Fish are plentiful. You can find them in the sea, in lakes and in rivers. Many are even farmed at artificial fish farms. One of the most commonly farmed species is tilapia, a tasty but inexpensive fish that’s rich in protein. In this article, you will learn more about tilapia, including whether or not it’s safe to eat and what its health benefits are. Keep reading!
What is Tilapia?
Tilapia is actually a broad term that describes over a hundred different species of fish from the cichlid family, one of the most diverse varieties of fish in the world. Originally fromt the Middle East and Africa, tilapia is the second most farmed fish on the planet. It is a freshwater fish naturally found in shallow areas with warm temperatures, and it resembles a sunfish, with lateral stripes and a long dorsal fin.
Interestingly, tilapia is considered a symbol of rebirth. Today, it is produced in bulk to meet market demand as people discovered its various health benefits. The fish grows rapidly and doesn’t require any fancy conditions. However, there are concerns about the methods surrounding fish farming in general that have led many people to avoid buying it. There are also concerns about its fatty acid content.
Nutritional Value of Tilapia
Tilapia is rich in protein, is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is low in calories.
One ounce of tilapia may contain:
|Total fat||0.7 grams|
|Omega-6 fatty acid||84 grams|
|Omega-3 fatty acid||67.2 grams|
|Vitamin E||0.2 milligrams|
|Pantothenic acid||0.2 milligrams|
|Vitamin B12||0.5 micrograms|
Health Benefits of Tilapia
Here are some of the best health benefits of tilapia:
- Helps prevent premature aging: the selenium content of tilapia is actually an antioxidant, helping rejuvenate the skin and stimulating vitamins C and E. Both vitamins C and E are beneficial in improving the quality and health of the skin.
- Boosts brain health: the omega-3 fatty acids and potassium in the fish are essential in boosting brain power and increasing neurological function.
- Helps maintain heart health: the rich omega-3 acids in tilapia are beneficial in reducing cholesterol in the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, it neutralizes the impact of omega-6 acids.
- Helps prevent prostate cancer: the rich selenium content of tilapia is beneficial in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
- Aids in weight loss: tilapia is high in protein, but low in fat and calories, making it a perfect addition to a weight loss diet.
- Good for growth and development: the protein content of tilapia is very high. It can break down composite amino acids and make them into a usable protein for the body’s growth and development.
Side Effects of Tilapia
We know that fish is one of the healthiest foods around, thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids. These acids reduce inflammation and blood triglycerides and are beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease. However, tilapia only contains about 240 milligrams of omedga-3 acids per serving, which is far less than its omega-6 fatty acid content. Some people argue that omega-6 fatty acids are harmful, increasing inflammation if eaten excessively. Professionals may advise you not to eat tilapia if you’re already experiencing problems with inflammation. Other negative aspects around the fish are that farmers often feed animals with other animals’ feces, and the tilapia can be polluted with harmful chemicals.
Regardless, tilapia is still oozing with health benefits and can be a great help for your body.