Seafood Health Benefits: Helps with Heart Health, Bones & Immunity

Seafoods are Indeed Superfood! Help with Fatigue, High Blood Pressure, and Much More
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Collection)

Superfood is a buzzword largely associated with kale, avocados, nuts, seeds, and berries. A superfood is essentially a food that is high in nutrients, and can help fight and prevent disease. With that said, a number of seafoods should also top the list of superfoods.

Although many people tend to stick to plant-based superfoods, you want to consider adding more seafood to your diet if you are not a vegetarian or vegan. Some of the most nutrient-dense seafood on the planet includes crab, mussels, seabass, sardines, herring, salmon, and coley.

Fish and seafood in general is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. As a result, having seafood on your plate can be a great way to reduce fatigue, decrease high blood pressure, improve bone health, and much more.

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Major Benefits of Eating Seafood

1. Promotes Good Heart Health:

The omega-3 fatty acid content in seafood is excellent to help reduce high blood pressure. Studies show that omega-3 is a key nutrient that significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, strokes, and arrhythmias.

Although many may acquire omega-3 in capsule form, many researchers believe that fish and seafood consumption is a better way to go.

2. Important for Joint and Bone Health:

Forget dairy, brown crab meat is loaded with calcium, which is vital for bone health. A 2016 study published in the journal Nutrients suggested that fish and shellfish may protect against bone loss and osteoporosis.

Research has also shown that the anti-inflammatory effects of the omega-3 in seafood and fish can help reduce morning stiffness and ease tender joints in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

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3. Helps Boost Energy:

Fish and seafood are loaded with nutrients that are essential for energy and can therefore reduce fatigue. The B-complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids both help fight chronic fatigue while boosting your energy levels.

In particular, seafood is a great source of vitamin B12, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and biotin.

4. Improves Your Mood:

Fish and seafood’s omega-3 fatty acids can also improve your mood and reduce your risk and treat depression. A study published in the journal PLOS One in 2014 concluded that omega-3 fatty acids are effective in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and people with depression without a diagnosis of MDD.

5. Great for Overall Immune System:

Many of the nutrients in fish and seafood like vitamin A, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids can boost the immune system and reduce symptoms of allergies and asthma.

The antioxidant selenium can improve immune function, according to research published in the journal Molecular Nutrition Food Research in 2013.

Other Health Benefits of Seafood

Why else should seafood be a regular part of your diet? A study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science Journal in 2014 suggested that those that consume omega-3 fatty acids in seafood are less likely to suffer from the vision loss disease, age-related macular degeneration. Seafood also lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improves the natural glow of your skin, and enhances the growth and development of a fetus during pregnancy.

Although seafood provides an excellent nutrient boost, it is important to know the difference between wild and farm-raised fish and seafood. Farm-raised fish are often injected with dyes or hormones and contain fewer omega-3 fatty acids than wild fish. At the same time, any fish or seafood may be contaminated with environmental pollutants, especially methylmercury. Methylmercury is toxic to the nervous system, including the brain.

Wild and sustainably raised fish and seafood is considerably lower in mercury. It is also a good idea to find a local fish and seafood supplier instead of always buying from the grocery store.


Sources:

Delgado-Lista, J., et al., “Long chain omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review,” British Journal of Nutrition, June 2012; 107 Suppl 2:S201-213, doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001596.

Kris-Etherton, M., et al., “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease,” Circulation, 2002; 106: 2747-2757, doi: 10.1161/01/CIR.0000038493.65177.94.

Choi, E., et al., “The Association between the Consumption of Fish/Shellfish and the Risk of Osteoporosis in Men and Postmenopausal Women Aged 50 Years or Older,” Nutrients, March 2016; 8(3): 113, doi: 10.3390/nu8030113.

Kremer, J.M., “n-3 fatty acid supplements in rheumatoid arthritis,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2000; 71(1 Suppl): 349S-51S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10617995

Merle, B.M., et al., “Circulating omega-3 Fatty acids and neovascular age-related macular degeneration,” Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science Journal, March 28, 2014; 55(3): 2010-2019, doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-13916.

Grosso, G., “Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials,” PLOS One, 2014: 9(5): e96905, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096905.

Hoffmann, P.R., et al., “The influence of selenium on immune responses,” Molecular Nutrition Food Research, November 2008; 52(11): 1273-1280, doi: 10.1002/mnf.200700330.