More and more people are realizing the impressive benefits of seafood. Studies have tied the high consumption of seafood in places such as Japan with low rates of cancer and other diseases. Seafood is perhaps the best source out there for healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to keep you in good health.
Here are seven important health benefits of seafood.
The Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are polyunsaturated fatty acids known to protect the body against heart disease. These so called “good fats” aid in lowering cholesterol, decrease blood clotting, and relax and decrease inflammation in blood vessels. They also aid in the prevention of erratic heart rhythms, and facilitate greater variability between heartbeats, reducing the risk of arrhythmia.
Omega-3s have also been shown to lower levels of triglycerides, high amounts of which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Recent studies show that omega-3s in seafood support joint cartilage and other types of tissue. Scientists have been very interested in one bioactive peptide named calcitonin because it is also made in the human body by the thyroid gland, and we know that it helps regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue. Such peptides may combine with omega-3 molecules to provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits for joints. The incredibly high content of vitamin D found in seafood has also been shown to be key in preventing unwanted inflammation, decreasing fatigue and reducing morning stiffness.
The high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids in seafood offer substantial protection against macular degeneration (AMD) of the eye, a condition in which fine vision deteriorates, resulting in central vision loss and is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Studies strongly suggest that increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids may also reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome, a common cause of ocular complaints.
Skin and Hair
The omega-3s found in seafood lock moisture into skin cells, encouraging the production of strong collagen and elastin fibers, which contribute to more youthful looking skin. Omega-3s have also been known to alleviate skin blemishes and maintain good hair luster. Omega-3s provide nourishment to hair follicles, helping hair grow healthy and preventing hair loss. A rich supply of proteins is also important for hair growth. The high protein content of seafood helps maintain strong, healthy hair.
The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are powerful allies in the fight against cancer. They have been connected to decreased risk for several types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Regular omega-3 intake has been proven particularly effective against the blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Consumption of fatty fish presents substantial protection against renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer. Fatty fish is rich in vitamin D, which has been shown to play a crucial role in lowering risk of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids may help lessen cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease by promoting a healthy blood supply to the brain, lowering inflammation, and aiding the transmission of electrical signals in the brain. Brain cell research shows one omega-3 fatty acid named DHA may help increase production of the protein LR11, which destroys the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D has also been shown to be a major factor in supporting cognitive function, and fatty fish abound in this nutrient.
A diet high in seafood may improve your mood and save you stress. Omega-3 fatty acids improve flow of blood and may affect both hormones and the immune system, each of which have an important effect on brain function. One such omega-3, DHA, is used in ion channels in the brain, helping transmit electrical signals, and is involved in serotonin metabolism, a key factor in depression.