Eat More SMASH
If you’ve not heard of the acronym SMASH, now’s the time to bring yourself up to speed. Standing for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring, SMASH is an easy way to remember the five fish that you should be packing into your diet regularly. Here’s why.
They’re high in omega-3
High in anti-inflammatory omega-3 long-chain forms eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the SMASH fish are an essential addition to any anti-inflammatory diet. If you work out regularly, there’s even more reason to eat them as they can help reduce post workout soreness and muscle tears that are occur after an intense session. EPA and DHA are great for brain health too, contributing to good cognitive function and helping preserve cell membrane health and communication between brain cells.
They’re high in selenium
A great all-round mineral that helps boost immune function, improve hair and nail health. Selenium also supports a healthy thyroid, the gland that produces hormones that help regulate the body's metabolism. It can also protect you against heart disease and reduce the risk of some cancers too. The SMASH fish are also all low in mercury, which if eaten too often can cause muscle weakness, headaches and even kidney damage.
They’re high in iodine
Although difficult to source from other food sources, iodine is an essential mineral because it helps the thyroid gland produce the hormone thyroxine, which controls many of the ways certain cells work. Iodine is also important for the growth of bones and nerves and enables to body to properly use proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
They’re high in vitamin D
Around 75% of adults in the UK are deficient in vitamin D despite the fact it’s so important for so many processes in the body. As well as helping to absorb calcium and promote healthy bone growth, it helps improve brain development and function and ensures the intestine absorbs vital nutrients. It also helps regulate the immune system. If you don’t get enough vitamin D it can impact your sleep, resulting in sleep disturbances, poorer sleep quality and reduced sleep duration.
They’re an excellent source of protein
Generally considered a superior protein choice, animal protein like the SMASH fish contain all the amino acids needed for critical bodily structures such as muscles, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Protein is vital for supporting the immune system and producing collagen and keratin which contribute to stronger hair, skin and nails. Better still, the SMASH fish are easy to digest and so sympathetic to the gut.