People around the world make fish & other seafood, a vitamin-rich source of lean protein, a part of their diet for nutritional reasons, or simply because they like the taste. The love for seafood is massive. Billions of people widely depend on the ocean as their fundamental source of food. There is even a diet concept formed out of the love for seafood – Pescetarian diet, which is associated with people who have aquatic animals along with their vegetarian diet and do not eat any other meat or poultry.

Although the word Pescetarian is not that commonly used, more people are adopting this kind of diet, usually for health reasons.

Talking about health reasons, we all generally know seafood is a great source of lean protein and nutrients. But have you ever wondered what these nutrients practically do to our body? Well, that is what we are going to discuss further.

1. Good for the Heart

Seafood is low in saturated fats and high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect your heart from disease and lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. The fish-eating Inuit population with low levels of heart disease is a good example of this fact.

2. Light on the Tummy

 A diet rich in fish oils and Omega-3 can help protect our bowel system from serious inflammatory diseases.

3. Healthy for the Eyes

Consuming fish rich in oil will keep your eyes bright and healthy. Recent studies say Omega-3 Fatty Acids in seafood can help those suffering from particular age-related eyesight problems, and also Retinol, a form of Vitamin A in fish and shellfish boost night vision.

4. Heals Joints

Eating more like a regular part of one’s diet has been shown to ease the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition which causes joints to swell up and also Osteoarthritis.

5. Keeps the Respiratory System healthy

Seafood reduces and prevents the symptoms of Asthma in children, and it can also keep your lungs healthier as you age in comparison to those who don’t eat enough fish.

6. Enhances the Skin

Not only does seafood play a large part in preventing depression, but omega-3 help to protect the skin from harmful effects of UV damage. Fish is also rich in protein, which is an essential ingredient of collagen, that keeps the skin firm and flexible and gives you younger-looking skin.

7. Great for the Brain 

Human brain is almost 60% Fat with much of this being Omega-3 Fat and people who eat plenty of seafood are said to be less likely to suffer from memory disorders in their later life. DHA, an Omega-3 Fat in seafood has also been linked to improvements in children’s concentration, reading skills and behaviour.

As we have discussed above, seafood is an important component of human diet because it is easily digestible and contains high-quality protein that provides essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make by themselves and must be supplied through our food. Since it is a perishable item, seafood is best eaten fresh, however, one should also watch out for levels of possible contaminants in seafood due to various environmental reasons, before consuming it.

According to the recent trends, seafood is not limited to just a healthy food choice, but it makes a great party menu too. Whether it’s a get-together with friends, a casual holiday buffet or even an elegant dinner party, seafood is a smart choice to make.

For interesting seafood recipes head to What's Cooking Today? and explore the wide range of recipes by ICCA Chef Instructors.