There are many reasons why you should eat more fish in your diet. For one, it’s a good source of protein, and many varieties are low in fat and calories. The main benefit, though, is the abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies cannot make on their own.
Omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure, lipids, and inflammation, lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. According to research, eating one to two three-ounce portions of fatty fish per week will lower your risk of deadly heart disease by 36%.
Fish is also good for your brain: eating baked or broiled fish once a week has been shown to greatly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve listed a few fish kinds that are both tasty and nutritious below.
Salmon is the generic term for various ray-finned fish species belonging to the Salmonidae family. Trout, char, grayling, and whitefish are all members of the same family. Salmon are native to the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tributaries.
Many salmon species have been introduced into non-native habitats such as North America’s Great Lakes and South America’s Patagonia. In many regions of the world, salmon are intensively farmed.
Salmon are often anadromous, meaning they hatch in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, and then breed in freshwater. Several species, on the other hand, are confined to freshwater throughout their lives. According to legend, the fish spawn in the same area where they hatched.
Salmon is popular because of its versatility, ease of preparation, and mild flavor. Even fish haters will appreciate its delicate flavor, especially if it’s served with a creamy sauce, spices, or fruit salsa. Salmon can be baked, broiled, pan-fried, sautéed, slow-cooked, and grilled, much like other fish.
Although tuna is the most popular fish in the United States, nearly all of it is precooked or canned. Tuna’s raw flesh has a deep red hue and a meaty flavor due to its high myoglobin content. Tuna should be cooked to roughly 120°F when not quite opaque and should not be kept at 130°F or higher, or it will turn mushy.
They have a prominent keel on both sides of the tail base, a row of tiny finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins, and a shoulder region corselet of larger scales. A well-developed network of blood veins beneath the skin that works as a temperature-regulating device is another distinguishing trait linked with long-term, sluggish swimming.
Tunas are exceptional among fishes in that they can keep their body temperature above that of the surrounding water, often between 9 and 21.7 °F above ambient water temperature, thanks to their vascular system. Some muscles can be up to 21 degrees Celsius (nearly 39 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than the surrounding water.
Tilapia is a low-cost fish with a moderate flavor. In the United States, it is the fourth most popular form of seafood. Many people enjoy tilapia since it is inexpensive and does not have a strong fishy flavor.
Tilapia is the common name for numerous species of cichlid fish that live primarily in freshwater. Despite the fact that tilapia are native to Africa, they have been brought all over the world and are presently farmed in over 135 nations.
Because it doesn’t mind being crowded, develops quickly, and eats a cheap vegetarian diet, it’s a great fish for aquaculture. When compared to other forms of seafood, these characteristics result in a comparatively inexpensive product.
The benefits of tilapia are mostly dependent on regional variances in cultivation practices. China is by far the world’s largest tilapia producer. They generate about 1.6 million metric tons of tilapia each year, accounting for the majority of the country’s tilapia imports.
Cod is a nutrient-dense fish with numerous health advantages. It’s high in protein and low in fat, making it a great source of protein. Cod is also rich in many nutrients that are necessary for good health.
Steamed, grilled, or baked fish are some of the greatest ways to eat it. It’s also delicious with veggies or as part of a curry.
Mercury is found in almost all varieties of fish, especially the larger ones. Mercury can be harmful in excessive doses; therefore, it’s best to stay away from it. Cod, on the other hand, has a low mercury content. This means that most individuals can eat cod without fear of becoming sick.
5. Rainbow Trout
The majority of trout sold in supermarkets is raised in freshwater ponds and artificial raceways that resemble a flowing river.
In the United States, trout farming is governed by tight rules that limit the amount of chemicals that growers can use. Because of this control, mercury levels in farmed fish are reduced, making them a safer and healthier option.
The protein content of farmed rainbow trout is 19.94 g per 100 g, with 4.30 micrograms of vitamin B-12.
Catfish is a freshwater fish that is commonly farmed and marketed skinned due to its tough to remove scaleless skin. The barbels (fleshy filaments) that hang from the catfish’s mouth resemble the whiskers of a cat.
Catfish is related to carp, but its skeletal structure is simpler, making it easier to fillet. In the United States, channel catfish is the most prevalent species, and it is available all year. Catfish fillets are mildly sweet and can be fried, grilled, baked, sautéed, poached, or stewed. Try the breaded and fried catfish with coleslaw.
7. Red Snapper
Red snapper is a popular fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Recreational anglers love them, and they’re a desirable product at restaurants and seafood markets. They’re also a top predator in the Gulf ecology.
Red snapper can reach 40 inches in length, weigh up to 50 pounds, and live for over 50 years. It begins reproducing when it is around two years old, spawning along rocky ledges or coral reefs from May to October.
Sport fishermen also like pursuing them. In 2011, 3.1 million recreational anglers fished the Gulf of Mexico for red snapper and other species on more than 22 million trips. The local economy benefits from these fishing trips.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Don’t dismiss canned fish until you’ve given it a try. Not only is tinned fish tasty and a low-effort method to get some protein, but it’s also high in vitamins and nutrients. A plate of sardines, for example, has more omega-3s than a serving of salmon or tuna, as well as calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
Because sardines are so little and rely solely on plankton for nutrition, they contain very little mercury. Their flavor varies greatly depending on what they’re packed with, but they’re often oily and dense in texture. Sardines go well with lemony, acidic foods like capers and lemons and can be grilled or roasted whole, diced and incorporated into spaghetti, served as a fancy toast topper or eaten straight from the tin.
Herring is a popular fish all around the world, but it’s especially popular in Sweden. It’s eaten both pickled and fresh there, and it’s traditionally eaten for good luck on New Year’s Day. Herring is also popular in Germany, where it is pickled, rolled, and packed into a delicacy known as rollmop.
It’s high in omega-3s (approximately 1.5 g per three-ounce serving), iron, and antioxidants, and because of its small size, it’s low in mercury. The herring family includes a variety of fish, including shad, which is oily and perfect for serving whole. (The salty roe of shad is also popular.) Snack on tinned herring fillets or purchase whole herring to fry, grill, smoke, or pickle.
Halibut is the largest flatfish, a swimming fish having both eyes on one side of the head that swims sideways. It has firm white meat with more collagen than other fish, making it more tolerant of dryness.
Halibut is a huge fish found in the North Pacific and Northern Atlantic; hence it’s usually sold as frozen (or previously frozen) fillets. Halibut from the Pacific ranges from 10 to 60 lbs. and is available from March to November. Pan-seared halibut with brown butter and sage is a delicious option.
Turbot, Dover sole, sole, and fluke are all members of the flounder family, which contains mild, light-flavored saltwater flatfish. Flounder can be grilled, sautéed, filled and baked, or steamed whole. Flounder, like all flatfish, have both eyes on the same side of their heads.
Summer flounder (also known as northern fluke) has a delicate texture and is available from April to May. Try pan-fried flounder with lemon and fresh herbs that have been breaded.
Perch is a term that refers to a variety of species, with common perch and yellow perch being the only “genuine” perch. Yellow perch is a little fish native to eastern North America that weighs between one and two pounds. The pink flesh of farmed yellow perch has a pleasant flavor and a flaky texture, and it is accessible all year.
The common perch looks like yellow perch but is greener in color and can weigh up to 6 lbs. From California to Alaska, “Pacific ocean perch” is a species of rockfish with a nutty-sweet flavor and solid texture that is accessible all year. Before pan-frying and serving with risotto, gently flour yellow perch fillets.
Haddock is a mild-flavored member of the cod family with firm flesh and a wet texture. It’s often confused with cod, but it has a little sweeter flavor, making it the best white fish for smoking. Fresh, frozen, or smoked haddock are all popular options.
The haddock’s body is elongated and tapering, as is typical of cod family members. It has a small mouth that does not extend below the eye, and its snout has a wedge-shaped profile due to the lower profile of the face being straight and the top profile being slightly rounded. In comparison to Atlantic Cod, the top jaw protrudes further than the bottom. On the chin, there is a little barbel.
There are three dorsal fins; the first is triangular in shape and has 14 to 17 fin rays, the second has 20 to 24 fin rays, and the third has 19 to 22 fin rays. There are also two anal fins, the first has 21 to 25 fin rays, and the second has 20 to 24 fin rays. The dorsal and anal fins are isolated from one another. The pelvic fins are tiny, and the first fin ray is extended.
Flounders are a kind of flatfish. They are demersal fish that live at the bottom of the world’s oceans; some species will also enter estuaries.
If you like tilapia or halibut, you should add flounder to your shopping list right now. It’s equally as adaptable, mild, and delicate in flavor, with that trademark gentle sweetness. Flounder is also less oily than other fish; thus, it has fewer omega-3s than other alternatives.
Nonetheless, it’s a nutritious option in general and may be prepared in a variety of ways, including steaming, baking, and broiling. Flounder is also a good candidate for breading and frying. In the early spring, look for summer flounder (also known as northern fluke) since its texture is extremely fine and its skin is delicious.
Branzino (also known as European sea bass or loup de mer), black sea bass, and farmed hybrid striped bass are among the many species of bass (aka sunshine bass; a cross between freshwater white bass and striped sea bass). Bass have solid, mild-tasting flesh and simple skeletons that make filleting easier, but they have a low collagen content, which can make the fish taste dry. Crispy Whole Branzino by Gordon Ramsay is a must-try. The skin is left on for a crunchy texture, and the fish is cooked entirely for exceptionally moist flesh. Branzino is a delicious, meaty, flavorful fish.