Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winter and Fish go together

The winter is here finally in its full 'bloom.' last night it rained and I could listen to rain drops falling on the my bedroom window glass. I wanted to get up and see the Nature's gift when everyone was sound asleep, but leaving a cozy warm bed was a very difficult decision to make, so I opted to listen to the sound made by raindrops.

When I got up in the morning, I went out and everything was wet and my lawn and flowers looked fresh and health. And it was then it dawned on me that I was standing in almost a few degrees Celsius wit no warm clothes on and ran back and lit the heater to warm myself.

Photos: Jalal HB

In winters, one must keep oneself warm lest many 'traditional' winter ailments come attacking. And one of the best antidote against winters cold is eating fish - and lot of fish before the winters pass away, unfortunately these do so very quickly.

Those living in Lahore are lucky as there are lot of places in Lahore where one can buy quality fish. Sardar and Ibrahim are to names of Lahore that make best fish, served sizzling hot if you want to eat right at the shop. And sitting outside in the cold, eating steaming hot fish has no parallel. I you haven't tried this, do it this winter - it will be a lifetime memory.

Why eat fish? Well food experts and doctors say that fish is high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids, which are found lacking in most diets, and can reduce some problems associated with PMS, memory loss, cardiovascular functions, colon cancer, and stroke. The tissues of oily fish provide fish oil which contains the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids (believe me it is hard to pronounce such medical terms – so I write exactly as I found out) that reduce inflammation throughout the body and are therefore recommended by experts for a healthy diet.

Now while eating fish is beneficial for health, the kind of fish we eat at Sardars and Ibrahims or anywhere else which is heavily deep fried in vegetable oil is certainly not the kind of fish we should be eating. and I have seen people eating the deep fried fish in kilos, am not joking. These fish friendly people, specially in Lahore, sit outside in the December nights and the 'in flow' of fish continues in consignments of kilo in succession.

We need to eat fish, preferably steamed with least oil applied. While I was in Iran, my land lady would often make the steamed fish and I tell you that nothing tastes like a steamed fish. So when eating fish, try to eat steamed fish, but certainly not in kilos. However, one should eat it often 2-3 times a week in winters.

One should also be mindful of type of sea fish as some of these contain higher amounts of mercury like Tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark and should not be consumed at all. However, Shrimp, salmon, pollocks, canned light tuna, shrimp and catfish contain lower levels of mercury, but should not be eaten more than 12 ounces in a week.

So lets be healthy by eating fish this winter steamed not deep fried!!