Harvard Health Letter

Tea and coffee with your fish?

Fish ranks way up there on the list of healthful foods we should be eating more of. But depending on the species and the water it was harvested from, it comes with a catch, because mercury travels up the food chain and accumulates in fish flesh. Brain and neurological damage to children and developing fetuses is the main risk from methylmercury, the form found in fish, but methylmercury is probably not all that healthy for adults, either.

Canadian researchers may have figured out a way for us to eat our fish without the mercury, too. Their lab experiments have shown that the combined effect of cooking fish (sorry, sushi lovers) and tea or black coffee makes mercury far less likely to be taken up by the body. So a few sips of tea or coffee with your salmon or trout could lower the risk of mercury that you're consuming from causing you harm. It's an intriguing idea, but this is a preliminary finding that needs to be backed up by more research.

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