Fish Equals Health

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Seafood is enjoyed by people all over the world. Its excellent nutritional content, good taste, availability and value price make it a staple food for many people.

Explore the many varieties of seafood and expand your collection of fish dishes in your intake and your health will be the better for it.

Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, or the ‘good’ fats, fish is an important part of the diet.

Why is eating fish healthy?

Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a 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 the diet. Also, fish are low in the ‘bad’ fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids.

Parts of the fish and their health properties

1. Throat -the most expensive, good antioxidant and anti cancer properties

2. Stomach and liver– good for pregnant women

3. Chest meat– good for blood circulation

4. Back fin portion– good for cleansing and nutirion

5. Belly fin– rich in omega oils for general health

6. Head – rich in collagen and essential omega oils; good for eyes

7. Tail portion i– good for youthful skin and hair

8. Front fin portion– good for skin elasticity and general circulation

9. Fish slices– rich in omega oils

10. Scales and bone– good for joints and bones

11. Belly bone– good as antioxidant

Why is omega-3 good for your health?

Growing evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids provide a number of health benefits. They:

-help maintain cardiovascular health by playing a role in the regulation of blood clotting and vessel constriction;

-are important for prenatal and postnatal neurological development;

-may reduce tissue inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis;

-may play a beneficial role in cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), reducing depression and halting mental decline in older people.

-the omega-3s found in fish (EPA and DHA) appear to provide the greatest health benefits.

Tips for Cooking Fish

Fish must be fresh.

Choose low-sodium, low-fat seasonings such as spices, herbs, lemon juice and other flavourings in cooking and at the table.

Recipes

Fish Head Curry

By Uma Selvam

Serves 4

One 1-kg Red Snapper fish head, halved lengthwise. Must be fresh.

Blend with 250ml water:

50g grated white coconut

5 candlenuts

Dry roast in frying pan and grind to form curry powder:

1 teaspoon (tsp) turmeric

2 tsp cumin

3 tablespoons (tbsp) dried chilli powder

4 tbsp coriander seeds

Ingredients for frying:

10 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp fenugreek

15 cloves garlic, sliced

1 onion, sliced

3 cm ginger, sliced

a few sprigs of curry leaves

150g shallots, sliced

Mix and strain:

200g tamarind

6 cups water

8 tomatoes, quartered

500g ladies finger

2 1/2 tsp salt

A bunch of coriander leaves

Mix the blended ingredients and curry powder to form a paste. Heat oil in a pot and fry mustard seeds, cumin and fenugreek till fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients for frying and sautée till the onions are light brown. Add the curry paste and stir fry till oil exudes. Add the tamarind water and salt and boil for about eight minutes. Put in the ladies fingers, tomatoes and the fish head. Boil on medium heat, turning the fish head once or twice until it is cooked. Turn off the heat and top with coriander leaves.

Dry roasting tip: Put spices in a dry pan, preferably heavy based, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon till the spices are a shade darker. Dry roasting enhances the flavours of spices and gets rid of moisture.

Baked Salmon with a Touch of Cumin

By Lindsay Nells

Serves 4

Olive Oil

4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

Squeeze of lime

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with olive oil.

Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Oil lightly and place the fish with the smooth side up in a single layer on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on top of the fish. Using your fingertips, gently press the mixture into the fish so it will adhere. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

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