In today's post I'm going to discuss nutritional advice for children and the whole family in terms of oily fish. As most of us are aware fish is high in many nutrients including high-quality protein and various vitamins and minerals. The benefits of eating fish regularly far outweigh the potential risks (1).
However, some fish are better than others, and oily fish are considered the healthiest because they contain essential fats. These fats are essential as they are needed by the body (eg like protein) but cannot be made by the body, and therefore must be consumed. Omega 3s are the essential fats we need in greatest quantity.
Oily fish and marine algae have the highest levels of these omega 3s. The best oily fish are salmon, mackerel and sardines; while herring, trout and anchovies are also great sources. No other foods contain the same type of essential fats (DHA & EPA). These fats are needed for a child's brain and may improve their sleep, reading and maths, as well as reduce their incidence of allergies (2). On the other hand, plant foods contain a different type of essential fat (ALA) and the body has to make EPA and DHA from this ALA. However, research clearly indicates that this conversion is extremely limited (3). Therefore relying soley on eating plant sources for one's intake of Omega 3s is not optimal.
Ideally eating oily fish is the best way to get omega 3 versus supplements (4) as studies have shown that the absorption of the essential fats is just not as good as with real food (5).
What better way to get regular supplies of top-quality fish but from your local fishmonger? These are usually the experts at recommending what to buy, how to cook it, as well as preparing it for you. One such excellent, local supplier is Galway Bay Seafoods. These are Galway’s largest supplier of seafood with the widest range of fish in Ireland. They are located in two locations in Galway City- on the Docks and Salthill. This was first established way back in 1950 by the Holland family who still run it today, and it now also includes Ireland's first dedicated Seafood Cookery School.
Please note that the above info is based on research findings and my own personal opinions and I did not receive any gain from Galway Bay Seafoods for writing this.