Fish is a very healthy, high-protein, low-fat, easy to digest food that provides an impressive range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats. Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of our diet.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, wild salmon delivers a boat load of nutrients with a very low caloric impact: one fillet (143 grams) of wild salmon contains 281 calories whereas its farm-raised cousin swims in with 412. Both varieties have the same amount of protein, but wild salmon has less fat (13 grams versus 27 grams), and almost three times the amount of saturated fat found in farm salmon.
A great source of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, halibut is a low-calorie/high-protein salt water treat. One 3-ounce serving contains only 94 calories and over 18 grams of protein.
With health benefits ranging from improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure to brain and nerve development, mackerel is one of the most highly recommended oily fish for a healthy diet. A protein rich fish found in deep temperate and tropical waters, mackerel is a nutrient powerhouse with high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K, and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc and copper.
Trout is one of the healthiest fish that you can include in your diet. A cooked 3-ounce serving of farm raised rainbow trout contains a whopping 981 milligrams of the Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) – which far exceeds the recommended minimum of 250 milligram per day – 21 grams of protein, and only 6 grams of total fat.
A 3-ounce serving of perch is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and delivers 16 grams of protein for just 75 calories.
Tuna is one of the most widely consumed fish around the world, and has a range of health benefits that cannot be denied or underestimated. Tuna provides you with more than 80% of your daily value of vitamin B12, 30% of vitamin B6, 100% of niacin, and decent amounts of vitamins A and E. Tuna is also packed with tons of minerals including large amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium to name just a few. And when it comes to calories, a 6-ounce can of tuna contains only 191 calories; a 6-ounce tuna steak contains only 180 calories, and both average 41 grams of protein.
Low in saturated fat, anchovies are loaded with protein, vitamin A, and Omega-3 fatty acids. 100 grams of this salt-water forage fish contains 131 calories, zero carbs, 4.84 grams of fat, and 20.35 grams of protein.
Four ounces of boiled or steamed shrimp contains just 112 calories, no carbohydrates, nearly 24 grams of protein and 1.2 grams of fat – only 0.3 grams of which is saturated. Shrimp are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the essential amino acid tryptophan, vitamin B12, and also provides more than 60 percent of your daily needs for the trace mineral selenium, which enhances immunity, thyroid function and reproduction.
A 3-ounce serving of haddock contains only 95 calories, over 25 grams of protein, and less than 1 grams of total fat. This saltwater fish also contains healthy amounts of vitamins B12 and B6, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, sodium and zinc.
Cod is a low fat flaky white meat fish that is an excellent source of protein, phosphorus, niacin, and Vitamin B-12. A 3-ounce cooked portion of cod has less than 90 calories, one gram of fat, and 15 to 20 grams of protein.
Named after the Italian island of Sardinia, Napoleon popularized sardines by making them the first fish ever to be canned. Although still usually found in those flat metal cans, this humble little fish is surprisingly nutritious. Sardines are a prime source of protein (3 grams per can with only 25 calories), vitamin B12, and high levels of tryptophan. They are also chock-full of selenium, vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and phosphorus.