A quick look at the state of global health reveals a worrying trend. Lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, some types of cancer, and metabolic syndrome are on the rise. Recent research reveals that diet is a major factor that influences susceptibility to lifestyle-related diseases.
In the search for healthy solutions to the nutritional deficiencies threatening global health, seafood has emerged as one of the nutrient-rich foods. From salmon, tuna, clams, scallops, and crab to shrimp, lobsters, prawns, crayfish, and langoustine, there’s no dearth of options for your seafood recipes. Seafood comes packed with multiple essential nutrients for a healthy body but unfortunately, American seafood consumption is still below-recommended standards by the USDA.
This post explores some of the nutritional and health benefits you can get from seafood.
If you are conscious of the latest trends in health, you must have noted many food brands now use seafood for their products. This is not a marketing gimmick but an attempt to boost the nutritional value of such products. Little wonder then that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) describes fish as “nature’s superfood.”
Seafood comes laden with essential nutrients that include:
Omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus
Vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin)
Seafood nutrition comes in handy in a modern world where access to healthy food is increasingly difficult. The hectic lifestyles mean most people grab food on the go, and most of the “ready to eat” meals are not healthy. Seafood complements your household’s nutritional deficit becomes it comes laden with this wide range of nutrients in one serving.
Fish for a Healthy Heart
Fish is a popular seafood and you have a wide range of options to pick from. This seafood option has essential omega-3 fatty acids; EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Your body doesn’t produce these critical nutrients, and you can only find them through your food.
These fatty acids promote good heart health through the reduction of blood pressure. High blood pressure links to heart problems. Omega-3 fatty acids also help your heart through a decrease in triglycerides, which are fats that thicken your arteries. The high content of fatty acids in fish also reduces blood clotting, decreases the risk of strokes and heart failure, and regularizes irregular heartbeats.
The best fish for omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, sardine, cod, herring, Atlantic mackerel, and lake trout. Ongoing research shows people who consume fish have a lower risk of heart attack and death resulting from heart-related problems. Next time you eat out, you have good reasons to try a seafood restaurant.
Seafood for a Healthy Brain
Another benefit of high omega-3 acids in fish is these help in the brain’s development from an early age. Omega-3s are major building blocks for your brain. Regular consumption of fish has a positive impact on sharpening your brain, preventing brain decline with age.
Fish intake is helpful in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers because of DHA, a specific omega-3 fatty acid. This nutrient helps with brain development in infants. Your parents were right all along by insisting on fish oil for the development of your brain from an early age. Fish contributes to neurological development in infants, so this is a good reason to include seafood in your family’s menu.
If you want to boost your physical health, consider adding seafood to your diet. The protein in salmon is ideal for muscle-building compared to other low-fat fish like cod and tuna. Salmon has more of the calories required for muscle health. Calories in your diet come in handy for an active lifestyle that involves rigorous exercises.
Seafood for Mental Wellness
Even before COVID-19, one in five American adults experienced mental illness, and the situation is now worse. Despite the high prevalence of mental health and devastating effects on the individual, family, society, and economy, there seems to be no concrete resolution to this health crisis. Extensive research now proposes diet as one way of improving mental health.
Seafood can reduce symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mental disorders. Since omega-3 is a critical component of the brain, eating the fatty acids in fish positively influences mental well-being.
Boost Your Immunity
Seafood has emerged as a wonder food, and it’s all because of a load of nutrients. The essential nutrients include vitamins A, B, and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals such as iodine, magnesium, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium, which positively impact your immunity.
These nutrients reduce inflammation and support a strong immune system. If your family suffers from regular infections and other health problems, it’s time to consider adding seafood to your diet. Regular fish and seafood intake is ideal for optimal wellness for your body functions.
The Best Gift for Your Family
Health is one of the best things you can gift your family. A healthy family is happier, and you won’t have to grapple with debilitating medical bills. It all starts with the right diet, and with seafood, you have a versatile, nutrition-filled option for your menu. There’s a diverse range of seafood recipes available, so you’ll always have new cuisine ideas to try in the kitchen.