FISH AND SEAFOOD total information

 

Even if you eat a variety of organs and different cuts of meat, restricting yourself to land animals like this can reduce the variety and micronutrient content of your diet, not to mention cutting you off from a whole world of delicious recipes! Two-thirds of the Earth is covered with water; fish and other types of seafood diet present a wide array of Paleo meal options. While it’s important to be aware of environmental issues and potential food toxins, the benefits of eating fish are far greater than the risks, making seafood one important part of a balanced diet.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Fish

As well as being an excellent source of protein, fish contains high levels of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In particular, seafood provides significant levels of two especially beneficial Omega-3s, a pair of long-chain fatty acids called EPA and DHA.

Another essential nutrient found in seafood is selenium. This makes seafood an ideal dietary choice for people avoiding nuts since the other major dietary source of selenium is Brazil Nuts. Like iodine, selenium supports thyroid function and helps prevent oxidative stress. Although most people get plenty of selenium in their diet, people with malabsorptive disorders (like undiagnosed food intolerances, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or IBS ), and people with chronically inflamed guts are more susceptible. Thus, getting enough seafood is especially important if your gut is damaged, because people with gut disorders should generally be avoiding nuts, including Brazil Nuts.

Unsurprisingly, the fattier a fish is, the more nutritious it tends to be: salmon far ranks very lean fish like Swai or Tilapia. It’s also useful to look beyond eating only fish:

 

Heavy Metals and Toxic Pollutants

Fish is a tasty and very nutritious addition to your diet. But like land animals, fish can also contain various environmental toxins that seep into our seas and oceans from commercial farming operations, manufacturing plants, and other wastes. One of the most common of these toxins is mercury, a heavy metal used in all kinds of industrial applications. Microorganisms in marine environments convert this mercury into methylmercury, which accumulates through the food chain. This means that the higher a fish is on the food chain, the more concentrated the mercury in its body will be: small fish like sardines and anchovies have a very low concentration of mercury, while large, predatory fish like swordfish have more.

As serious as mercury poisoning is, all the well-intentioned warnings against eating fish may not actually be warranted. Mercury is certainly toxic, but the high levels of selenium in most fish naturally protects against mercury poisoning by binding to mercury, preventing the body from absorbing it. Thus, there’s no reason to avoid fish because you’re afraid of mercury poisoning. If you’re very concerned, make an effort to eat fish lower on the food chain, and avoid fish that are very high in mercury. The four worst offenders in this regard are Tilefish, King Mackerel, Shark, and Swordfish: Tuna gets a lot of bad press for being loaded with mercury, but this is mostly because tuna is very popular, not because it’s particularly problematic.

One last toxin that might sneak its way into your dinner is BPA. BPA is an environmental estrogen (a chemical that prevents your hormonal systems from functioning normally) commonly used in the lining of aluminum cans: from there, it can leach into your food. If you buy salmon, tuna, sardines, or other canned fish, make sure to choose a brand packaged without BPA.

 

 

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