أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَاعًا لَكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ… – المائدة: 96
It is lawful for you to hunt and eat seafood, as a provision for you and for travellers… (Quran 5:96)
A particular attention is drawn to fish in Surat al-Kahf, in which it is revealed that the Prophet Musa (as) set out on a long journey with his servant and that they took fish along with them to eat:
But when they reached their meeting-place, they forgot their fish which quickly burrowed its way into the sea. When they had gone a distance further on, he said to his servant, “Bring us our morning meal. Truly this journey of ours has made us tired.” He said, “Do you see what has happened? When we went to find shelter at the rock, I forgot the fish…” (Qur’an, 18:61-63)
It is noteworthy that in Surat al-Kahf fish is chosen as a food source after a long, tiring journey. Therefore, one of the pieces of wisdom in this tale may well be an indication of the nutritional benefits of fish. (Allah knows best.)
In fact, when we examine the nutritional properties of fish, we encounter some very striking facts. Fish, given to us as a blessing by our Lord, is a perfect food, particularly in terms of protein, vitamin D and trace elements (certain elements found in minimal quantities in the body but which are still of great importance to it).
Enables body tissues to recover
Due to the minerals they contain-such as phosphorus, sulphur and vanadium-fish encourages growth and enables tissues to recover.
Good for teeth, gums, and hair
Fish meat also assists in the formation of healthy teeth and gums, benefits the complexion, makes the hair healthier and contributes to the fight against bacterial infection. It also plays an important role in the prevention of heart attacks as it beautifully regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood. It helps the body to break down and use starch and fats, making it stronger and more energetic. On the other hand, it also influences the functioning of mental activities. In the event that the vitamin D and other minerals contained in fish are not consumed in sufficient quantities, disorders such as rickets (bone weakness), gum disease,
It helps the body to break down and use starch and fats, making it stronger and more energetic. On the other hand, it also influences the functioning of mental activities. In the event that the vitamin D and other minerals contained in fish are not consumed in sufficient quantities, disorders such as rickets (bone weakness), gum disease, goitre and hyperthyroid may all arise.
Good for the Heart
The omega-3 fatty acid in fish is acknowledged to protect against cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure and the cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood.
Triglyceride is a form of fat and resembles LDL (bad cholesterol) which is high in fat and low in protein content. A raised triglyceride level, especially together with high cholesterol, increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, fish oils reduce life-threatening post-heart attack abnormal heart rhythms.
Fish Oil helps in preventing blood clots
Fish oils are also effective in reducing blood clotting by preventing the thrombocytes in the blood (blood platelets that concentrate the blood in the event of bleeding) from adhering to one another. Otherwise, blood thickening can lead to narrowing of the arteries. In turn, this can lead to many organs in the body-especially the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys-receiving an inadequate blood supply, function deceleration and eventually, loss of function.
For example, when an artery is totally blocked on account of clotting this can lead to heart attack, paralysis or other disorders, depending on the location of the artery.
Good for New Born Babies
Being an important component of the brain and eye, omega-3 fatty acids have been the subject of research, especially over the last 10 years, in connection with the needs of new born babies. There is a considerable body of evidence relating to the importance of omega-3 to the development of the foetus in the mother’s womb and of the new-born baby.
Omega-3 is of the greatest importance for the proper development of the brain and nerves throughout pregnancy and in early babyhood. Scientists emphasise the importance of mother’s milk since it is a natural and perfect store of omega-3.
Fights against Arthritis
The major risk in rheumatoid arthritis (a painful joint condition linked to rheumatism) is that of wearing of the joints, leading to irreparable damage. It has been proven that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids prevents arthritis and reduces discomfort in swollen and sensitive joints.
Benefits against Inflammatory Disorders and Strengthening of the Immune System
At the same time, omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory (infection preventing) function. Omega-3 can therefore be employed in the following diseases:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (joint infection linked to rheumatism),
- Osteoarthritis (a form of arthritis gradually degenerating the functions of joints)
- Ulcerative colitis (ulcers linked to the inflammation of the colon), and
- Lupus (a disease which causes patches on the skin).
- It also protects myelin (the material surrounding nerve cells). It is therefore used in the treatment of
- Glaucoma (an eye disorder marked by abnormally high pressure within the eyeball that may even lead to blindness)
- Multiple sclerosis (a serious progressive disease resulting from tissue hardening in the brain and spinal cord),
- Osteoporosis (a disease leading to structural weakening in the bone structure)
- Diabetes patients.
- In addition, it is also reported to be useful in the treatment of
- Migraine patients,
- Anorexia (a possibly fatal eating disorder)
- Problems concerning skin health.
- Bilim ve Teknik Dergisi (Journal of Science and Technology), September 1998, 86.
- Holub BJ, “Fish oils and cardiovascular disease,” CMAJ 1989, 141:1063;
- Connor WE, “The importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease,” Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71 (1 Suppl): 171S-5S; Angerer P, von Schacky C., “n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids and the cardiovascular system,” Curr Opin Lipidol 2000; 11 (1): 57-63.
- Archives of General Psychiatry, October 2002; 59: 913-919