Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water. They have been of major importance in artisanal fishing in Africa, and they are of increasing importance in aquaculture and aquaponics.
The popularity of tilapia throughout came about due to its low price, easy preparation, and its mild taste. Tilapia is a pretty impressive source of protein. In 3.5 ounces (100 grams), it packs 26 grams of protein and only 128 calories. Even more impressive is the amount of vitamins and minerals in this fish. Tilapia is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium and potassium. Tilapia is also a lean source of protein, with only 3 grams of fat per serving.
Due to its abundance of nutrients and mild taste, tilapia can easily be included in your child’s diet. In this article, we will talk about 7 amazing benefits of tilapia in your kid’s diet-
Tilapia Fish for Kid’s: 7 Surprising Health Benefits
Helps in building bones
One of the most prominent minerals found in tilapia is phosphorous, which is an essential mineral for human health, as it is a vital part of the development and growth of bone matter. It is also a necessary element in the maintenance of the teeth and nails, keeping them strong and durable well into your old age. Phosphorous can help prevent osteoporosis, which is the degradation of bone mineral density often suffered by people as they age. But this also makes it perfect for your kid, because it will make his bones stronger.
A healthy heart
Tilapia is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been directly linked to lowering cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels in the human cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids neutralize the impact of omega-6 fatty acids. There is some controversy about fish, in general, having high levels of dangerous ldl cholesterol, but studies have shown that the beneficial effects of the omega-3 fatty acids outweigh the risks of omega-6 fatty acids also found in tilapia. Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. The potassium found in tilapia is also a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure, which is an additional boost to heart health. The reason why tilapia is good for your kid’s heart is because it is making his heart stronger from a very young age, thus saving him from future problems.
A healthy brain
Both the potassium and omega-3 fatty acids found in tilapia have been connected to boosting brain power and increasing neurological function. Potassium increases oxygenation to the brain and is essential for proper fluid balance throughout the body, which facilitates nervous response and nutrient deposition to appropriate parts of the body, including the brain.
For cognitive function, tilapia fish contains vitamin b12, which is an important vitamin that is required for proper cognitive functioning and it helps the red blood cells to form properly.
Growth and development
One of the most important aspects of tilapia is its impressive protein content, making up more than 15% of our daily requirement in a single serving. Protein is an essential part of our diet, particularly animal proteins because they can be enzymatically broken down into composite amino acids and reassembled into usable proteins in the human body. Protein is directly linked to proper growth and development of organs, membranes, cells, and muscles. It is particularly important that children consume adequate amounts of protein to ensure that they develop properly. They also are necessary for muscle growth, cellular repair, and proper metabolic activity of numerous organ systems.
Immunity and thyroid
A final beneficial application of selenium is for the immune system. It can help boost the activity of white blood cells, which defend the body against toxins and foreign bodies. Furthermore, selenium plays a vital role in the regulation of the thyroid gland, which controls many of our hormonal functions. Proper functioning of the thyroid gland guarantees a well-balanced metabolism and proper organ function and chemical reactions throughout the body.
Like many types of fish, tilapia has a very high content of selenium. The health benefits of selenium are impressive and are antioxidant in nature. Studies have directly linked selenium intake to a reduction in the risk of cancer. Additional research is being done on the impact of tilapia’s selenium on other types of cancer. Antioxidants like selenium are famed for their ability to reduce free radical activity in the body, thereby lowering the chances of oxidative stress on all the organ systems, and the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones.
All these health benefits make this fish ideal for your child’s diet. However, there are some reports over the side effects of tilapia fish, primarily due to the way it is cultivated. It is advisable to check all labels and buy the fish from a proper place, before including this in your child’s diet. That being said, tilapia is full of health benefits and you should definitely include it in your kid’s diet.