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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Looking for a Healthy Meal? Go Fish!

Looking for a Healthy Meal? Go Fish!

Most of us  have heard a doctor or dietician expound on the multitude of benefits resulting from incorporating fish into a healthy diet. It is not only beneficial for losing and maintaining weight, it is full of omega-3 fats that are scientifically-proven to prevent or lessen many debilitating ailments like arthritis. Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids needed for the body to operate normally. Although armed with this information, many people feel like a fish out of water when it comes to choosing the types of fish that will reel in the most health benefits.

The top two killers of American men and women, according to a Mayo Clinic website, are heart disease and cancer. Lean sources of protein found in fish, however, can combat those diseases. Salmon, herring, and tuna are not only packed with protein, but are high in omega-3 fats. For example, four ounces of salmon, baked or grilled, has at least two grams of omega-3 fats — more than the average American adult gets from all food during the course of several days.

Other health benefits of fatty acids found in salmon, herring and tuna include triglycerides reduction, prevention of chronic inflammation, promotion of stronger joint cartilage, improved cognitive function, better cardiovascular health, and healthier skin and hair. Vitamin D found in salmon, herring, and tuna is believed to decrease the risks of acquiring breast, prostate and colon cancers. Fish oils also are reported to be effective in maintaining healthy eyesight. Selenium, a potent antioxidant found in tuna, boosts the immune system and can stave off flu and colds.

Rainbow trout also possesses large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It is touted as a protein with the ability to raise metabolism, facilitate muscle growth and fight exhaustion. Trout also has vitamin B12 — a vitamin that plays a role in the normal function of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin B6, which assists in maintaining brain function and forming red blood cells, including niacin, which has lowered cholesterol in clinical tests, are also abundant in trout.

While most trout purchased in American supermarkets is farm-raised, wild caught trout is the healthiest. Farm-raised trout tends to be fattier, contain less omega-3 fats and, in some cases, are more likely to be exposed to pesticides. The same rules apply to shoppers searching for salmon to enjoy. In a scientific study several years ago, researchers learned farm-raised salmon had more carcinogens than those caught in the wild. Shoppers need not fret, because most national supermarkets sell farm-raised or wild salmon.

To ensure the benefits of eating fish can be gained, it is recommended everybody eat six-to-eight ounces of fish per week as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Here are a few recipes to get you started on the road to better health:

Blackened Trout
Ingredients:
4 6-oz trout fillets
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together paprika, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, cumin, pepper, thyme and salt, and set aside. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pour cup melted butter into a shallow dish and coat each fillet. Dredge the fillets in the spice mixture, making sure they are evenly covered. Pour the remaining melted better into the pan and add fish fillets. Cook fillets about 2 minutes, until charred, then turn them over and repeat on the uncooked side.

Foil Baked Trout
Ingredients:
4 6-oz. trout fillets
2 tablespoons. butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Clean and rinse the fish and lightly and sprinkle with salt. Mix together the butter, parsley, dill, chives, onion, and lemon juice. Place each fillet on a piece of aluminum foil, pour 1/4 of the butter mixture over each, and carefully seal them into an envelope of foil. Bake for 20 minutes, unwrap and serve.

7 comments

1 michal@Beyond Diet Scam { 08.01.12 at 5:23 am }

Fish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is an important part of a healthy diet.

2 Ali { 05.11.12 at 12:52 pm }

As wonderful and highly nutritious as it is in a perfect world, many wild caught fish have already reached toxic levels for some folks. A U.S. Geological Survey stated that mercury contamination was detected in EVERY fish sampled in nearly 300 streams across the U.S. More than a quarter of those fish contained mercury at levels exceeding the EPA criterion for the protection of human health. Now, I don’t wish to be argumentative for argument’s sake, and I am not an alarmist — far from it. I love wild salmon and Ieast once a week if possible. But I do not already have a bio accumulation of heavy metals or mercury in my body and I partake in saunas and bentonite clay baths. But, there are people out there whose cumulative toxic insult is already so great that their bodies do not know how to deal with mercury, other than to sequester it, tenaciously bound to the neurological fatty tissue. And there it remains, poisoning the cells and competing for the same biological space as many vital nutrients. It is THESE people — and their numbers are ever growing — who have to be more concerned about this issue.

3 Carol Berkeley { 05.11.12 at 10:57 am }

Does anyone care about ocean damange and farm fish to me is dirty and disgusting especially those from China where chicken feces is fed to fish sorry I will take my chances with the fish in the ocean.

4 Ali { 05.04.12 at 3:21 pm }

Dear Grumpy: I have my facts straight…let me be a little more clear:

Farmed salmon and other types of farmed fish produced in unsustainable fish farms should not be consumed….why??
Farmed fish have been fed food contaminated with melamine, toxic copper sulfate, pesticides, and more than a quarter of these fish contained mercury at levels exceeding the EPA criterion for the protection of human health. ALL farmed-raised fish – not just salmon — are fed a concoction of vitamins, antibiotics, and depending on the fish, synthetic pigments, to make up for the lack of natural flesh coloration due to the altered diet. Without it, the flesh of caged salmon would be an unappetizing, pale gray. Studies have also consistently found levels of PCB’s, dioxins, toxaphene and dieldrin, as well as mercury, to be higher in farm-raised fish than wild fish. More than a quarter of these fish contained mercury at levels exceeding the EPA criterion for the protection of human health.
Wild caught fish have already reached such toxic levels, it’s impossible to recommend eating them with a clear conscience anymore.
So, when you consider the fact that factory farmed fish typically are even MORE toxic than wild caught fish, avoiding them becomes a no-brainer –at least if you treasure your health.
That’s why taking krill supplements, to get your omega-3 fat, out ways the options by far.
So, Grumpy, please check YOUR facts!
Here’s to your health!

5 Grumpy { 05.03.12 at 1:44 pm }

Ali, please check your facts -farmed fish have lowest amounts of mercury. Mercury levels build up in fish at the top end of food chain from eating ones lower down – AND EVEN THOSE amounts are controversial. Too many food polie and scare mongers out there with half facts and misleading info

6 patricia van stavern { 05.03.12 at 1:00 pm }

Would you mention Telipia, it is also economical

7 Ali { 05.02.12 at 9:55 am }

Yes, fish is good for you. But I would stay away from farmed fish…loads of mercury and other stuff. Better yet take a krill pill (smaller fish with less chances of contamination, IMHO :))

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