What’s on your dinner menu this week? Does fish appear? As you can tell by my photos, oysters appear quite often on our dinner menu! Adding more of the fruits of the sea to your weekly meal planning can have numerous benefits for your health.
Americans tend to eat less fish and shellfish than experts recommend, and missing out could affect their health. Foods like mackerel, cod and lobster can reduce the risk of various diseases, make you feel better inside and look better outside. Here are six reasons you should be eating more seafood.
Protect Your Heart
Heart disease kills more men and women each year than any other medical condition. You rely on this organ, but many people abuse it through unhealthy diets high in saturated fats and inflammatory foods like white flour. When combined with too little exercise and too much stress, you have a recipe for disaster.
However, you can clean up your diet and protect your ticker by eating more seafood. Scientists have found that the omega-3 fatty acids in foods like flounder protect your cardiovascular system and help maintain overall heart health. How does the magic work?
The omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood help protect your heartin the following three ways:
- They reduce your triglyceride levels: High triglycerides contribute to arterial hardening, increasing your heart attack and stroke risk.
- They lower your arrhythmia risk: Arrhythmia increases your risk of heart failure and blood clots.
- They slow plaque buildup: Sticky plaque can clog the arteries leading to your heart, causing an attack.
Therefore, you should include fish in your meal planning at least twice a week. Doing so can slash your cardiovascular disease risk and keep your heart pumping strong.
Safeguard Your Brain
The omega-3 fatty acids that work miracles for your heart also protect your brain. Research suggests that people who eat more fish can help stave off cognitive decline.
The magic lies in DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. To reap the brain-boosting benefits, you have to consume sufficient amounts of this nutrient over long periods. If you do, you can improve your memory and reduce your risk of cognitive decline.
However, please don’t wait until you start to notice memory lapses to up your consumption. The neuroprotective effects of DHA work best when you eat enough fish across your lifetime.
Sharpen Your Vision
Does age-related macular degeneration run in your family? If it does, you may begin to see more than the occasional floater interrupting your field of vision. This condition can gradually cause blindness by making it appear like black spots in your visual area.
However, consuming sufficient seafood may help stave off this disorder. Several studies suggest that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod and tuna reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and prevent it from progressing to more advanced stages. These nutrients are also critical for children’s retinal development.
Shed Unwanted Pounds
The best way to lose unwanted pounds is to reduce caloric intake while maintaining healthy nutrition. Doing so reduces cravings and helps preserve lean muscle while you shed weight. You should eat more seafood if your goal is to fit back into a specific size.
Why does seafood help you lose weight? Despite being high in protein, it’s relatively low in calories. For example, eight ounces of tuna fish has only 293 calories. The same portion of ground beef weighs in at over 750. You can slash your intake by more than half simply by ordering the fish tacos instead of the carne.
The lean protein in fish also keeps you feeling full, as it takes a while to digest. Therefore, you won’t feel tempted to snack an hour after eating.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Why is protein such an important macronutrient? Besides keeping you full, this stuff helps you build strong muscles. It allows your body to repair damaged cells and create new ones. It’s vital for growth and development, especially for pregnant women and children.
Fish is a complete protein because it comes from an animal. That means it contains all the amino acids your body needs to stay strong and healthy.
Explore Exotic New Flavors
Finally, perhaps the best reason you should be eating more seafood is that you can add variety and exotic new flavors to your dinner menu. For example, have your children ever tried shrimp or sushi? If not, why not tempt their taste buds with something new tonight?
For example, most kids will love this shrimp scampi with yellow squash noodles. They’ll think of it like a fancy spaghetti, but you know it’s full of lean protein and phytonutrients. Alternatively, try an old-fashioned platter of fried fish and chips made in the air fryer to cut the fat.
Reasons You Should Be Eating More Seafood
Many Americans don’t eat enough seafood. That’s unfortunate because it means missing out on some fabulous health benefits.
Consider the above six reasons you should be eating more seafood. Then, add more fish to your menu during meal planning.