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People have been consuming this mild flavored flesh of cod since cod was in the water. Salting, smoking and drying techniques are required for preservation of this fish instead of being consumed fresh. These techniques have made cod easier to be transported and stored. Over-fishing conducted by people has significantly decreased the amount of cod in water. Cod available in the markets comes from Greenland, Norway, Iceland and North America. This white fish is obtainable throughout the year.
Consuming cod is very beneficial to the health of heart. Cod increases cardiovascular health as cod is excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are essential to the human body to keep homocysteine levels low. As homocysteine is a harmful molecule which can damage to blood vessel walls, high homocysteine levels are directly related to higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Osteoporosis can occur due to the deficiency of vitamin B12 and osteoporosis can directly be connected to homocysteine. Niacin, another kind of vitamin B, is useful to decrease high cholesterol levels.
According to the data of the International Study of Macro and Micronutrients and Blood Pressure (Intermap), greater amounts of omega-3 fatty acids contained in cod help lower blood pressure. The Intermap explained that a study of lifestyle factors conducted to approximately 4,500 men and women had proved that omega-3 fatty acids intake could reduce the hypertension even in people who had not developed high blood pressure.
An intake of omega-3-rich fish at least ten ounces every week can develop the electrical properties of heart cells and protect our heart from abnormality of heart rhythms. Based on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, long-term ingestion of fish is correlated with lower QT interval without evidence of cardiovascular disease. A lower QT interval indicates a lower resting heart rate and it is a good result as a higher resting rate means a higher rate of sudden death. Decreasing the resting heart rate by consuming omega-3 fatty acids is a health benefit indeed.
The Journal of the American Heart Association reviews that consuming serving omega-3-rich fish every day, such as cod, offers greater reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease than consuming fish few times a week. Supply of omega-3 fatty acids in the body can reduce the accumulation of pro-inflammatory compounds called leukotrienes. Decreasing leukotrienes can lower damage to the endothelium (the lining of the blood vessels). Unless damage of the endothelium is restored, it will be a factor in the growth of atherosclerosis, a common arterial disease in which cholesterol deposits plaques form on the inner surfaces of the arteries hampering blood flow. The study also explains that a high fish intake may develop beneficial effect for preventing coronary heart disease among the middle-aged individuals. Triglyceride levels can significantly be lowered by consuming omega-3 fatty acids.