In Rwanda, the main fish types include tilapia, catfish commonly known as ‘inkube’, and small fish known as ‘isambaza’, among others, however, fatty species such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are considered the healthiest because they are higher in fat-based nutrients. These are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid. Although many types of seafood contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, nutritionists say that fatty fish contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and they are the most beneficial when it comes to heart health. Joseph Uwiragiye, the head of the nutrition department at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), says oily fish is a good source of protein. These fatty acids, he says, are considered the ‘good fats’, unlike the bad saturated fats in meat, as they may deliver huge health benefits for the heart, brain, lungs, and circulation. Also, he points out that fatty fish are known to contain fatty acids that protect and promote one’s overall health. Uwiragiye explains that fatty fish store oil in their tissues and belly, which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that make them the healthiest food. Generally, he says, Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. “Inflammation in the body can damage the blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes, however, by consuming fatty fish it has been established to keep such conditions at bay,” he says. In addition to this, various studies have established that fatty fish also boast Omega-3 fatty acids which are crucial for optimal body and brain function and strongly linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. To meet your Omega-3 requirements, Uwiragiye says it’s good to serve fatty fish at least once or twice a week, along with other dishes. Among people who drink alcohol excessively, studies show that fish oil may offer protection from dementia. Also, studies reveal that oily fish consumption helps protect against early-and-late-stage oral and skin cancers. Omega-3 fatty acid has been found to target and selectively inhibit the growth of malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses that do not affect the normal cells. Consuming oily fish during the last months of pregnancy can have positive effects on a child’s sensory, cognitive, and motor development, research suggests. Uwiragiye recommends that it’s also important for one to always consider how the fish is prepared as with this, one can get the most benefits. For instance, grilling, broiling or baking are the healthier options, as opposed to frying or deep-frying.