Fish is known as one of the good sources of protein for the body, besides meat and chicken. However, the Indonesian population is still relatively low in terms of eating fish, especially residents on the island of Java. In Java, fish consumption is still 32 kg per capita per year, while in Sumatra and Kalimantan fish consumption is between 32-43 per capita per year, and in eastern Indonesia as much as 40 kg per year, according to data from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. In fact, the benefits of eating fish are very large, especially in children who are still growing.
What are the benefits of eating fish?
Unfortunately, many Indonesians prefer to eat meat and chicken as a source of protein than fish. In fact, nutrition in fish is very high, even higher than meat and chicken. Plus, the price of fish may be more affordable than meat and chicken.
The following are the benefits of eating fish:
1. Helps growth, especially the growth of the brain and bones of children
Besides high protein, fish also contains omega 3 fatty acids (which are needed for brain growth), as well as calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus (which is needed by children for bone growth). Not only that, fish are also rich in other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B2, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. All of these vitamins and minerals are certainly very needed by children to support the growth and development of children as a whole.
2. Prevent heart disease
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times per week as part of a healthy diet. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Health itself recommends eating fish as much as 2-3 times per week.
Fish contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals that can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The content of omega 3 fatty acids in fish is very good for heart health. A study also shows that consumption of fish rich in omega 3 (such as tuna, sardines, salmon, trout, and mackerel) can reduce fat levels in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
3. Reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease
A study found that people who eat fish by roasting have larger brain volumes and larger brain cells in the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Well, experts believe that people who have greater brain volume have a lower risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.
This might be related to the gray substance in the brain, the part of the brain that contains neurons that process information and store memories. Research shows that people who eat fish every week have more gray substances in the center of the brain that regulates emotions and memories.
4. Reducing the risk of depression
Some studies have shown that eating fish can help reduce the risk of depression. This is probably due to the content of omega 3 fatty acids in fish. Research shows that consumption of fish can further increase the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs, compared to if you only take antidepressant drugs.
Omega 3 fatty acids in fish can also help with other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder. Omega 3 is one of the nutrients needed for healthy brain function.
5. Other benefits
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, fish also have other benefits, such as:
- Protects the eyes from decreased function due to aging. Research shows that regular fish consumption is associated with a decrease in macular degeneration in women.
- Prevent asthma in children. A study shows that children who consume smaller fish are at risk of developing asthma.
- Reducing the risk of type 1 diabetes. Some studies show that consumption of fish containing omega 3 is associated with a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in children and adults.
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