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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Fish and Seafood

Fish and Seafood

Seafood is considered as a health food in the current century. The term fish is collectively used for fresh, salt water, shellfish and finfish. Fish is highly nutritious and contains good – quality protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. More and more people are turning towards seafood to gain a healthy source of digestible high quality protein (all the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot synthesize are provided by fish/seafood).

Health, Fish and Seafood

In this no-fat, low-fat world the importance of fat from many health conscious individuals is diminishing.
It is important to know that fish and seafood is a natural source of omega-3 fats that gives cardiovascular benefits and other health benefits to a person.
  1. When compared with other meats and poultry fish and sea food provides minimum saturated fat, total fat and total calories, moreover cholesterol levels of fish are not too high (one ounce of fish gives 20 mg cholesterol on an average) and the fat present is primarily unsaturated fats. Healthy fats or EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaeonoic acid) are the two omega 3 fatty acid (essential fatty acid, that needs to be supplied through diet as body cannot synthesize them) that help in decreasing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer and is also beneficial for people with diabetes mellitus.
  2. Fish is also called the brain food as omega 3 fatty acids also help in healthy brain development.
  3. Commercially available fish oils/cod oils in capsule form are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  4. Although not a good source of vitamin C fishes are a very good source of B – complex vitamins mainly thiamine, niacin, B6 and B12.
  5. Fish and seafood is also considered a very good source of calcium which is necessary for healthy bones.
  6. Individuals on sodium restricted diet or DASH diet can consume fish and seafood safely due to its low sodium content.
  7. The wise way of consuming fish is in steamed form, grilled or dry fry. Excessive cooking in lots of oil will decrease the essential nutrients of fish.
It is difficult to ignore the nutritional benefits and palatability for fish and seafood which it offers for all age. American Heart Association recommends consuming 2 servings of oily fish (sardines, shrimp, mackerel, tuna, salmon and herring) which are high in EPA and DHA. However they also suggest that one should not exceed the oily fish and seafood consumption beyond three serving per week. This conclusion is made by the scientists after studying various fishes, seafood and the level of metal contamination (mercury, lead), pesticides and toxins in them. As in the process of gaining benefits from omega-3, these contaminants may adversely affect one’s health.
Submitted on January 16, 2014