Is Seafood Good For Health?

Sea food is something most people in the world crave for. However, opinions clash when it comes to evaluating the positives and negatives of this food.

Seafood has been a favorite of mankind ever since they started fishing. Over the generations, seafood preparations have undergone many variations. Japanese, Asian, Mexican, American and a lot of other countries have added their own individuality to seafood dishes.

Seafood is not just a delectable food variety, but also a controversial one among food and health lovers. Opinions are divided over the positive and negative aspects of this food variety.

Benefits of Seafood

Some experts argue that seafood carries a lot of nutrients that can help reduce the risk of heart problems. According to the Institute of Medicine in Washington, US, consuming seafood twice a week is great for the heart. The types of fish that should be eaten according to the Institute are shellfish.

According to some other sources, seafood is filled with high-quality protein and is a provider of many micronutrients.

Seafood is also a very rich source of different kinds of omega 3 fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid. The most common source of omega-3 oils comes from fatty fish. These include fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, tuna, and salmon. Not only is fish a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also are a good source of protein.

It is also recommended that we include soybean, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed in our diet. These foods contain alpha-linolenic acid, which can become omega-3 fatty acids in the body. While omega-3 fatty acids are an important way to lower cholesterol, it should be part of an overall heart-healthy diet. It is recommended that to promote heart health a person should increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, choose whole grains, limit salt intake, avoid high-fat foods and have a moderate calorie intake.

Safe Fish And Seafood During Pregnancy

Fish and seafood provide pregnant women, as well as developing babies, with high-quality protein and essential Omega-3 fatty acids. The Pescetarian Diet is based on fish and seafood. However, nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury, which is toxic in large doses. For this reason, pregnant women are advised to limit their consumption of fish and seafood to low-mercury varieties. Oilier varieties of fish, such as herring, salmon, and sardines, contain more Omega-3. 

In addition to dietary intake of healthful fats, practices for maintaining skin hydration during pregnancy include gaining weight gradually, drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and applying a nontoxic skin moisturizer, such as coconut oil, to the belly. When choosing a commercial skin moisturizer, check the label for potentially harmful ingredients such as phthalates, which disrupt the endocrine system.

Fish and seafood provide essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain hydration of skin and support elasticity and stretching during pregnancy. Low-mercury, oily varieties of fish, such as sardines, salmon, and herring, offer safe and efficient options for optimal maternal nutrition and fetal development.

Disadvantages of Eating Seafood

Though there are some people who advocate that seafood provides nutrition and protein that’s essential for the body, there are several other people who disapprove of it.

The most potent argument against seafood consumption is the presence of toxic mercury in most of these fishes.

Experts also point out that some fish like tuna, swordfish, etc. have more mercury than other varieties. Some reports point out that as per the US Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, women and young kids must not have too much of swordfish, mackerel, and shark.

For pregnant women, there are specific instructions provided by health experts and dieticians. Consuming too much of seafood that has a high level of mercury can lead to cognitive defects in the fetus and kids.

Methyl mercury, which is a harmful agent found in a larger variety of fish like shark, is also known to cause a delay in the development of growing children. Adults, on the other hand, stand the risk of experiencing problems in the heart, kidney and nervous system functions.

But with so many risks around, is consuming seafood a safe option still? Experts would say that it might be safe to consume aquatic food preparations, but with some moderation.

Also, the amount of consumption depends on the physical condition of a certain individual.

For instance, some sources mention that if pregnant women like to eat seafood they can do so. They point out that such women can consume about 6-12 ounces of seafood a week. The fish variety should be something like albacore tuna. 

If such specifications are followed, then seafood can be a very consumable source of nutrition and protein.

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