Turn to Seafood for a Fit and Healthy New Year!


It will soon be a new year. A chance for a fresh start, and for making resolutions toward the better life that begins with a better you.  No matter what your resolutions are, to achieve them you need to be in good health. Seafood can fuel your body with excellent nutrition for the challenges ahead, and can also be a powerful weight loss tool if you, like me, hope to slim down in 20183.

An especially diet – friendly seafood is steamed white fish, shown to be even more filling than vegetables or oatmeal. Research in Australia also revealed that white fish leaves people feeling fuller than similar amounts of chicken or beef. In addition, those who ate the fish in this study remained satiated longer than those who ate the other two foods. Researchers believe white fish to be filling due to the fact that it affects the body’s levels of serotonin – a hormone deeply involved with appetite. The high protein content of the fish also probably enhanced how stuffed it left the subjects2.

Oysters are a superb food choice for the weight – conscious2.

Oysters are also a great food to eat if you are trying to lose weight, since they are extremely low in calories. Six oysters have the same calorie count as a single Saltine cracker! Despite this, six oysters yield 21 percent of a person’s recommended intake of iron for a day. This becomes important when one considers that iron deficiencies are related to greater expression of fat genes2.

Pan – Seared Halibut

Obviously, you will still want to steer clear of blatantly high – calorie fast food seafood dishes –  such as fried fish sandwiches – in your quest to lose weight. Instead, try seafoods that are prepared in healthier ways such as broiled, grilled, pan – seared, or in sushi3.



The omega – 3 fatty acids found in seafood can help to protect you from a heart attack5 – diagrammed here.

Powerful a diet weapon though seafood is, it can also be important to life or death issues with the heart. Fish is replete with vitamins and proteins, as well as nutrients such as omega – 3 fatty acids which can lower blood pressure and help to prevent a stroke or heart attack. So crucial is fish to the heart that the American Heart association advises that one eat it two or more times per week to keep a wholesome diet. It is important to note that the omega – 3 fatty acids found in seafood, though essential to heart health, are not produced by the human body on its own – they need to be ingested5.

Fish are a wonderful source of important omega – 3 fatty acids5!

The human brain is nearly 60% fat, a large proportion of this being the omega – 3 fatty acids mentioned above. This is why omega – 3 fatty acids, so abundant in  fish, are also necessary to brain health9. Consumption of omega – 3 fatty acids from seafood can facilitate brain function5 and lower risk of depression. It is also possible that omega – 3 fatty acids could be used to decrease depression already diagnosed1. Other problems that omega – 3 fatty acids help to fend off are dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and ADHD 3. They are even found to be helpful in the nerve and vision development of a child before birth5. EPA and DHA, two omega – 3 fatty acids, are also believed to aid the normal development of infant and child brains (though more research still needs to be done)1. Additionally, DHA consumption has  been connected to improvements in behavior, concentration, and writing ability in children 9.

When taking advantage of the rich health benefits of seafood, however, one should also avoid overdoing it. Mercury, in much higher levels in some fish than in others, can cause brain disorders if consumed in excess6. As the American Heart Association also considers more than one serving of fish per week to be vital to health, however, it also is not healthy to avoid fish altogether.  The key is to eat fish regularly but in moderation, and to chose species known to contain lower levels of mercury6. Examples of  these species are catfish, anchovies, herring, flounder, haddock, salmon, and oysters to name a few 7.

Perhaps you face the unique challenge of beginning the new year suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis which causes swelling and pain in the joints). Including seafood in your diet could help to ease this burden at least somewhat. In a study done for the Arthritis Care and Research Journal, 176 people with rheumatoid arthritis answered a questionnaire on what they had been eating during the past year. Those who had reportedly consumed fish twice or more per week had less sensitivity and swelling in their joints than those who had not. Activity of the rheumatoid arthritis decreased with increase in reported seafood consumption.  Again, the omega – 3 fatty acids in seafood are believed to be the heroes in this situation8  Reduction in osteoarthritis has also been connected to omega – 3 fatty acids in preliminary research8.

Truly, fish has shown itself to be a super food to bring with you into the new year, in so many different ways. Also enhanced by seafood consumption are the immune system, vision, pregnancy, and skin health. In addition, some sea foods like salmon are an excellent source of Vitamin D – which is necessary to healthy bones1.

Following are some healthy seafood recipes to help you get your year off to a great start. Best of luck in the new year!


Works Cited

1. “Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Seafood”.
Health Fitness Revolution.com, www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-eating-seafood/.
4 June 2014

2. Smith, Cecelia. “Six Best Fish for Weight Loss”.
Eat This, Not That!, www.eatthis.com/6-best-fish-for-weight-loss/.
19 Feb. 2015.

3. Beckerman, James, M.D. “Your Weight Loss Food: Eat Seafood”.
lifescript, www.lifescript.com/diet-fitness/tips/y/your_weight_loss_food_eat_seafood.aspx
12 April 2017.

4. Gallary, Christine. “When a Recipe Calls for White Fish, What Does It Mean?”.
kitchn, www.kitchn.com/when-a-recipe-calls-for-white-fish-what-does-it-mean-tips-from-the-kitchn-218257.
22 Apr. 2015.

5.Washington Fish Advisory Program. “Health Benefits of Fish”.
Washington Department of Health, www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Food/Fish/HealthBenefits.
Retrieved 16 Dec. 2017.

6.D’Alessandro, Nicole. “Mercury in Seafood: How Much is Too Much?”.
EcoWatch, www.ecowatch.com/mercury-in-seafood-how-much-is-too-much-1881943337.html.
14 Aug. 2014.

7. Shaw, Hank. “Before You Buy Fish – Check for Mercury”.
The Spruce, www.thespruce.com/check-fish-for-mercury-before-buying-1300629.
10 July 2017.

8. Macmillan, Amanda. “The Surprising Benefit of Eating Fish”.
Time, www.time.com/4825829/fish-diet-rheumatoid-arthritis/.
21 June 2017.

9. “Health Benefits”.
SEAFISH, www.seafish.org/eating-seafood/seafood-for-health/health-benefits.
Retrieved 17 Dec. 2017.

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