As you get older, your body can become more susceptible to chronic diseases, so it can be helpful to eat a healthy diet filled with essential nutrients. If you’re looking for an easy yet impactful way to be proactive in your health journey, try introducing seafood into your diet. By simply eating eight ounces or two servings of seafood a week, you may experience a multitude of health benefits that can contribute positively to your overall well-being. Here are some reasons why you should consider seafood for your next meal and several health benefits you may experience by incorporating it into your diet.
- It’s High in Important Nutrients
Seafood is a source of essential nutrients that many people are lacking, including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron and vitamins D and B. Fatty fish, including salmon, trout, sardines, tuna and mackerel, are sometimes considered to be the healthiest option because they can provide fat-based nutrients that our body can’t produce on its own. But don’t take our word for it — listen to science. Studies indicate that seafood is a good source of fats, protein, vitamins and minerals that help promote overall health.
- It May Help Improve Heart Health
According to the American Heart Association, fish and seafood are consistently associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease because they are concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may work to benefit heart health by helping to:
- Decrease triglycerides levels
- Increase beneficial HDL cholesterol levels
- Reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce platelet aggregation and blockages that can clog arteries
- Decrease risk of stroke and heart failure
- It Can Help Prevent Vision Loss
Having a seafood-rich diet can help ensure that you’re getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that may not only help benefit your heart health, but can also help protect your vision. Evidence suggests that the omega found in seafood can help fight against age-related macular degeneration — a common eye disorder that causes blurred or reduced central vision and even blindness. While many types of seafood contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, the highest amounts can be found in salmon, tuna or mackerel.
- It May Help Promote Bone Health
As you get older, your bones can naturally lose density, and while this can be a normal part of in the aging process, this can make you more susceptible to broken bones and fractures, which can be life-changing events for seniors. Consuming seafood is one proactive action you can take to help increase your bone density. According to this study, there may be a positive correlation between the consumption of seafood and bone health that may help seniors lower their risk of developing osteoporosis. Why is this? Seafood is rich in vitamin D, which may help the body use calcium and phosphorus, key minerals for bone health. Try eating salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines if you’re looking to find good sources of vitamin D.
- It May Help Ease Joint Pain
Suffering from stiffness in your joints? Partaking in a seafood diet may help to provide some relief. Omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body, and the vitamin D they contain can help decrease joint swelling and pain. Even if you don’t suffer from stiffness in your joints, by consuming omega-3 regularly, research suggests, you may be less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
- It Can Help Promote Brain Health
Brain health is seriously important as you get older. Research suggests mild cognitive impairment, which is characterized by problems with memory, language, thinking or judgment, appears in 10–20% of adults aged 65 years and older.
You can take proactive measures to help increase your brain health by regularly consuming fish, which has been shown to help improve cognitive ability. The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish can play a vital role in preserving cell membrane health and supporting cognition and memory — but since our bodies do not produce omega-3, it can be essential that we get them through our diet.
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