Eating fish is good for you: That’s no news to us. But now you might be able to add your long-term eye health to the list of excuses to splurge on sushi. A recent study found that women who eat fish at least once a week have are 38% less likely to develop macular degeneration, an age-related eye condition that causes vision loss in the center of the retina (something that affects about 9 million people over the age of 40).
The study isn’t 100% conclusive — the correlation between fish and vision was made through data analysis, not a randomized trial or independent study (the study’s author, William Christen, sorted through the Women’s Health Study, one of the largest data sets tracking nutrition and health) — but it’s one of the first to explore the preventative abilities of fish. While past studies have focused on whether omega-3s can slow the symptoms of macular degeneration, Christen’s looks at whether a regular diet of fish can actually prevent the disease altogether.
We don’t need a guarantee to make us hungry for fish; omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation, one of the causes of macular degeneration (not to mention several other diseases and uncomfortable symptoms). That’s enough reason for us to get our mackerel on.
Salmon, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and mackerel generally contain the most omega-3 fatty acids (though king mackerel can be high in mercury; salmon and light tuna are typically safer). If you need inspiration for a healthy fish dinner (hint: fish n’ chips isn’t the best way to go), check out Blisstree’s guide to fish without frying.