have cancer-fighting properties.


It's been reported that fish can help to ease depression. Again, it's down to omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to raise levels of the brain chemical serotonin.


Population groups that eat a lot of fish - Inuits in Greenland, for example - have low rates of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Studies have also shown fish oils to be useful in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Social benefits

According to research carried out in Mauritius, children given lots of fish from the age of three are less likely to have criminal records by the time they reach 23.


According to dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, author of The Perricone Prescription, a salmon-packed diet can help smooth out age lines.

Which fish to eat

  • White fish like cod are a good source of low-fat protein and minerals.
  • Oily fish such as sardines, pilchards, salmon and mackerel have the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Crab, lobster and mussels come into the shellfish group and contain selenium, thought to have cancer-fighting properties.

We have a wide range of fish recipes available online.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.


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  • mads

    Posted: Thursday 23 January 2014

    very good information helped me greatly with my food tech work in school:)

  • manojuppal

    Posted: Sunday 19 January 2014

    Please type your comments here. is there after boiling small fish into water and make a soup that contains fish oil is helpful to human body. Please reply me on email.

  • funmilayo

    Posted: Wednesday 15 January 2014

    how much fish is recommended in a week?

  • Ria

    Posted: Friday 10 January 2014

    i do believe fish removes age lines, i am not sure how true is it for others like arthritis.

  • freddy

    Posted: Tuesday 27 August 2013


  • gladys

    Posted: Thursday 18 July 2013

    i like fish but i dont know if fish can make me fat

  • inayathulla khan

    Posted: Saturday 04 May 2013

    fish is really very good for the health

  • Tarunchakroborty

    Posted: Monday 18 March 2013

    I want to know the food value of fish

  • Tarunchakroborty

    Posted: Monday 18 March 2013

    I want to know the food value of fish

  • awal abdul razak

    Posted: Wednesday 07 November 2012

    do we really have the effect of eating too much fish.


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