5 Reasons Why Seafood Should Feature in Your Life
It’s Super Versatile
Seafood can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Breakfast – try smoked haddock and poached eggs for a protein rich, low carb start to fuel your day. Lunch – a dressed crab from the fishmonger, or if you’re feeling daring, made by you, makes for a healthy and delicious packed lunch with a side salad. Dinner – there’s more fish to come! Why not try a salmon fillet baked in a parcel in the oven with vegetables? By sealing your fish and veg in a greaseproof paper parcel, the steam cooks the veg at the same time as the fish in about 18 minutes. Hey presto, it’s a quick dinner for one, or the whole family, in under half an hour from prep to plate. Seafood is perfect for the time-starved professional or parent.
Needy Feedy Speedy?
Seafood is quick to cook with. Don’t be afraid of buying prawns or langoustines raw and cooking them yourself. Trust me, you’re unlikely to poison yourself as longs they are in date. If they are frozen, defrost first in the fridge. Chuck the prawns in the wok towards the end of cooking a stir-fry and watch them change from grey to pink. When the flesh is white, with a bit of pink, they are ready. Time to cook… under 5 minutes.
No excuses for buying a microwave meal, when you can cook a stir fry for 2 in less time than it takes for 2 microwave meals to go in.
I’m not a huge advocate for ready-made sauces, however, if you’re in a rush, heat up a jar of curry sauce, microwave a pouch of rice and chop up some meaty fish such as cod. Add the fish to the sauce, let it cook through for about 6-8 minutes in the boiling sauce. You’ve got yourself a speedy fish curry that’s tasty a change from beef or chicken.
Smart Shoppers Buy Sustainable
There are many rumours that seafood stocks are running low and fishing is damaging our waters and seabeds, but it is still possible to eat fish and care for the environment. The key is finding seafood that’s sustainably sourced from around the world. Think tiger prawns from Indonesia that come from a natural ecosystem that’s providing work for locals and a stable income for the community, or perhaps crayfish from China, which were unintentionally were introduced by the Americans in the 1920s and 1930s and thrived. These are fished with minimal environmental impact from China’s lakes, by the fishermen who are controlled with permits. It’s about being sensible and knowing where your food comes from.
Improved Mental Wellbeing
In a society where mental health issues are on the increase, eating seafood can help assist your mental wellbeing. Fish oils contain 2 types of omega 3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA to give them their shortened names – both of which have fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. They play critical roles in human development and its thought that these oils also help assist mild memory loss and depression.
Oily fish is one of the main sources of these omega 3 fatty acids and as we aren’t eating enough (recommended 2 portions per person, per week) our bodies are falling short on these essential nutrients.
If you’re new to fish eating – even one portion a week is a start. You can always supplement your diet with fish oil capsules, to help improve your intake of omega 3s.
More Health Benefits to Seafood
We’re all trying to be better people right? Seafood is low in fat, with some even being as low as a 2% fat content. Its also high protein, so it will fuel your body for longer and help you build muscle mass.
So many of us in the UK are vitamin deficient in our diets. Depending on what you go for, the vitamins and minerals are rich and varied in seafood. Some fish has an abundance of Vitamin A, which helps boost your immune system and improves reproductive health. Some is rich in Vitamin D, which given our weather in the UK, it’s probably wise to try and get this from your food rather than the sun. Vitamin D will assist with healthy bone growth and it helps you absorb calcium better.
Many seafood dishes also contain a number of the B vitamins and minerals. This can help your metabolism (great for those who are trying to lose a little weight) and can help with memory and concentration issues. More Vitamin B. More alert.
Introduce more seafood in your life for a happier and healthier you.
Written by Claire Partridge, a 29 year old food and lifestyle blogger from Glasgow in Scotland who loves eating out, cooking and travel.