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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 is found in most white fish
but oily fish are the richest sources.
Cockles and mussels are also chockfull of this important
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
Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D
is unusual because food isn’t the only - or even the best -
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.