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A Complete List of the Healthiest Fish to Eat

healthiest fish to eat

Are you aware that you should eat fish at least twice a week?

If you’re struggling to meet this quota, don’t fret. About 80-90 percent of avid fish eaters are also having trouble doing so. For most people, the biggest issue is actually finding healthy fish, especially due to the increase in mercury contamination.

Fortunately for you, we have a complete list of some of the healthiest fish to eat and the nutrients they provide to our bodies. If you’re interested in improving your health, read on to know the best fish to buy.

1. Sardines

Small and inexpensive as they are, sardines pack more omega-3 fatty acids than tuna and salmon. They’re especially high in other minerals like calcium, selenium, and iron. They’re also naturally high in Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12.

Sardines make an excellent choice for pregnant women, older adults, lactose intolerant individuals, and even heart attack survivors. You can buy them fresh from farmer’s markets or canned from local stores.

2. Mackerel

Mackerel is not only high in proteins but also omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients. Regular consumption of this oily fish can help:

  • Lower high blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Keep bones strong and healthy
  • Minimize the waistline
  • Protect against depression

While you can buy it canned or fresh, it’s always better to go for the smaller varieties like Spanish or Atlantic mackerel. They contain lower mercury levels than the larger types. Also, check labels before you buy smoked or pickled mackerel to ensure they don’t have high sodium levels.

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3. Salmon

Eating fatty fish like salmon every week can bring several health benefits. Compared to farm-fished salmon, wild caught salmon is richer in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D. This is because wild caught salmon is found it’s natural habitat, hence, less exposed to contaminants and processed fish food.

4. Rainbow Trout

The colorful, patterned trout is another delicious oily fish you could include in your diet. Just like salmon, it’s a great source of protein and omega-3 content. It’s also very low in fat, making it the best fish for weight loss.

Still, there are some moderate concerns about consuming trout because of mercury contamination. As a result, the U.S. government has set strict regulations limiting the number of chemicals farmers can use in trout farming. This has helped lower mercury levels in this fish, making the farmed variety a safer and healthier choice than the wild species.

5. Halibut

For all those people who don’t enjoy the typical fish, Pacific Halibut could be an ideal choice to add to your diet. The halibut is a firm, white fish with a rather mild flavor. It’s an excellent source of selenium, which when taken in small amounts offers a lot of health benefits to the body.

In addition, it’s also a good source of several other micronutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and B12. The only concern about the halibut fish is that it matures slowly, thus making it susceptible to overfishing. To help curb this issue, many halibut fish farms and been established around the country.

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6. Tuna

In as much as tuna is a favorite option for most fish lovers, it’s highly recommendable that you eat it in moderation for health reasons. Most species of tuna have high mercury content. Also, they get extremely overfished.

To be on the safe side, limit your intake of yellowfin, ahi tuna, and albacore. Instead, opt for smaller species like the skipjack. These small tuna fish have a lower mercury level and they’ll still provide you with the essential benefits you need.

7. Oysters

These unusually delicious molluscs have several unique nutrients, which offer a range of health benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Boosting metabolism
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Improving immune functions
  • Aiding in wound healing
  • Reducing blood pressure, and
  • Promoting healthy growth

Besides being useful to our bodies, oysters are also good for the environment. The shells are an excellent source of calcium, which when used in the garden can help build strong plant barks as well as balance the soil pH.

They also help other fish to catch food by acting as natural reefs. While shopping for oysters, just beware of raw warm water shellfish as they sometimes contain bacteria, which cause illnesses.

8. Herring

This small silver-colored fish is one of the most affordable and healthiest fish you can add to your diet.

For starters, herring is an excellent source of vitamin D. For people who don’t get enough sunlight, herring could be an ideal solution to keep you from getting diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Herring is also loaded with omega-3 content, which can help prevent heart disease and ensure proper brain functioning. Another advantage of herring is that it contains minimal mercury content, making it one of the cleanest and safest ocean fish to eat

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9. Cod

Like most of the other fish on this list, cod is also naturally rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s an excellent source of vitamin B-12, niacin, and phosphorus. Apart from providing essential nutrients, codfish is low in fat, making it an ideal choice for all those trying to lose weight.

If anything, cod is one of the few fish with low mercury contaminants. You can, therefore, consume it without risking your health.

Get the Healthiest Fish to Eat for Better Health

Now that you’re aware of some of the healthiest fish to eat, don’t hesitate to try them out. Consuming different fish several times in the week can provide the nutrients required for a well-balanced diet.

If you’re breastfeeding, pregnant or you’ve got a medical condition, make sure to consult with your physician first.

For more healthy living articles, browse our mom blog.

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LouAnn Moss

LouAnn is a copywriter from upstate New York. She loves the English language almost as much as she loves her two cats. When she's not blogging, she's working on a graphic novel.

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