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What Seafoods Offer the Most Nutritional Benefits?


Even if we are able to determine which species of fish promote positive health outcomes when eaten, there is a whole new level of understanding needed to answer the question of why this species of fish promotes positive health outcomes. As a result of this confusion, we often find ourselves asking what fish belongs in our diet and what fish should remain in the sea.


The main contaminant in this pollution is a variant of methylmercury called methylmercury, which is absorbed through the processes of filtration and transport enacted by its gills. This has resulted in a high amount of methylmercury being loaded into the tissues of the swordfish, which have decreased in body size and made the amount of methylmercury concentration in the fish much higher. While the swordfish population has rebounded since the late 1990’s, the methylmercury levels have remained the same.


Most people love a good crab, shrimp cocktail, or a bowl of steamed mussels. But many do not understand the risk that comes with high levels of shellfish consumption. Mainly, the correlation between high shellfish consumption and poor cardiovascular health comes to mind. 

Shellfish is higher in cholesterol than both beef and chicken and if there is too much cholesterol in your blood it can build up on the walls of our arteries, making it hard for blood to pass through at the rate it needs. This process is called atherosclerosis and it is a common form of heart disease.

Now that we know what fish should not be in our diet, let’s see what fish can stay in the sea.

Salmon (Atlantic, Soho, Sockeye, Chinook)

Salmon is loaded with all types of good stuff. The first nutrient to highlight is Omega-3 fatty acids, which improve our inflammatory response and help alleviate the aches and paints of joint inflammation. The second is the protein content in salmon, which is among the highest out of any fish out there. This means that we can eat much less salmon to get the right amount of protein, providing fewer opportunities for methylmercury to enter our bodies.


Many balk at the idea of sardines for common reasons like their funny smell, the fact that they are canned, and the need to sift through the fish to pick out small bones. But what is often neglected is the fact that sardines contain the highest Omega-3 fatty acid content out of any fish in the sea along with a high concentration of Vitamin D, which plays a significant role in the health of our bones.

Additionally, we can see vast improvements in our mental health from Vitamin D. Inadequate Vitamin D levels have been cited in many individuals with depression and increasing Vitamin D levels can be method of improving mental health without pharmaceutical interventions.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Carlo Mirante

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