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Vitamins & Minerals in Fish

by
author image Sylvie Tremblay, MSc
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.
Vitamins & Minerals in Fish
Fresh salmon and tuna sashimi on a plate. Photo Credit rakratchada/iStock/Getty Images

Fish represent a healthy part of a balanced and nutritious diet. For many people, fish provide a source of lean animal protein, and provide the body with the building blocks required to maintain and repair human tissue, as well as omega-3 fatty acids -- the healthy fats that play a role in regulating blood cholesterol and supporting proper brain functioning. In addition, fish contain a number of vitamins and minerals that also prove essential for good health.

Vitamin D

Fish contain vitamin D. Although cells within your skin can synthesize vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight, individuals with limited sun exposure due to lifestyle factors, or those that live in high-latitude climates, may also require vitamin D from food sources. In the body, vitamin D aids in the maintenance of healthy bones by regulating calcium -- a key component of mineralized tissue. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, salmon, mackerel and sardines contain vitamin D. Including these types of fish in your diet may help prevent a vitamin D deficiency.

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Vitamin A

Some types of fish also contain vitamin A, or retinol. This fat-soluble vitamin is typically found dissolved in the oils within the fish meat, and fish oil supplements provide a rich source of the vitamin. The Linus Pauling Institute indicates that 1 tsp. of cod liver oil -- a common fish oil supplement -- contains a full day's worth of vitamin A, and other fish, including salmon, also boosts your vitamin A intake. Consuming enough vitamin A proves important for maintaining the health of several tissues, since vitamin A deficiency can cause dry, scaly skin, or even blindness and immunodeficiency. Consuming fatty fish or fish oils can help prevent this deficiency and support your good health.

Calcium

Fish contains calcium, the most abundant mineral in your body. The majority of the calcium in your body is found as hydroxyapatite -- the hard mineral that provides strength to your teeth and bones. Other calcium in your body aids in cellular signaling, used to support proper cellular functioning and also aids in the conduction of electrochemical nerve impulses. Calcium is found in a number of shellfish, including crab, lobster and shrimp, according to Bayer Health Care.

Magnesium

Magnesium represents another type of essential mineral found in fish. Magnesium in the body works together with calcium to form the minerals that make up your bones. In addition, magnesium aids in proper muscle functioning, maintaining the health of your heart, and may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fish rich in magnesium include cod, salmon, halibut and mackerel, so including these foods into your diet may prove beneficial for your health.

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