The Health Benefits of Eating Seafood
At Pat’s of Henderson in Lake Charles, we’re known for our authentic Cajun food — so naturally, we have a healthy appreciation for good, flavorful seafood! As it turns out, that’s good news for our health, since the best seafood offers a whole host of health benefits that are uncommon in many other types of cuisine.
In today’s post, we’re giving credit where credit is due and talking about the many health benefits of eating seafood. Read on to learn more, and if you’re craving seafood by the end, you can browse our menu online and come visit our steak and seafood restaurant in Lake Charles tonight!
Seafood Is Rich in Healthy Nutrients
First of all, seafood is an excellent source of lean protein. Proteins are the powerhouses that keep your body running: they are important players in supporting essential body functions like building muscle, repairing damaged tissue, prompting enzymatic reactions, and even managing hormones. We have many sources of protein (both plant-based and animal-based) to choose from, but lean proteins are considered the healthiest because of their lower fat and cholesterol content.
Seafood has some of the best options out there for healthy lean proteins. Most fish and shellfish are lower in saturated fat, ounce for ounce, than any other meat protein. Only chicken breast is considered leaner!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Seafood is famously rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are essential to our health, but the human body cannot produce them on its own — we have to get all of our omega-3s from outside sources like fish oil.
There are two types of omega-3s found in fish that have many proven health benefits to the human body: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both have been found to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Seafood that’s richest in healthy omega-3s includes oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring. Haddock, flounder, and other lean white fish, along with shellfish, have comparatively lower levels of fatty acids — but still more than other common sources of lean protein!
Low in Cholesterol and Saturated Fats
So, seafood contains a lot of ingredients that are great for your health. Just as importantly, it lacks a lot of ingredients that are bad for you. We’re talking about cholesterol and unhealthy saturated fats.
Cholesterol is an organic molecule that can be found in every cell of your body. It’s a fat-like, waxy substance that helps the body create hormones and supports the digestive system. It’s a normal and necessary part of the body.
However, when combined with high levels of saturated fats, cholesterol can become dangerous. Saturated fats are so named because they are saturated with hydrogen molecules and remain solid at room temperature. They are found in many common food sources, especially meat and dairy products, and when they combine with cholesterol in the bloodstream, they can form a substance called plaque. Plaque can easily build up and cling to the walls of your arteries, increasing your risk of coronary heart disease.
Fortunately, almost all seafood is low in both cholesterol and saturated fats. Even seafoods that contain relatively higher amounts of either have enough other health benefits to outweigh the negatives. For example, shrimp — which contains the highest levels of cholesterol in the seafood world — is low in saturated fats, and Atlantic salmon — which contains higher-than-average levels of saturated fats — is ultra-rich in beneficial omega-3s.
The Bottom Line: Benefits to the Human Body
How does a lean protein that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in cholesterol and saturated fat help support your physical health? Let’s count the ways!
Across dozens of peer-reviewed studies, researchers have been able to directly link the following health benefits with seafood consumption:
- Reduced risk of breast cancer
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration
- Reduced risk or severity of depression
- Reduced tissue inflammation
- Reduced risk or speed of age-related mental decline
- Reduced childhood asthma
- Improved cardiovascular health overall
The benefit to cardiovascular health is the most well-documented. With heart disease as a leading cause of death in the United States, we should all be thinking about adding more seafood to our diets!
In fact, the FDA’s dietary guidelines recommend at least two servings of seafood every week for optimal health benefits. Have you hit your quota yet?
Meet Your Seafood Quota at Pat’s of Henderson!
We offer a wide selection of delectable seafood dishes on the menu at Pat’s of Henderson! Our steak and seafood restaurant is well-known throughout the Lake Charles area for serving up delicious Cajun seafood meals for every taste. From broiled salmon to shrimp étouffée, you can satisfy your seafood cravings when you’re seated at our table.
Visit us in Lake Charles tonight and get your fill of healthy omega-3s!