For optimal health, nutritionists recommend whole grains, fresh produce, and lean protein. Fish is one of the most recommended protein options. Knowing what fish to eat may challenge your parents. While fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, there's also the risk of taking in too much mercury with some fish.
Why is mercury so bad? The heavy metal damages the nervous system. It really came to light in the 1930's to 1960's in Minamata, Japan. Industrial waste was going into the bay where methylmercury was absorbed by fish and shellfish. Over 2,000 confirmed cases of brain damage and paralysis were found in people eating seafood taken from the bay.
To limit the damage methylmercury causes without giving up seafood completely, it's best to avoid types of seafood known to contain high amounts of mercury.
These four types of fish are healthy options that contain lower amounts.
If your parent likes cod, hake will become a favorite option. This relative of cod shares the mild flavor. Overfishing caused supplies to decline in New England, but management techniques are helping it rebound.
It's wonderful when broiled or baked. Look for it in the summer months. This isn't one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acid, but its low mercury content makes it a great choice for weekly fish dinners.
Unlike some fish, government studies find that herring have not been overfished. You'll find herring throughout the year, but they're especially plentiful in the summer. Despite that, they're hard to find fresh. Look for them canned. They're an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.
Mackerel are smaller fish that hang out in large schools. Their range makes them easy to find throughout the year. They're populous from the Canadian Atlantic coastline all the way down to the Carolinas.
These fish are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than most. This makes them higher in terms of calorie, but they are unbeatable if you want to increase your intake of D vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium.
Pollock is another fish that may remind you of cod. They're easy to find in stores all year. They tend to be a less expensive option as they're not currently in danger of being overfished. Like hake, they're not overly high in omega-3 fatty acids but they are a good source of selenium.
Make sure your parents eat a balanced diet focusing heavily on vegetables and fruit first and then seafood and grains. If they struggle to prepare healthy meals, they don't have to turn to takeout meals. Caregivers offer a varied selection of services and meal preparation is one. Talk to your parents about having homecooked meals each night by hiring caregivers.
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