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Seafood and Eat it

Seafood and Eat It

Food from the sea has incredible nutritional benefits and, in the UK, most of us don’t eat enough of it.

From heart healthy fats and protein, to a wealth of essential vitamins and minerals, there are so many reasons to up your intake of fish and seafood.

Omega 3

Perhaps one of the best known benefits are the so-called ‘heart healthy’ omega 3 fats found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines, as well as crab and mussels. It’s recommended that we eat one portion (around 140g) of these each week and the good news is that if cooking isn’t your thing, tinned fish counts too!

Great tip

So instead of your usual tuna sandwich, try blending tinned mackerel with cream cheese and a squeeze of lemon for a quick and easy mackerel pâté, or serve tinned salmon with a little mayonnaise and sliced cucumber. Tinned fish also make quick and easy fishcakes, great with a green salad for a light and tasty lunch or supper.

High in protein and low in fat

White fish, such as cod, haddock, coley, pollock and plaice are high in protein, which helps to build and maintain muscles, and low in fat, so they’re a great option if you’re watching your weight.

Great tip

Prawns, too, are high in protein and low in fat, especially saturated fat. We now know that the cholesterol they contain doesn’t have a significant impact on our cholesterol levels. Rather, cutting saturated fat intake helps keep blood cholesterol levels normal, making prawns a good choice.

Selenium 34

Something of an unsung hero, selenium helps keep hair and nails healthy and normal, helps your immune system work normally, helps to protect cells from oxidative stress and supports normal thyroid function.

Found in high amounts in white and oily fish, tinned tuna, prawns and mussels, selenium and seafood go hand in hand.

Calcium 20

Calcium probably isn’t the first nutrient that comes to mind when you think of fish, but sardines canned with their bones are a great source of this essential mineral.

The most common mineral in the body and famed for its role in helping keep bones and teeth healthy and normal, calcium also helps turn food into energy and contributes to normal muscle function and blood clotting.

Zinc 30

Mussels and crab are rich in zinc, a mineral which helps with normal fertility and reproduction, as well as helping keep hair, skin and nails healthy and normal and supporting your immune system.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in most white fish but oily fish are the richest sources.

Cockles and mussels are also chockfull of this important B vitamin.

B12 helps reduce tiredness and helps turn food into energy so if you’re feeling lacklustre try upping your weekly seafood intake to see whether you can feel the difference.

Vitamin D

Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is unusual because food isn’t the only - or even the best - source.

We get most of the vitamin D we need when it’s formed in our skin in response to sunlight (in the UK, the right wavelength of sunlight is only available during April-October, mainly between 11am-3pm).

However, oily fish are unusual because they contain lots of vitamin D, with herring, kippers and tinned salmon having the highest amounts.