If you’re looking for ways to improve your health, look no further – just add seafood to your diet! Many people worldwide feature seafood as a routine part of their meals and see regular health benefits. You can too!
Here’s how adding more seafood to your diet can improve your overall wellness.
Overall, seafood is a healthy choice for any diet. Fish are a high-protein food that is low in calories, saturated and total fat. Incorporating fish into your diet is a sure-fire way to cut calories if you’re looking to lose weight. Most low-fat seafood options are just 100 to 200 calories per serving.
Additionally, most shellfish and fish contain less than 5% of total fat, while fattier fish, like salmon and mackerel, have 15% fat. By replacing red meat with fish in your diet, you’ll lower your total fat and calorie consumption, putting you on a path to wellness.
Many scientists have deemed a diet with regular fish and seafood consumption one of the most beneficial for heart health. The American Heart Association suggests eating two servings of fish a week – preferably non-fried. Eating several types of fish like salmon, tuna or trout and eating them regularly are the best courses of action.
The main benefit of eating fish is the omega-3 fatty acids. These acids decrease the risk of abnormal heart patterns and heart failure. They slow the growth of fatty deposits that clog the arteries whose sole purpose is to carry oxygen and nutrients away from your heart and into your body’s tissues. Additionally, fish is high in vitamins, protein and other nutrients that can help lower your blood pressure, reducing your risk for heart attack.
Seafood consumption benefits your immunity because it contains essential nutrients like fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids to promote your overall health and lower inflammation in your immune system.
Research also suggests that consuming omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil reduced the risk of Type 1 diabetes in children and protected against Type 2 diabetes and other auto-immune diseases in adults.
As humans age, brain function often declines. In one study, researchers found that those who regularly ate fish on average had slower rates of mental decline. In another study, researchers found that seafood consumption could lead to an increase in gray matter tissue – the part of the brain that regulates emotion and controls memory.
Some studies have shown a correlation between eating fish and a lower risk for stroke. Scientists believe that consuming at least one serving of fish a week to absorb omega-3 fatty acids puts you at a lower risk of cerebrovascular disease.
Another consideration when adding fish to your diet is how it can improve your overall nutrition. Beyond being rich in fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids, seafood is a fantastic dietary source of vitamin D. Filets of fish – specifically salmon and herring – contain the highest amounts of vitamin D in a single serving.
If you don’t wish to eat seafood, consider supplementing with cod liver oil, as it provides more than double the dose of recommended vitamin D intake.
Start eating fish now to see the many benefits later in life – one of them being that it helps maintain your quality of vision.
Studies show that those who maintain seafood-centered diets have a lower risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which often causes vision impairment in older adults. Scientists found that regular fish intake lowered the risk of AMD by 42% in a group of aging women.
While seafood is not a cure-all for depression, some studies suggest that a healthy seafood diet can prevent some symptoms of mental illness. Scientists have found that regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids may help some people from initially becoming depressed and help those who are currently treated for depression with medication by strengthening the efficacy of the medication.
Those with depression should reach out to a therapist and doctor for treatment and consider a diet with regular fish intake to consume a healthy amount of omega 3-fatty acids.
When embracing your new seafood-centered diet, recognize that not all fish are the same. While seafood is high in protein and low in calories and fat, know that the way fish is prepared impacts its nutritional value. If you choose to batter and deep fry your filet, it won’t be as healthy an option for your diet. Additionally, know that some fish carry higher traces of mercury than others.
Consider eating black sea bass, salmon, herring, oysters, clams, cod, scallops, shrimp, trout, tuna, crab, and squid two to three times a week. All are healthy for consumption and typically have limited mercury contaminants. Be wary of consuming marlin, shark, swordfish and tilefish due to their high levels of mercury.
If you wish to improve your health, the solution is simple: add fish to your diet. You’ll soon see the many benefits and watch your wellness improve!
About the Author
Kara Reynolds is the founder and editor-in-chief of Momish Magazine, an inclusive parenting magazine filled with parenting hacks, advice and more to keep your beautiful family thriving.