When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Nice thoughts above, if you want to use fish as a verb or metaphor. But are you sure you’d like to put that little slimy, smelly thing, that only Penguin and Eskimos appear to be fond of, on your plate?
Do you wonder if there are really some people in the world who instead of plumping for the robust chewiness of the red meat steak prefer instead the “insipid”, “characterless” taste of the fish?
Does the word “fishmonger” gives you the same negative ring as do the words “fear monger” or “rumour monger”?
Are you of the firm opinion that a can of tuna is best suited only for your cat?
Then certainly you are not alone.
But you may be in danger of belonging to a near extinct tribe of people who don’t realise the enormous benefits of including fish in their diets.
Fish has lately acquired a formidable reputation for being a source of low calorie, high protein, waist-slimming, “brain food,” that is bristling with selenium, zinc, iodine, potassium, vitamins A & D and such long strands of polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids that you just can’t get from your favourite prime cut of red meat, unfortunately.
Research indicates that even if you’re not a fish fan, eating fish only once or twice a week can be enough to reverse the cholesterol laden disadvantages of eating red meat. The National Institute of Health recommends that people consume at least 2 percent of their total daily calories as Omega-3 fatty acids. For an 1800 calorie diet, this comes to about 3.6 grams per day which you can get easily from just two (four-ounce or approx. 100 gram) pieces of salmon.
Yes, you can also get your daily recommended dose of Omega-3 through fish oil supplements; or if you are a strict vegetarian, from such sources as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil. However, similar to the use of non-prescription supplements, the evidence of health benefits from eating these pills isn’t as strong as it is from eating fish.
Researchers by now have been able to catalogue as many as ten solid reasons for adding a portion of fish to your diet to improve your overall health:
* Reduce dementia and Alzheimer’s Risk: According to a study presented to the Radiological Society of North America, people who ate fish had larger cells in those areas of the brain which are responsible for memory and learning, and which can help lower the risk of cognitive decline leading to dementia or the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease.
* Prevent Heart Disease: A Danish study of 49,000 women, that was published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, found that women who ate little to no fish had 50 percent more heart problems than those who ate fish at least once a week. Omega-3 fatty acids were otherwise found to decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk, and reduce irregular heartbeats
* Improve Skin and Hair: One of the biggest side effects of following any diet is the adverse effect on your skin and hair. The Omega-3s in fish, however, are the kind of “healthy fat” that can keep your skin glowing and your hair shiny without adding on to your waistline.
* Ease Depression: Several studies have found that when taken along with antidepressant medicines, the Omega-3s in fish are found to be more effective at treating depression than just prescription medication.
* Boost Brain Development: Omega-3s are also found to boost brain development in children. Some studies have even found Omega-3 consumption to be soothing symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that some children are afflicted with.
* Excellent source of Vitamin D: Fish is a sun-less source of vitamin D, which boosts immunity, improves bone health, and in conjunction with the Omega-3s in fish, wards off cognitive decline. Just one four-ounce (approx. 100 gram) serving of salmon contains 75 percent of your daily recommended amount of this wonderful vitamin.
* Better fertility: While fish is not exactly an aphrodisiac, studies show that men who ate more fresh fish were more virile than those who ate unhealthy diets. Similarly women eating fish during pregnancy appear to have a lesser risk of delivering a premature baby
* Better eyesight: Studies indicate that breastfed babies of mothers who ate fish had better eyesight, perhaps due to the Omega 3 fatty acids transmitted in breast milk.
* Reduces the risk of developing cancer: Research is close to establishing a link between eating fish and reducing the risk of developing cancers, especially of the oral cavity, oesophagus, colon, breast, ovary and prostate, by 30 to 50 per cent.
* Alleviates inflammatory conditions: – Eating fish appears to also help in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, diabetes, childhood asthma and other autoimmune diseases.
Convinced somewhat? Let’s then proceed to how you can include fish in your diet in the most flavourful ways that are known to mankind.
Food for Thought
“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.”
― Scott Adams
(This is an excerpt from my 207 page e-Book “The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Fish the Indian Way” which is available at a bargain PRE-ORDER price of US $0.99 (or equivalent) on all major e-book platforms (such as Amazon, Apple iBook’s store, Nook, Kobo, Scribd and Google Play) only till 31 May 2015. Prices shall go up to US $4.99 thereafter.
This mission is dedicated to all those friends, relatives and acquaintances who have sampled my mom’s cooking either at my home or at my work place from my lunch-box. I’m starting with Indian cooking, so that the fear of “cooking curries every day” (that my friends in University College London would so often comment on) is banished forever.
We will love to post recipes that are unpretentious and literally come from your Mom's kitchen. They must allow themselves to be rustled up at home, from scratch, from fresh ingredients, in 30 minutes or so, with minimum equipment and fuss. We welcome ideas and tips that prove beyond doubt that cooking at home is NOT drudgery but a very enjoyable activity that also improves your family's health and well-being in a very cost-effective manner.
Those who wish to contribute similar recipes from their parts of the world, here’s a full throated invitation to come join us and make COOKING IN A JIFFY a worldwide movement for HOME STYLE cooking that also celebrates "togetherness in cooking "above everything else. Please send your articles with images (if possible) to this address and we will publish it by your name.