The Health Benefits of Wild Seafood: A National Seafood Month Special
1. Packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the standout nutrients found in wild seafood, especially fatty fish like king salmon and sablefish, is omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are known to play a pivotal role in cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the risk of heart diseases. Furthermore, omega-3s are linked to improved brain health, potentially reducing the onset of cognitive decline as we age. The best way to check your omega-3 levels is with our quick and easy Omega-3 Index Test!
2. High-Quality Protein Source
Protein is fundamental for the body's growth, repair, and maintenance. Wild seafood is one of the best sources of lean protein that's easily digestible and environmentally sustainable. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to maintain or build muscle mass, support metabolic health, and ensure overall bodily functions.
3. Rich in Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Wild-caught seafood is a nutrient powerhouse, brimming with vitamins and minerals. B vitamins, particularly B12, are abundant in many fish species and are essential for nerve function and the formation of red blood cells. Seafood is also an excellent source of iodine, vital for thyroid function, and selenium, a powerful antioxidant that combats oxidative stress.
4. Lower in Contaminants
One of the most common concerns about seafood consumption is the potential presence of contaminants, like heavy metals. The good news is that wild-caught seafood contains trace minerals such as selenium, which has an extremely high affinity for mercury. Selenium sequesters mercury and reduces its biological availability and therefore reducing toxicity.
5. Promotes Joint Health
The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are extremely beneficial for joint health. Regular consumption of wild seafood can potentially reduce the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions, leading to improved mobility and reduced pain.
6. Supports Eye Health
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are vital for maintaining the health of the retina in the eye. Studies have suggested that individuals who consume more fish have a lower risk of eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration.
7. Enhances Skin Health
Our skin also reaps the benefits of seafood. The omega-3 fats in fish can help keep skin moisturized and reduce the impact of UV-induced damage. Plus, the high-quality protein in seafood promotes the production of collagen, ensuring skin retains its elasticity and strength.
8. Improves Sleep
Seafood has been shown to benefit sleep as sources such as shrimp and crab are high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our bodies don’t produce on their own. Seafood is also high in Vitamins B6 and B3, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which can all help contribute to better sleep.
9. Seafood = Brainfood
Fish contain the essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that support your brain and nervous system. Consuming adequate amounts of omega-3 also significantly promotes brain growth and development during pregnancy and early life. Even more impressively, new studies are finding that omega-3s fight age-related mental decline and can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by almost 50%!
10. Mood-Boosting Effects
According to data from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, the benefits of seafood also include a positive effect on anxiety and depression. Vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc are typically low in people fighting depression and these are all found in fish. The American Psychiatric Association claims the fatty acids in fish are an effective aspect of depression treatment.
Celebrating Wild Seafood is Easy…
While all seafood offers numerous health benefits, wild seafood often stands out for its richer nutrient profile, natural habitat, and sustainability. As we celebrate National Seafood Month, it's an opportune time to explore the incredible variety of wild-caught options available. Whether it's the deep, rich flavors of wild salmon, the crisp bite of freshly caught shrimp, or the delicate taste of crab meat, there's a world of health and flavor waiting for you.
As with all dietary choices, it's vital to ensure you’re sourcing sustainably caught seafood to protect our oceans and the rich biodiversity they host. So, this National Seafood Month, celebrate not just the flavor but also the countless health benefits wild seafood offers!