Is Shellfish Healthy? The Health Benefits of Shellfish
Nearly everything we eat is healthy in moderation. Even red wine and chocolate have their health benefits when enjoyed on occasion. One food that isn’t typically mentioned when discussing nutrition, is shellfish and providing you have no allergies, shellfish is actually a great contribution to your diet. When we say shellfish are healthy, we don’t (unfortunately) mean when smothered in butter, although one can dream… They do however come packed full of vitamins and minerals such as protein, omega-3, zinc, copper, magnesium, iron and healthy fats.
A Healthy Heart
Shellfish is very low in saturated fat and relatively high in omega-3, both of which lower cholesterol. Reducing the fat in your blood stream lowers the risk of heart disease. One extra portion of fish a week can half the risk of heart disease. Make mine a lobster!
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for protecting your skin against UV damage. Participants in a study were exposed to UV-B radiation to check how long it would take the skin to produce a sunburn. They were then given 10 grams of omega-3 fish oil over both 3 and 6 months. The study showed that the fatty acids were being incorporated into the skin of the subjects. The same subjects were then re-tested and the amount of time it took for a sunburn to arise more than doubled. The effects of the skin protection lasted around 10 weeks even after the subjects stopped taking supplements. One of the main ingredients in collagen is protein and shellfish is packed with protein.
Boost Your Immune System
Selenium is a potent antioxidant found in shellfish which can reduce the symptoms associated with asthma and other allergies.
Studies have shown that those suffering with inflammatory bowel disease have seen their symptoms reduce following the addition of omega-3 to their diets. Omega-3 can also help to prevent blood clotting and can decrease the risk of strokes.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, including shellfish in your diet could help with the symptoms of arthritis. Omega-3 oils found in shellfish can help reduce swelling and pain in long-term sufferers.
Shellfish can also help to boost your night vision. Those who regularly consume omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are less likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration, a disease which can result in the loss of vision. Eating oily fish can also help to keep your eyes healthy and bright.
Healthy is happy right? Right. Studies have shown that fish oil can increase the effectiveness of anti-depressants. Cultures which eat alot of seafood have much lower rates of mental health issues, such as depression and bipolar disorder. It is no secret that eating a healthier diet makes you feel happier on the outside. Although more research is needed, Omega-3 has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children.
Your brain is really fat. More than two thirds of the fat in your brain is made up of a fatty acid which is found in seafood. Regularly consuming both healthy fats and omega-3 can therefore boost brain functionality. This can also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The health benefits of shellfish are extensive. Along with containing lots of key vitamins and minerals, shellfish is packed with healthy proteins which can keep you fuller for longer. Lobster in particular is very low in fat. In order to keep your shellfish as healthy as possibly, it is best to boil or grill it.