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Fish is known to be a fabulous source of protein for many health conscious people. It tends to be low in calories and fat (except for heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids). There is good reason that fish is known as brain food and eating plenty of it can help reduce cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders and even some mental and emotional disorders. You have probably heard that some fish, such as tuna, are high in mercury and should only be eaten in moderation. So, which ones should you be adding to your diet and which ones are best kept to a minimum? Here’s a quick guide to help you make the best choices.

Wild Salmon. One of my absolute favorite sources of protein thanks to its amazing health benefits. It’s a high quality protein, full of essential amino acids, vitamins A, D, B6, B and E as well as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. Even better are its high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which are known to improve cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and depression, and help infant brain and eye development during pregnancy. Farmed Salmon however is a whole different story. Most farm-raised salmon is just as bad as a conventional feedlot. They are fed antibiotics and fishmeal and raised in tightly packed pens often filled with parasites and disease and should be avoided.

Wild Caught, Pacific Sardines and anchovies. Just like salmon they’re packed with heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and are naturally high in vitamin D, which many people are deficient in. Many other fish in the herring family are referred to as sardines and are all equally wonderful for your health.

Shrimp also have a favorable amount of Omega-3 fatty acids along with some other health boosters. They are a concentrated source of astaxanthin with is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Every 4 ounces of shrimp provides 56 micrograms of selenium that can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. Imported, farmed, shrimp tends to be one of the dirtiest fish around and can be filled with antibiotics and residues from chemicals used to use their pens. Instead look for domestic shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or pink shrimp from Oregon.

Some more delicious fish you should keep to a minimum include due to their high levels of mercury include Chilean Sea Bass, grouper, shark and tuna. Limit consumption of these fish to no more than twice per month and no more than once per month for children.

Image: Salmon with quinoa at La Morela, by Lauren Llenas

jacqueline silvestri banks

Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother.

Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy.  She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.

Check out her website at: