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Health Benefits Of Seafood

Seafood is considered to be a delicacy in many parts of the world, and it is a particularly significant component in the diets of those living along coastal areas, particularly around the Mediterranean and also in parts of Asia. The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest, and part of its good reputation may be attributed to the significant presence of fish. Seafood like oysters, salmon, and crab among others contain a high nutritional value and are a great source of protein, while they are low in fat and cholesterol. This is also one of the main reasons for which fitness enthusiasts are encouraged to include some amount of seafood in their diets. With increased levels of awareness about seafood health benefits it should come as no surprise that seafood has become an increasingly common part of most diets.

Most of the advantages of eating seafood stem from the high nutritional value of most varieties of seafood. Health care experts and dietitians don’t just recommend the inclusion of seafood in a healthy diet for weight loss and fitness, but also to control some specific health conditions. Apart from the high protein content, low fat content, and the presence of omega 3 fatty acids, fish can also be a valuable source of various vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential to any balanced diet.

  • Blood Clots: Seafood health benefits are attributed to the nutrients in seafood, and research has clearly indicated that fish oils may help to restrict or prevent the formation of blood clots that could cause heart disease and strokes.
  • Heart: Heart disease is just one such condition. Most studies so far indicate that polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids present in fish, significantly reduce the risk of death from cardiac arrest. Although there may be no concrete evidence linking fish consumption to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis, nutritionists and most health care experts do recognize the role it has to play in containing heart disease. According to most studies individuals who include some amount of seafood in their regular diet are a lot less likely to suffer from heart disease and heart attacks as compared to those who never consume any seafood. High blood triglyceride levels are known to increase the risk of coronary disease and the consumption of seafood is known to reduce these levels. While the focus in diets with seafood may generally be oriented towards heart healthy diet plans, the nutrients in seafood also help with a variety of other ailments.
  • Cholesterol Control: Polyunsaturated fatty acids that are present in seafood are known to reduce cholesterol levels, which is why fish is generally included in any diet for heart patient.
  • Cancer, Arthritis And Alzheimer’s: Omega 3 fatty acids in seafood are believed to help reduce the risks of cancer and also helps control inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Its effects of increased brain function may also help with degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Seafood Nutrition Facts

Seafood nutrition values are widely recognized by the medical community, and the importance of seafood in a healthy balanced diet is accepted. Whether you are interested in a diet for weight loss or for fitness and general health purposes, seafood should figure prominently in a healthy diet plan. The relevance of seafood for nutrition in your diet is attributed to the high protein content in most seafood, despite being low in fat. Most other meats, although high protein, are also loaded with fats that contribute to weight gain and a variety of other ailments, particularly heart disease.

A fish serving of just 150 grams on the other hand would provide you with around 50 to 60 percent of your daily required protein intake. Most varieties of seafood are extremely low in cholesterol, with prawns, egg roe and squid being the exceptions. Even in these types of seafood however; the higher cholesterol levels seem to be balanced out by the fact that they contain higher amounts of healthy EPA and DHA omega 3 oils. When compared to most other varieties of meat seafood contains only a fraction of the unsaturated fat, with the fat levels in a 150 gm fillet of fresh fish being less than a gram. In addition most of this fat is also polyunsaturated.

Nutritional Value Of Seafood

Seafood nutritional value is regarded as being extremely high with good cause. It’s not that seafood provides you with most of your energy requirements or protein without the high levels of fat, but it is the nature of the protein content that is interesting.
  • Protein Content: One of the most interesting seafood nutrition facts is that the protein content in most seafood provides you with an abundant supply of all the essential amino acids. Amino acids are the structural components of protein and your body cannot produce these independently. Minerals and Vitamins: Seafood also serves as good source for a variety of minerals and vitamins, although the amounts of these nutrients will vary, depending on the specific fish or creature and its habitat, as well as on the method of preparation. Most varieties of seafood are known to be good sources of minerals like calcium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as other nutrients. Oysters for example are very rich in zinc, while pink salmon provides you with an abundant supply of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Fish like salmon, herring, and anchovies, though higher in fat than most others, are considered to be a healthy food because they are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids.

Calories in Seafood

Calories in seafood vary according to the type of fish as well as the method of preparation. Mussels provide over 170 calories per 100 grams while the same amount of crayfish would contain just 82 calories. Cooking methods such as baking and steaming would generally keep the calorie count of the seafood dish to a minimum while frying would drastically increase the calorie content of the dish.

Given below are the calorie values for some of the most popular seafood dishes:

  • Calories in seafood salad – typically 1 cup contains over 300 calories.
  • Calories in seafood bisque – typically 1 serving contains approximately 380 calories.
  • Calories in seafood soup – typically 1 serving contains a little over 270 calories.
  • Calories in seafood chowder – typically 1 cup contains about 190 calories.
  • Calories in seafood paella – typically 1 cup contains over 340 calories.
  • Calories in seafood pasta – typically 1 serving contains approximately 340 calories.
Submitted on September 21, 2011