10 Healthiest Fish to Add to Your Daily Diet

Incorporating fish into your diet is a fantastic way to boost heart health, improve brain function, and provide your body with essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

However, not all fish are created equal in terms of nutritional benefits and environmental impact. Here’s a list of the ten healthiest fish that are beneficial for your health and are more sustainably sourced, making them great additions to your daily diet.


Omega-3 Powerhouse

Salmon is not just any fish; it’s a nutritional powerhouse, primarily known for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are crucial for maintaining heart health, supporting brain function, and reducing inflammation. Wild-caught salmon, in particular, is preferred for its lean protein and lower risk of containing contaminants such as mercury and PCBs. Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin D and B12, selenium, and potassium.


Small but Mighty

Sardines pack a substantial nutritional punch in a small package. These tiny fish are consumed whole, offering a wealth of nutrients, including high levels of vitamin B12, selenium, calcium, and phosphorus, alongside the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. They are also one of the most eco-friendly options, as sardine fisheries are well-managed and have a minimal environmental impact compared to larger fish species.

Rainbow Trout

Freshwater Favorite

Rainbow trout, particularly the farm-raised variety, stands out for its sustainable farming practices and high nutritional value. This fish is a rich source of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients such as vitamin D, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Trout farms often employ systems that minimize environmental damage and prevent the escape of farmed fish into the wild, making rainbow trout a responsible choice for environmentally conscious consumers.


Rich in Nutrients

Mackerel is a flavorful, oily fish known for its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health and cognitive function. It’s also an excellent vitamin B12, selenium, niacin, and magnesium source. Atlantic mackerel is especially recommended due to its lower mercury content and sustainable fishing practices. Smaller, younger mackerel are preferable for their lower accumulation of toxins.


Versatile and Nutritious

Herring offers versatility not just in culinary uses but also in health benefits. This small, oily fish is often found in smoked or pickled forms and is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. The latter is essential for bone health, as it helps the body absorb calcium. Herring is also a sustainable choice, with stocks generally well-managed and abundant.


Lean Protein

Cod stands out as a lean source of high-quality protein, making it ideal for those seeking to maintain or lose weight while ensuring that muscle mass is not compromised. It’s a great source of vitamin B12, vital for nerve health and the production of DNA and red blood cells. Cod also provides iodine, essential for thyroid function, and is available in Atlantic and Pacific varieties. Wild-caught cod is recommended for sustainability and health reasons.


Flavorful Omega-3s

Anchovies are small but mighty fish with a distinct flavor, making them a favorite for adding depth to sauces and dressings. Beyond their culinary uses, anchovies are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamins, including vitamin E, known for its antioxidant properties. They are lower on the food chain, meaning they bioaccumulate fewer toxins and are a more environmentally friendly option.


Dense and Filling

Halibut offers a satisfying, meaty texture that’s both filling and nutritious. This white fish is low in fat but rich in high-quality protein and several essential minerals, including selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These nutrients contribute to heart health, muscle function, and bone density. Halibut’s mild flavor makes it a versatile ingredient in various dishes.


Mild and Versatile

Tilapia is a popular fish due to its mild flavor, making it an excellent choice for those new to eating seafood. It’s a good source of protein and provides vital vitamins and minerals, including B12, niacin, and potassium. Responsibly farmed tilapia, adhering to high environmental and health standards, can be a sustainable option, offering a nutritious addition to the diet without the drawbacks of other farming practices.

Alaskan Pollock

Sustainable Choice

Alaskan pollock is often the go-to fish for processed foods like fish sticks and fast-food sandwiches, but it’s also a healthful choice when appropriately prepared. This fish is a sustainable seafood choice, known for its low fat, high protein content, and good omega-3 fatty acids. Alaskan pollock fisheries are some of the best managed globally, ensuring this fish remains an abundant and environmentally friendly option.

Incorporating a variety of these fish into your diet can enhance your health due to their rich nutritional profiles and contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system. Always consider the source of your seafood to ensure it aligns with best practices for sustainability and health.