7 Recipes For Seafood Lovers
4 Simple Seafood Meal Ideas That Will Boost Your Health
Fish's Omega-3 Fats May Be Important Brain Builder
Fish, especially oily varieties like salmon and sardines, contain omega-3 fats such as DHA, which are thought to be at least partly responsible for the potential brain-boosting advantages observed in studies. DHA is a major structural component of brain cells, and large amounts of it are deposited in the fetus's brain in the womb, so the gestational period appears to be an especially important time for babies to get their fill of omega-3s. But some omega-3-rich fish, such as tuna, are also high in mercury — a heavy metal contaminant that can harm the brain and nervous system in individuals exposed to large enough doses. Concern over mercury has driven some women to limit or avoid fish altogether during pregnancy, which is unfortunate given the possible benefits it may offer babies during critical stages of neural development in the womb.
Target 2 to 3 Servings of Fish Per Week
In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft of its new recommendations regarding seafood intake in expectant and breastfeeding moms. Updated to reflect the latest research, the guidelines strongly encourage women to eat a variety of seafood regularly during pregnancy. Rather than emphasizing a limit on fish intake, as previous recommendations had, the proposed guidelines urge pregnant and nursing moms to eat 2 to 3 servings (about 8 to 12 oz) per week. The guidelines do specify that expectant moms should avoid four types of fish that are highest in methyl mercury: swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico. They also advise pregnant women to eat no more than 6 oz of albacore (white) tuna per week. Albacore tuna contains about three times as much mercury as light tuna, making the latter a better canned option. But by and large, the main message of the FDA's draft recommendations is that the upside of eating fish for the baby clearly outweighs the downside of exposure to small amounts of mercury in lower-mercury fish.
While many observational studies show a relationship between seafood intake during pregnancy and children's language and problem-solving skills, these kinds of studies can't prove cause and effect, and may be influenced by other factors. For example, moms who eat more seafood tend to have more income and education — variables that also impact children's learning and development — and researchers may not be able to completely control for these effects. Results from randomized trials testing prenatal DHA supplement use in expectant moms have been inconsistent, with some showing positive effects and others showing no change in cognitive abilities. Though many prenatal multivitamins on the market now contain added DHA, these may not provide the same benefits as fish, which is also rich in other nutrients that are important for developing babies, such as iodine and vitamin D.
Try These Simple Seafood Meals
And it's not just pregnant women who should be making an effort to eat more fatty fish. Observational studies show that people who eat fish regularly (at least 8 oz per week) also have a . The good news is there are many low-mercury seafood options that are high in omega-3 fats, including some reasonably affordable options. Give these ideas a try to work more seafood into everyday meals:
- Take advantage of canned salmon, which can be a budget-friendly alternative to fresh fillets. It's higher in omega-3 fats than canned tuna, lower in mercury, and just as easy to turn into a quick sandwich stuffer. As an added bonus, most canned salmon is wild-caught, not farmed, making it an eco-friendly option. Using one can per week to make a simple salmon salad with mayo and seasonings is a no-fuss way for pregnant women to meet about half their weekly seafood goal. And unlike with fresh fillets, you can stock up when it goes on sale.
- You can also keep an eye out for frozen wild salmon fillets, which may be less pricey than the salmon at the fish counter. Season them with a flavorful marinade, or cook the fillets and toss the flaked fish with penne, broccoli florets, lemon, olive oil, and garlic for a simple pasta supper.
- Other seafood choices that are rich in omega-3 fats but low in mercury include anchovies, arctic char, sablefish (black cod), herring, shad, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel. Keep an eye out for these options on restaurant menus and at the seafood counter.
- If you eat less fish than you should because you're not comfortable preparing it, try this foolproof, slow-roasting method to keep fillets nice and moist. Arrange the fillets on a baking sheet, coat them with a thin layer of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 275°F oven until the flesh is opaque and fully cooked in the center, about 15 to 35 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. Of course, pregnant women should not consume any raw or undercooked seafood because of food safety risks. The USDA recommends cooking all seafood to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F.
Other popular fish and shellfish, including catfish, tilapia, haddock, sole, shrimp, crab, clams, and scallops, aren't as high in omega-3 fats, but they're still perfectly nutritious, low-mercury choices. The best strategy is to eat a wide variety of seafood from week to week. Whenever possible, purchase fish that are sustainably harvested, so future generations can continue to enjoy the health benefits that seafood brings to the table.
Video: Gordon Ramsay's Top 5 Fish Recipes
10 Fun Easter Movies to Celebrate Springs Arrival
LDL Cholesterol on a Low-Carb Diet
How to Work More Mindfully
How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now
How to Make a PomPom Polar Bear
How to Develop a Good Parent and Child Relationship
How to Use Aluminum Foil
How to Be an Open Person
Whether You Want Natural or Bold Brows, Here’s How to GetThem
Booking.com Gillian Tans
Vitamin D Loss Attributed to Obesity