Usually, I eat oily fish at least once a day. It provides essential fats and protein which help to sustain me throughout the day. Mackerel is one of my favourite choices, here’s why:
- Reduces LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) levels1.
- Boosts HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) levels2.
- Provides a fair amount of vitamin B6, vital for maintaining a healthy nervous system, balancing blood sugar levels and enhancing mood3.
- Decreases blood pressure4.
- Provides plenty of vitamin B12, which benefits cognitive function, heart health and digestion5. One fillet contains 279% of the Daily Recommended Value!6
- Its omega-3 fatty acids help reduce swollen joints and pain associated with arthritis by keeping blood vessels elastic7.
- Supports healthy ageing. Containing nutrients including vitamins such as A, C, E, selenium and potassium, mackerel helps to regulate metabolism, support healthy bones, teeth and nerves8.
Choose wild-caught whenever possible as it is higher in nutrients. One study shows that the vitamin D content of farmed salmon was a mere 25% of that found in wild-caught salmon9. Although centred around salmon, I believe that similar results would be found in mackerel.
I often choose to cook fresh mackerel at the weekend. Buying fresh enables you to prepare and cook it how you please so it’s likely to be nutritionally superior to pre-cooked mackerel.
I also include canned and smoked mackerel in my diet. The options available in my local supermarkets have no preservatives except sea salt and so are a great choice when in a rush (it’s worth checking the ingredients before buying). Note that smoking meat usually produces histamine, which causes inflammation 10, so look for cold-smoked. That being said, fresh mackerel is optimal.
Find a full nutritional profile of mackerel here.
7, 8: NYR Healing Foods, 2013.