The benefits of eating fish

How much should fish we be eating?

In Europe, all countries recommend consuming fish. This is because Fish has an integral role in the diet, owing to its varied and numerous health benefits. Ideally, we should all aim for at least 2 portions per week, including a serving of fatty fish. Fatty fish include salmon, tuna (not tinned/canned), mackerel and sardines.

The World Health Organisation has made a general recommendation for the global population to regularly eat fish (1-2 servings per week), and that servings should ideally provide omega 3 fatty acids. EFSA (the European Food Safety Agency) has given a similar recommendation for the European adult population, that people should eat 1-2 servings of fatty fish per week. However, because a variety of fish species are consumed across Europe, EFSA recommended that each country in Europe advises on its own pattern of fish consumption.

Irish recommendations

Here in Ireland, it’s recommended that we consume at least 2 portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily fish. Birds Eye is here to help, by providing tasty and convenient fish products. Why not try our Fish Fingers, battered fillet, or Inspirations lightly dusted cod? All of these are delicious and count as a portion of fish! Serve with our garden peas and a starchy carbohydrate such as potatoes or rice for a balanced, nutritious mid-week meal that’s ready in minutes. And as we eat half as much fish as we should weekly in Ireland, it’s a simple and tasty way to increase your intake!

Why is fish so healthy?

Fish is rich in nutrients, making it integral to non-vegetarian or vegan diets.  Why? First, fish is a great source of protein. Different species contain different amounts of protein per 100g, but very roughly on average fish provides approximately 19.5g of protein per 100g. How much protein we need varies by the individual, with needs dependant on body weight, in addition to other factors (e.g. activity, childhood age and gender, etc.). Protein has a number of important roles in the body, including muscle growth and maintenance, and maintaining normal bones. And it’s especially important that children consume enough protein, as it’s required for the normal growth and development of their bones. A meal with Birds Eye fish, our peas, and potatoes is perfectly balanced and a great source of protein. 
Of the other key nutrients found in fish, whether or not they’re present and the amount they’re present in is dependent on fish species.  For example, omega 3 is found in fish species including pollock,cod,  salmon and haddock, and is an ‘essential’ fatty acid. ‘Essential’ nutrients are those you need to consume in the diet, as our bodies cannot make these themselves, and children and adults across Europe should be aiming to eat more omega 3 in their diets. Why not try our delicious Omega 3 Fish Fingers to boost your intake?

What about the vitamins and minerals in our fish?

Other key nutrients found in our fish species in varying amounts include selenium, iodine and vitamin D. Selenium helps to maintain a healthy immune system and thyroid function, as well as maintaining normal hair and nails, while iodine contributes to normal child growth, normal cognitive brain function, and normal thyroid function. Iodine and selenium are found in our classic Fish Fingers- who knew good nutrition could be so tasty?
Vitamin D is the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’, as it’s made in the skin in the presence of sunlight at certain times in the year. However, vitamin D deficiency is an increasingly recognised issue in Ireland. As vitamin D has many important roles in the body, including maintaining muscle function, immune system function and normal bones and teeth, it’s therefore good to consume dietary sources of vitamin D to top up your levels. Our salmon products provide a tasty source of vitamin D- so why not try one of these tonight?