Many types of seafood are rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that improve your health. The Department of Agriculture recommends making fish and shellfish the main protein on your plate twice a week to gain nutritional benefits. If you are working to have a healthy diet, then you should begin incorporating seafood if you haven’t already.
Check out these six super healthy types of seafood to enjoy in your next meal.
Shrimp are a rich source of protein. These little shellfish can be boiled, baked, sauteed, grilled or steamed. They are low in calories and fat, which can make them a healthy choice for your next meal. Shrimp are also high in vitamins, like B12, and minerals. They are considered heart-healthy food because they produce more good cholesterol than bad cholesterol in the body. Additionally, they decrease the amount of fat energy, which is stored as tissue.
Try making shrimp the star of your next dish for a healthy, well-balanced meal. They can be eaten on their own or used to complement the dish, like in a pasta.
Mussels are high in protein and iron, making them an acceptable substitute for red meat in your diet. They are also low in fat, which is great if you are trying to eat low-calorie meals. Mussels are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce the risk of a heart attack. Plus, they include vitamins that reduce inflammatory conditions and improve brain health. Selenium, which is rich in mussels, helps protect the body from damage and plays a role in reproduction and thyroid function.
To enjoy mussels at home, it’s critical that you learn to clean and prepare the mussels to be cooked. Mussels with cracked or damaged shells are likely dead and should be thrown out. These shellfish are only ready to be cooked after they’ve been thoroughly scrubbed and soaked. You can tell that a mussel is fully cooked when it’s shell opens. Remember to discard any that remain closed after the cooking process.
3. Salmon (Wild)
Like many of the types of seafood on this list, salmon is high in omega-3s, which greatly contributes to heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing artery inflammation. Wild salmon is healthier than farm-raised because they are higher in minerals like zinc, potassium and iron. In comparison, farm-raised salmon have a higher fat content, which also increases their calorie count.
You can enjoy this colorful fish in various healthy recipes and buy it fresh or frozen to enjoy the nutritional values. Salmon is also frequently used in sushi dishes, which can be a nice change if you enjoy raw fish. Just remember to skip the raw fish if you are pregnant.
Crabs look intimidating, as far as crustaceans go, but their tender meat holds great nutritional value. There are several species of crab available in the U.S. like Alaskan, King, Snow and Maryland. While they each taste slightly different, they are all terrific sources of protein and healthy minerals. Crab is high in copper, which plays a role in brain development, immune system functioning and energy production.
With crabs, it’s better to choose a fresh product that is still in its shell so that you retain the greatest amount of flavor. Crab is commonly eaten on its own, in a crab cake or as part of a salad, but creativity is the only limit when using this versatile ingredient.
Trout is basically a superfood. This fish is packed with protein, niacin and potassium. Niacin, commonly known as vitamin B3, is used to turn food into energy and helps to keep your digestive system and nervous system healthy. Plus, it improves skin health. Trout is also low in mercury content, which means it’s safer to eat in larger portions than other fish like ahi tuna or swordfish.
Typically, trout has a mild flavor, which makes it an adaptable protein. Season lightly with lemon and butter to enhance the delicate fish flavors. It’s commonly baked, fried or sauteed, but it can also be grilled.
This tiny fish is often overlooked when shopping for seafood, but it boasts more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. These acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can boost good cholesterol. Herring is also high in antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin D, which can help people who have low sun exposure. Low in mercury, this fish is even safe to eat during pregnancy in small quantities.
Most people eat pickled or can herring, but also it can be grilled with a light seasoning or dressing. Grilling can be a healthy cooking method because it seals in natural juices without needing additional fats like butter during the cooking process.
As with any seafood, remember to shop sustainably for your ingredients. Destructive fishing practices have led to 53% of the world’s fisheries being exploited, leading to species depletion. To buy sustainable seafood, look for the MSC certification, which indicates that the wild seafood was caught using safe practices that don’t cause serious harm to the ocean and other aquatic life.
Focus on eating any of these six delicious types of seafood to enjoy numerous health benefits.