Seafood is a lean source of protein, so-called "good" fat. It has unique omega-3 fatty acids which are important for our metabolism. Omega-3s assist blood circulation by lowering blood fats and hence prevent blood clot formation. Various researches proved their ability to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 54% among women and 40% among men. Omega-3 oils also help the arteries stay elastic. They fight skin aging, asthma symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and eczema. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in oily fish such as salmon, Chilean sea bass, trout, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna and whitefish.
Seafood is rich in essential vitamins and minerals. It contains iodine necessary for thyroid gland functioning, zinc which helps the immune system stay active and is also required for cell division, cell growth and wound healing. Iron is responsible for blood cells formation. Vitamin B complex is needed to maintain metabolic processes and strengthen nervous system. Also a part of B-complex, niacin contained in fish helps the digestive system and nerves function properly and is important for releasing the body energy. Oysters, mussels and scallops are excellent sources of zinc and iron. Tuna, swordfish, halibut and salmon are all high in niacin. B-complex is contained in mollusks, crabs, yellow fin tuna, oysters and clams.
Various kinds of seafood supply phosphorus which assists the body to use B-complex vitamins effectively. It also keeps teeth and bones strong. Potassium is essential for nerves and muscles and controls blood pressure. Scallops, oysters, prawns contribute calcium which is needed for healthy bones, teeth, nervous system and muscles. The list of vitamins and minerals contained in seafood is endless.
All kinds of seafood are low in calories and cholesterol. That's why they are better option than meat and are featured in most slimming diets. Caviar, prawns and squid have higher amounts of cholesterol, however its negative effect is offset by Omega-3 oils.
Looking at the darker side we should mention some negative points for seafood lovers. The first one is allergy: it may be triggered by a specific fish or meal rather than any kind of seafood. If you have any doubts about your body's reaction to seafood, be cautious trying something new while being in an exotic restaurant or country. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid exposure to methyl mercury contained in some kinds of fish, such as mackerel, tilefish, shark, tuna and swordfish. Raw seafood usually used for sushi can be dangerous for children, seniors and pregnant women, it can also worsen the state of people with liver disease or hepatitis, suppressed immune system, diabetes and stomach problems.
And last but not least - make sure the seafood you have on your table is safe. Be aware of the environmental impact on the food you consume. Also try and avoid chemicals or additives coming in contact with the product.