We’re constantly being told that we need to watch what we’re eating and consume more healthy, fresh, and natural foods as opposed to processed junk foods yet when it comes to actually finding healthy, fresh, and natural foods that we actually enjoy eating, many of us come up a little short. As far as healthy foods are concerned, fish and seafood are up there at the top of pretty much any healthy eating list, with oily fish in particular stealing a lot of the praise and attention. When people think of oily fish, typically it is salmon that immediately springs to their minds, which is one of the reasons why salmon is such a popular fish (and so expensive). Whilst salmon, and indeed every other form of oily fish out there is a great addition to any diet, there is one fish that is quickly becoming more and more popular with each passing day, and that fish in question is mackerel. If you’ve never tried mackerel, or perhaps if you’re wary of giving up your favourite salmon, here are a few reasons to get hooked on mackerel, and who knows, it may even become your preferred fish of choice for the future.
Mackerel helps reduce the risk of diabetes
Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic sweeping the nation, even the globe for that matter, as more and more people are currently being diagnosed with diabetes than ever before. The most common form of diabetes is Type 2 Diabetes, and that is largely caused due to poor diet, a lack of exercise, and too much body fat. Mackerel however, helps to reduce the risk of diabetes as it is rich in a large dosage of healthy fats, including monounsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids play a vital role in not only the prevention of diabetes, but also in the regulation and control of blood sugar, in everyday individuals and existing diabetics. Eating this fish on a regular basis can not only help regulate blood sugar levels within the body, it can also help to reduce visceral abdominal fat, which is extremely dangerous as it coats the organs in a layer of fat and places them under extreme stress. As the organs don’t work correctly when placed under increased pressure, the pancreas, which is responsible for secreting insulin to help break down blood sugar, also will not function correctly, thereby contributing towards diabetes. The fats contained within mackerel actually communicate with fat burning enzymes in the body, and basically tell them to use visceral belly fat as their primary source of energy, thereby increasing the metabolism.
Mackerel can help prevent heart disease
Did you know that more people die from heart disease-related conditions every single year than they do from cancer? Heart disease is a very serious issue, which again, frustratingly can so easily be avoided by eating healthier and getting more exercise. Studies have found that one of the most efficient methods of preventing heart disease, and indeed strengthening the heart and the cardiovascular system, is to consume a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It just so happens that mackerel is a fantastic source of these very same omega 3 fatty acids as well as both poly and monounsaturated fats, which are the two healthiest forms of fat available. Not only that, but it is also low in unhealthy saturated fats which thereby helps reduce strain on the heart.
It’s great for the joints
Another fantastic reason to eat more mackerel is the fact that it is also fantastic for the joints, helping to protect against rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and general joint pain as well. The fatty acids found in mackerel contain potent anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce joint and muscle stiffness, pain, and swelling, especially in individuals suffering from arthritis. Not only that, but studies have also revealed that by including mackerel as part of your weekly diet, any drugs or medications prescribed to help treat and manage arthritis, will also be more readily absorbed by the body, and will therefore become more effective.
It’s rich in healthy cholesterol
Cholesterol is essential for cellular health and function, yet unfortunately there are two types of cholesterol. There is bad cholesterol, which is known as LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, and there is good cholesterol, which is known as HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol. Having too much LDL cholesterol in your body can cause fatty deposits to build up in veins and arteries, and can cause heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, hypertension, organ failure, and much more besides. The great thing about HDL cholesterol is that it actually breaks down and reduces unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Mackerel is a fantastic source of HDL cholesterol, which is another reason why it’s considered so incredibly healthy and beneficial.
Mackerel is great for overall cognitive health and function
Numerous studies and research has also found that mackerel is also fantastic when it comes to cognitive health and function, as it helps provide a number of fantastic benefits to the brain and central nervous system. Those who consume large quantities of omega 3 fatty acids are generally far less likely to suffer from depression, stress, and mood swings earlier on in life. Studies have also found that the omega 3 fatty acids found in mackerel, help to improve long and short-term memory, mental alertness and awareness, as well as overall brain health and function. They are also less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia later on in life, thanks to a compound known as DHA, which is also found in abundance within mackerel.
It tastes great
As if you needed any more convincing as to why you should be eating more mackerel, how about the simple fact that it tastes great? Mackerel is fantastic on wholemeal toast, with a grilled tomato and a poached egg for a balanced and energy-rich breakfast. It can be eaten in salads, on sandwiches, in stir fries, and in numerous other ways as well. It’s also much cheaper than salmon.