Seafood that is tasty, easy to prepare and nutritious! Modern nutritional guidelines recommend the inclusion of one or more seafood meals each week for good health.
Most seafood contains Omega 3 polyunsaturated oil, an oil which is unique to seafood. Omega 3 oils assist in blood circulation by lowering blood fats and preventing blood clot formation . This aids blood circulation and researchers believe it reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Research also indicates the Omega 3 oil in fish acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and so may reduce the risk of a wide range of health problems, including asthma, pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.
A single serve of fish or other seafood (150 grams) provides 50%-60% of daily protein needs for an adult. All seafood is low in fat – less than 5% fat. All seafood is low in cholesterol with 3 exceptions, prawns, squid and fish roe. However the higher amounts of cholesterol in these foods is offset by the beneficial omega 3 oils they contain. In comparison with meat, most seafoods have similar levels of cholesterol, but only a fraction of the saturated fat. For example, a 150 gram fillet of fish has less than 1 gram of fat and most of this fat is polyunsaturated.
Seafood is an excellent source of vitamins including iodine which is essential for the thyroid gland functioning, iron for red cell formation and zinc is required for wound healing. They are especially rich in niacin, essential for a healthy skin and for the release of energy in the body and vitamin B complex needed for metabolic processes. Oysters, mussels and scallops are excellent sources of iron and zinc. Oysters and mussels have nearly three times as much iron as most meats and oysters are the richest food source of zinc.
Seafoods also supply phosphorus (a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth and for many of the B-group vitamins to be used effectively) Potassium (essential for muscles and nerves and for controlling blood pressure); and small quantities of many other essential minerals, including magnesium. They are a natural source of sodium. Oysters, prawns scallops contribute calcium, the mineral needed for healthy bones and teeth and for proper functioning of nerves and muscles.
With such low kilojoule values, and with such a high content of many important nutrients, it is no wonder that seafoods feature in most slimming diets. By eating more seafood meals most people should find it easier to control their weight.