Did you know that fatty, cold water fish can be essential to a healthy diet? They’re high in essential vitamins, nutrients and amino acids that contribute to overall wellness and help prevent disease. The anti-inflammatory properties can even support auto-immune sufferers cope with discomfort. To me, the five best fish options are salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring – otherwise known as SMASH.
Yes, SMASH. The acronym sounds powerful – because it is! These fish are a healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids and are low in mercury. Wild-caught SMASH fish is healthy for you, the environment, and sustainable for seafood populations. Here are 5 more reasons you should add more SMASH in your life.
- SMASH fish are high in long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are easily absorbed, are high in anti-inflammatory properties, and can help reduce cardiac issues as well as symptoms of autoimmune conditions.
- SMASH fish are high in selenium and low in mercury. Selenium matters in this equation because it can counteract the adverse effects of mercury toxicity. Mercury, in high quantities, can be harmful to almost all systems in the body. Selenium acts as a protective property and stops the harm caused by mercury. Not only is selenium good for counteracting mercury levels, if it’s lacking in the body, it can be linked to thyroid disease, cardiovascular disorders and cancer.
- The proteins in SMASH fish are easy to digest. Researchers say that the amino acids in fish are more bio-available (easily absorbed and assimilated) than the amino acids found in beef, pork or chicken. SMASH fish also has a high number of amino acids which are essential for a healthy digestive system.
- SMASH fish contain iodine. Iodine is difficult to source from other foods, but it’s essential for proper thyroid and immune function. It can also be supportive in healing wounds and as well as fertility. Table salt has been modified in recent efforts to provide higher levels of iodine, but by eating SMASH fish, you can get iodine directly from a healthy source!
- SMASH fish are a great source of Vitamin D. Let’s face it – in our modern day world, we don’t always have the opportunity to get in the sunlight enough and reap all those benefits of soaking in Vitamin D! Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that regulates the absorption and transport of magnesium and calcium. It has also been shown to help control auto-immune diseases, regulate the release of serotonin, and control cell growth. Vitamin D makes your body physically and emotionally happy.
The best way to get SMASH fish into your diet is by enjoying fish that’s wild-caught and in season. That said, wild-caught SMASH that’s canned may be a great option too if you take care in sourcing. Cooking fish doesn’t have to be elaborate – a simple pan sear in some olive oil with a sprinkling of your favorite seasoning is a great way to serve your fish. Get some SMASH into your life!