Seafood is one of the healthiest foods you can eat because it’s an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but not all seafood is equally healthy for you. With so many questionable sources of seafood, including the new GMO salmon, it’s important that you do some research and choose your seafood wisely.
What are omega-3s?
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids found in both plants and animals. In plants, such as leafy greens and flaxseed oil, the omega-3s are called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In seafood, there are two omega-3s – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3s are beneficial to your heart, brain, vision and the immune system of children and adults. They are also healthy fats that aid in weight loss.
Your brain and body use EPA and DHA and have to convert ALA from plants to EPA or DHA. Studies show that only around 3%-5% of omega-3s found in plant oils are converted into the DHA that your brain needs. Your body doesn’t need to do any conversion when you eat the EPA and DHA omega-3s from seafood, so it’s absorbed and used more quickly.
3 Things to Consider When Choosing Seafood:
Wild vs Farmed: As a general rule, wild caught fish are the best sources of safe seafood because of their natural diet of healthy sea plants. Wild caught fish also get plenty of exercise because they have to swim long distances in cold water. The cold water also helps fish develop more healthy fats rich in omega-3s.
Fishing Technique: Troll and pole caught tuna are typically smaller and have fewer contaminants than long-line, deep water tuna. These fish tend to be larger and have more contamination.
Mercury Content: When aquatic life takes up the mercury that settles in wetlands and streams it becomes methyl mercury, which is a toxic compound. Excessive mercury in the human body can lead to fatigue, hair loss, muscle pain, headache and other neurological ailments. Make sure you choose fish that are likely to contain lower amounts of mercury.
Blackened Salmon Sandwich
Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
1 pound wild caught salmon fillet, skinned
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons blackening or Cajun seasoning
1 small avocado, pitted
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup arugula
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
4 crusty, whole grain rolls, split and toasted
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. Rub salmon on both sides with blackening (or Cajun) seasoning and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
3. Mash avocado and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
4. To assemble sandwiches, spread some of the avocado mixture on each roll and top with arugula, tomato and onion.
If you’re ready to choose safer seafood options, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule a consultation – the first step to a healthier you.
Want to learn more about the positive impacts of seafood and other topics? See a full calendar of my workshops in your area!