Heart-Healthy Greek-Style Baked Cod + 8 Fish Nutrition Benefits
8 minute read
One of the main reasons the Mediterranean diet is hailed as the healthiest diet on the planet, comes down to the fish. Along with healthy oils, legumes, and greens, the Mediterranean diet consists of a large amount of fish.
Fish is loaded with essential vitamins, nutrients, and protein and is easily one of the world’s healthiest foods. Even if you don’t cook Mediterranean fare, you need to be sure fish is on the menu.
The Reasons You Need to Eat Fish
While not all fish is the same, all fish is at least a source of protein, which is essential to proper health. Here are 8 ways that fish can benefit your health.
1. Nutritional Content: Fish is full of vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein that your body thrives on. The fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are especially healthy because of their higher content of fat-based nutrients.
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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that many people are deficient in, but thankfully fatty fish has what you need. In addition to this, these types of fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to your heart and brain health.
2. Cardiovascular Health: Fish is widely considered to be one of the best foods when it comes to boosting heart health. Studies have found that you have a lower risk for heart attack, stroke, and heart disease when you consume fish regularly.
| Related: The Best Natural Supplement to Combat High Cholesterol |
The benefits for your heart are believed to come from the high omega-3 fatty acid content of fish, and this content is considerably higher in fatty types of fish.
3. Protection for Your Brain: You may not be able to stop yourself from getting older, but you certainly can protect your brain from age-related cognitive decline. As we get older, we not only face the natural deterioration of brain function, but risk for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s also increases.
| Related: The Many Ways and Reasons Omega-3s Can Protect Your Brain |
The gray matter in your brain is responsible for emotion and memory as well as processing information. When fish is a regular part of the diet, gray matter is larger, and you are better protected from cognitive decline.
4. Mood Booster: Fish can help your brain’s cognitive function as well as its emotional function. Depression is one of the most common mood disorders in this country and often antidepressants do not work or cause additional symptoms.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish help to regulate mood and increase the effectiveness of medications. Fish on a regular basis can improve your mood and prevent symptoms associated with mood disorders like depression.
5. Get Your Vitamin D: Most people typically think of getting their daily dose of vitamin D from milk, but it turns out that fish is a better source. With vitamin D deficiency being one of the most common in the country, it is becoming important to address the need for this essential vitamin.
| Related: How to Get Vitamin D Benefits From the Sun Safely |
Fish or fish products are the best food source for vitamin D, with fatty types like salmon having the largest amounts.
6. Reduced Risk for Diabetes: Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, either from fresh fish or fish oil, helps to protect against autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes. The effect on inflammation that omega-3 fatty acids have is thought to be the reason that your immune system is able to avoid the damages of autoimmune disorders.
7. Protect Your Vision: Your brain is not the only part of you that declines with age, as your vision starts to weaken too. Macular degeneration is a condition common among elderly individuals, and it can cause severe vision impairments and even blindness.
Studies have found that regular consumption of fish or omega-3 fatty acids help to protect your eyes and reduce your risk of developing vision problems as you get older.
8. Sleep Well: The numbers of reported cases of insomnia and sleep disturbances continues to rise each year. A continual lack of sleep can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
The top causes for insomnia include stress and overexposure to blue light, which is understandable given the fact that we all have a phone, tablet, or computer in our face for most of the day.
Regular doses of vitamin D from eating fish a few times a week has been shown to improve sleep so you can get the rest you need.
There are mountains of evidence supporting the health benefits of including fish in your diet. Fatty fish, in particular are an essential ingredient of a healthy lifestyle.
Apart from being loaded with nutrients, fish is also very versatile and can be cooked in a multitude of ways, served for any meal, and is perfect for every season and occasion.
The recipe below is one tasty way to promote your health.
Greek-Style Baked Cod With Lemon & Garlic
1.5 lb Cod fillet pieces (4-6 pieces)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Lemon Juice Mixture:
5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 tbsp Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp melted butter
For the Coating:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and melted butter into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, spices, salt, and pepper and also set aside. Pat the fish fillets dry and then dip into the lemon juice mixture first then the flour mixture.
2. In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, and once it is sizzling, add the fish, searing on each side to give it some color. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side and remove from the heat.
3. Add the minced garlic to the remaining lemon juice mixture, and spread all over the fish fillets. Bake in the heated oven until the fish begins to flake easily with a fork (about ten minutes). Remove from the heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with a fresh garden salad or your favorite side dish.
The Bottom Line
Eat great-tasting food and stay healthy by incorporating fish into your meals. Not only will your taste buds be happy, but your heart, brain, immune system, digestive system, and mental health will all benefit.
Fish is full of nutritional value that you don’t want to miss out on, and its versatility allows it to be cooked with so many styles and flavors. This baked cod with lemon and garlic has all sorts of ways of satisfying.