There will always be some common sense advice that every well-meaning healthcare professional or friend has given us at some point. Drink less Use less salt. Eat more vegetables, less red meat, less sugar, make fewer stops for fast food, and exercise more. But few people remember advising you to add seafood to your diet.

In fact, unless you are lucky enough to live in a city with a prosperous coastline or where everyone eats fish, you may not be aware of all the benefits of eating more seafood .

15 reasons to eat seafood

While you don’t have to give up all other forms of meat to reap its benefits, adding a few servings of salmon or trout and other forms of seafood to your diet each week will have positive effects on your physical and mental health.

1. They are a great source of nutrients

Seafood is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart, brain, and eye health. It is also a great source of vitamin D, iron, zinc, magnesium, and other minerals. They are a wonderful source of lean protein that is very healthy for anyone.

2. They are part of a heart healthy diet

Eating fatty fish like sockeye salmon is a great source of healthy fats. Healthy fats are important to help keep your arteries clean. By adjusting your diet, you reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease.

Contrary to popular belief, seafood can also be part of a heart- healthy diet . This is due to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D. But of course, the way they are prepared is also important. Just set aside the preparation methods that add salt, oil, or carbohydrates.

3. They help treat and prevent depression

You can add shrimp and fatty fish to your diet to help prevent depression. Numerous studies have linked dietary changes to relieving symptoms of depression, increasing the effectiveness of antidepressants, and preventing depression altogether.

While there is nothing unique to treat or cure depression, making lifestyle changes can help those suffering from clinical depression. Of course, this and any other lifestyle changes should be discussed with your doctor first.

4. They are a source of organic food

There are many seafood farms that sustainably produce a large supply. Sustainable aquaculture techniques not only produce healthy harvests but reduce the negative impact on traditional fishing areas.

While most of the world’s seas are currently overexploited, aquaculture can help us preserve or even save certain species while meeting the demand for seafood.

5. Reduce your risk of autoimmune disease

Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system begins to attack healthy tissues in your body. Conditions such as lupus, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are examples of autoimmune diseases. Research suggests that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes in children and autoimmune diabetes in adults.

6. Improve your eyesight

Surely when you were a child they told you to eat your carrots to get a better view. It turns out that as we age, protecting our eyes requires a more dramatic menu change.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in older adults. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps prevent this condition. One study found that women who ate fish regularly were 42% less likely to develop AMD.

Another found that eating fatty fish once a week leads to a 53% decrease in the risk of developing neovascular AMD. So, don’t put off your carrots and be sure to add some seafood to your plate as well.

7. Prevent asthma

What does this food have to do with asthma? Recent studies have shown that children who eat fish regularly have a nearly 25% decreased risk of developing this disease.

It has not yet been confirmed that there are benefits for adult asthmatics or those who have already developed this disease, but it is still worth adding these foods to your diet. So try to encourage your little ones to eat more seafood .

8. Seafood promotes brain health

All of us experience a loss of mental dexterity as we age. There are many things we can do to mitigate the effects of age on our brains. One of those things is to make a change in our diets.

Eating a few servings of fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines each week has been shown to help people decrease rates of mental decline and has been linked to retention of gray matter. Gray matter is the most functional tissue in your brain, responsible for memory and the regulation of emotions.

9. Helps you sleep better

Do you have trouble sleeping well? Try to decrease your exposure to blue light, which is the most common type of light used in electronic devices. Exercise and stress relief are also helpful for getting a good night’s sleep.

There are a variety of reasons why you may find it difficult to sleep well, and so many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. Adding fish like salmon to your diet is one of them.

10. Reduce your carbon footprint

If you are a climate change conscious consumer, getting more of your dietary protein from seafood is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Many of the most popular types of seafood have a lower carbon footprint than beef or pork.

You also need to be careful about where your food is processed and how it is harvested. The extra transportation miles can overshadow any environmental benefits you may have gained from making this change. So do your best to find locally harvested fish.

11. They can make you lose a few kilos

All of us fight in the battle against the kilos. Even if you are lucky enough to have reached your ideal weight, the struggle to maintain it is endless. Adding shellfish to your diet is a way to not only lose unwanted pounds, but also to keep them off.

They are nutritionally dense and low in calories. Still, you should still be mindful of how you prepare your food; breaded or fried fish contain excess carbohydrates and fat.

12. Decrease the risk of certain types of cancer

Reducing your intake of red meat and processed meats is linked to lower rates of cancer. Choosing other lean protein sources helps you make these necessary adjustments. Additionally, DHA and EPA, the fats found in fatty fish, have been shown to reduce inflammation in the colon and improve colon cell function.

13. They reconnect you with nature

Many people have great concerns about the condition of the meat they eat. They feel insecure about the living conditions of the animals and the amount of vaccines and chemicals used to treat them.

Today, most of us have come to realize that the image we have of cows and chickens in open pastures or clean pens is far from reality. Instead, the lives of the animals we commonly eat are short and cruel.

Aquatic farms can be just as dire, with overcrowded tanks, disease, and poor regulation. But there are other options.

You can go fishing! Fishing is a great way to reconnect with nature and helps teach young children where food comes from. And your seafood will not be limited to what you catch with your rod. You can find fish, shrimp, and other shellfish available in places where you can harvest them yourself from the wild.

14. Seafood is a great source of lean protein

They are a great source of lean protein. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, finding reliable sources of lean protein is important.

People who include sources of these in their diet such as shrimp and shellfish not only reduce their calorie intake, but also feel full longer after eating.

15. They add variety to your diet

The sea offers a large number of gastronomic options. You don’t have to worry about ever getting bored. Adding more seafood to your dining options opens up a whole new world of flavors, textures, and flavors.

No more complaining about eating chicken over and over again. Heart-healthy shrimp, seafood, and fatty fish can be quickly made at home and add excitement and flavors to even a basic dinner.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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