Seafood is very rich in proteins but low in calories and saturated fats. They contains vitamins and minerals that brings many benefits for our health. Studies have shown results that eating fish and seafood may help in minimizing risks of stroke and heart attack, hypertension, and obesity. Seafood is also known to provide vital nutrients for infants and growing children.
Proteins and Calories
Essentially, seafood is a low-calorie protein. Fishes with low fats like flounder, cod, and sole has less than 100 calories for every 3-ounce cooked portion. Fatter fishes such as salmon, herring, and mackerel provide about 200 calories for each serving.
Seafood is very rich in protein and contains essential amino acids for healthy growth and optimum fetal growth and development. Since seafoods contain less connective tissue compared to red meat and poultry products, the protein in fish and seafood is easy to digest.
Nutrition experts claim that a three-ounce serving of fish and shellfish gives us about 30% to 40% of our daily average recommended amount of proteins.
Cholesterol and Fats
Basically, seafood is low in total fats and saturated fats. They contain below 5% of total fats. Fishes that are fattiest like king salmon and mackerel contains not more than 15% fats. Most of the fats found in seafoods are polyunsaturated as well as the healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids needed for our healthy growth and development. Our human body cannot produce these organic compounds but can be obtained through foods.
What is so important with this omega-3 fatty acids? The marine-based fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) aid in minimizing risks of heart problems and enhances brain and vision development in infants. Fish and shellfish are very rich in EPA and DHA but can be converted at 0.1-9% rate in our physical body.
AMA (American Heart Association) suggests a 1000-mg of EPA or DHA daily for patients diagnosed with coronary heart ailments and two meals of oily fish every week for patients with no heart problems. Fishes with medium to high levels of omega-3 fatty acids including mackerel, herring, salmon, and sardines contribute much to our health.
Most animal-based foods deliver cholesterol in different amounts. Present dietary recommendations restricts intake of cholesterol up to 300 mg daily. Most of fishes and shellfish have less 100 mg of cholesterol for every three-ounce cooked serving. Many of leaner kinds of fishes contain less than 60 mg.
Vitamins and Minerals
Studies reveals that fish is very high in B-complex vitamins, Vitamin A (especially the oily type of fishes), B-complex vitamins, and Vitamin D. These vitamins are linked to healthy development of nervous system. While Vitamin A is excellent need for a healthy vision and young-looking skin, Vitamin D is significant in the development of strong bones.
Fish is rich in minerals like iron, selenium, iodine, and zinc. Iron is vital in the production of red blood cell and selenium is a powerful antioxidant that shields cells from damaging, particularly from harmful effects from exposure of mercury. Iodine aids in keeping our thyroid gland function while zinc is an essential need for the growth of cell and stronger immune system.
Anchovies, sardines, and other small fish when eaten whole are potent source of calcium for the development of healthy bones.
Health Benefits from Fishes and Seafood:
Healthy Heart – minimizes risks of heart diseases and problems including heart attack and sudden death, blood triglyceride and heart arrhythmias, increases good cholesterol called HDL and improves blood circulation.
Firm Muscles – aids in building firm and healthy muscles and tissues
Healthy Eyes – for healthy development of vision and nerve growth in retina
Brain – essential for neurological development in infants.
Pescatarians are those who promote eating fish and seafood instead of meats and poultry with vegetables. Learn more about Pescatarian diet for better and healthier lifestyle.