We all know that seafood tastes great, but did you also know that it’s good for your health too? We know, we know, if it tastes good it can’t be good for you, but in this case, we’ve found a tasty exception to that rule. Recent studies conducted in Europe have shown that mothers who have a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, especially those mothers who get their omega 3s from seafood, are much more likely to have intelligent and social children.1 Once born, these children were found to consistently score higher on verbal intelligence tests and to have mastered motor skill tasks more quickly and efficiently as compared to children whose mothers did not have a seafood-rich diet. As if these discoveries aren’t reason enough for young women to start getting more fish into their diets, it has also been found that women who eat fish regularly have a much smaller chance of developing postpartum depression than women who do not consume fish and seafood products.1Always remember though, too much of anything is not good for you, so while seafood is an important part of an expectant mother’s diet, it is important to not go too overboard and to avoid seafood with higher mercury levels.
The benefits of seafood for the brain aren’t exclusive to women and infants. People of all ages will benefit highly from the omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood. Clinical tests have recently revealed that fish oils have the ability to help patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, and dyslexia. As Alexandra Richardson of the Neuroscience Department of Oxford University puts it, “This really does represent a breakthrough in the managing of individual depressions. If the brain does not have the right fats, it will not be working right.2 Helping to confirm these findings is the fact that low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids are consistently found in many people afflicted with depression, ADHD, autism, and dyslexia. While the diagnosis of depression is more common now than at any point in recorded history, it is rising the most quickly in countries where seafood is not a staple in most people’s diets. However, in countries that have a more seafood-intensive diet, such as Japan, depression rates are far lower. Ms Richardson continues to tout the benefits of fish oils by saying, “There is little to lose and hardly any negative side effects – only nice cosmetic ones such as shiny hair, strong nails, and healthy looking skin.”2
While fish such as salmon and mackerel are packed with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, shellfish are also an excellent and nutritious source of many key vitamins and minerals. Both shrimp and lobster contain less than one gram of fat per serving and nearly all varieties of shellfish are low in cholesterol. They are also high in protein and their health benefits are kept at optimum levels when they are cooked through steaming or boiling rather than through frying.3
While shellfish do not contain Omega 3 levels quite as high as their fishy counterparts, they still have higher levels than that of most other food and the additional health benefits of helping to prevent blood clotting and decreasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In addition to this, shellfish such as oysters are high in mangesium, iron, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and Vitamin D.3 Other forms of shellfish, such as mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, crabs are great sources of zinc, which is key to promoting immune health and aiding in the wound healing process.
It is clear that in addition to being a tempting taste treat, seafood is also good for the mind and body as well. However, if you want to reap the maximum benefits, you have to be sure to do your part and always make certain that your seafood is kept fresh, clean, and properly refrigerated at all times. Make an investment in your dinner and in your health as well by paying us a visit today and grabbing some delicious seafood. As Wilford Brimley would say, “It’s the right thing to do.”
- Bates, Claire
Women Who Eat Fish During Pregnancy More Likely to Have Brainy and Sociable Children
UK Daily Mail, February 1, 2012
- Author Unavailable
Is Fish Good for the Brain? You Bet it is.
Health 4 You Online, January 28, 2012
- Welter, Sonya
5 Things You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Shellfish
Livestrong.com, November 18, 2009