The blue sea provides various health benefits. We’re not only talking about the perks of swimming and breathing in the refreshing sea breeze – the sea is home to many creatures that are good for your well-being.
From saltwater and freshwater fish to deep water crustaceans and mollusks, seafood is loved all over the world not only for their taste but also for their nutritional value. There are a wide array of mouthwatering dishes to create from seafood, allowing you to please your taste buds while reaping numerous benefits.
Whether you’re taking a break from poultry and meat or you just want seafood to be a part of your diet, here are the reasons why eating seafood is good for you.
1. Seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Seafood is high in fat – but it’s the good kind of fat your body requires.
Seafood is the world’s best source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for your body and brain development and are linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.
Maintaining cardiovascular health, reducing asthma and certain allergies, and helping with prenatal and postnatal neurological development (for expecting mothers) are some of the health benefits of omega 3.
Omega-3s are found in oily fishes, like salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. They also thrive even in non-oily fish, shellfish, and marine algae.
2. Seafood provides essential vitamins and minerals
Seafood is known for being a natural source of vitamins and minerals people aren’t getting enough of.
Seafood contains high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B, and B-complex vitamins your body needs. Seafood is also an excellent source of crucial minerals, like iodine, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.
Think beyond fish. Succulent crustaceans, including shrimps, lobsters, and crabs, are not only low-calorie and high-protein meals – but they’re also great sources of selenium, B vitamins, Vitamin D, iodine, and zinc. Bar mainstays, like oysters, clams, and mussels are also very low in calories yet each has its own nutritive benefits.
3. Fish may lower your risk of heart attacks and other diseases
Strokes and heart attacks are two of the most common causes of untimely death in the world.
Thanks to their high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, fish is among the best foods for keeping your heart healthy. Many large observational studies found that people who fish regularly seem to have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart problems.
Fish consumption is also linked to a reduced risk of autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes.
4. Seafood is every dieter’s best friend
Trying to lose weight? Seafood may help you with your weight loss journey.
Seafood is low in fat, high in lean protein, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids which fill you up without filling you out. They are healthier alternatives to meat and poultry – if you prepare them properly and consume the recommended servings.
Aside from fishes, try shellfishes which are surprisingly low in calories. An order of six medium oysters, for instance, contains only 57 calories yet it’s loaded with B12 vitamins, phosphorous, iron, and zinc.
To keep a low kilojoule count and maintain the nutritional value, use cooking methods that don’t use much fat. A 2-ounce side serving of melted butter already has whopping 400 calories. Instead of deep-frying or drenching in butter and cheese, just grill, bake, barbeque, steam, boil, poach, or stir-fry with nutritious veggies.
5. Fish is a superfood for brain power
Eat lots of fish today and your older self will thank you.
One of the effects of aging is that brain function often deteriorates. Many observational studies suggest that fish consumption is linked to a reduced decline in brain function in old age. People who eat more fish have reduced rates of cognitive decline and have more gray matter in the centers of the brain which regulate emotion and memory.
5 Instances When Seafood Is NOT Good For You
Seafood, the same as other healthy food on the planet, may come with precautions and should be taken in moderation. Some seafood contains more sodium, cholesterol, mercury, and other environmental risks than the other.
- If you’re watching your cholesterol
Some seafood contains high cholesterol. Go easy on shellfishes, particularly shrimp, lobster, and crab. Opt for fishes instead, including halibut, mackerel, sardines, salmon, albacore, and herring. Lastly, avoid cooking seafood in a way that’s drenched in oil or butter.
- If you’re watching your salt intake
If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet or struggle with blood pressure, better stay away from crabs and large shrimps which are naturally high in sodium. Avoid salted or processed fishes too, like canned tuna.
- If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
Seafood is a healthy choice both for expecting moms and babies. Eating at least 2 servings of seafood per week helps improve the baby’s eye and brain development.
But beware of certain kinds of seafood including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, which are high in mercury. Avoid raw and uncooked seafood too, including sushi, which may carry microorganisms that are harmful to the fetus.
- If it’s harvested, stored, and cooked improperly
Like other perishable foods, a foodborne illness caused by microorganisms or naturally occurring toxins is the major food safety risk linked with seafood. Raw or partially cooked seafood presents a high risk.
- If it’s contaminated
Seafood may carry environmental pollutants, especially if it’s caught from contaminated lakes, rivers, and streams. That said, it’s a must to get seafood from a reputable seafood market or fishmonger.