Humans have eaten seafood all over the world for as long as can be remembered. Some even refer to them as the most essential food of humanity after cereals. These edible sea creatures are so numerous and captivating that it is easy to get hooked on them (a little seafood pun for your entertainment as we go).
But as you might imagine, kinds of seafood are not created equal; they don’t have the same nutritional content. Since great taste isn’t all that matters in a meal, the following questions ought to be asked; “Which seafood is more nutritious? Which should you eat more of and which should you eat less of?”
This post will answer those questions for you. And we shall begin by discussing the…
…Classifications of seafood
Seafood, although numerous- as earlier stated- are divided into two main groups, namely: Fish and Shellfish.
Some of the most popularly eaten fishes are Salmon, Trout, Tuna, Sardines, etc. Whether they are cooked by frying, baking, grilling, steaming, or even eaten raw like the Japanese Sashimi in sushi, they are an essential source of protein.
These are seafood that possesses a shell or shell-like exterior. Like fish, they also are a source of high-quality protein. Common seafood belonging to this group are lobsters, crabs, crayfish, and so on.
Now that we know more about the classification and types of seafood, let’s look at their health benefits and why they are suitable for our diet, “shell” we?
What Type of Seafood is Most Nutritious?
Fishes like the Salmon, Mackerel, etc. are known to have high Omega-3 content. As a result, often, fishes are chosen as the most nutritious seafood. Lots of consumers don’t realize that shellfish are also highly nutritious.
For one, shellfish have proven to be excellent sources of high-quality protein. They contain virtually all the essential amino acids that the body needs. And they can be low in calories, although this depends mainly on how they are prepared. What’s more, some specific shellfish have a different amount of vital but scarce body nutrients.
Also, the trace mineral ‘selenium’ for example, is essential for mental and immune functions, and it’s quite abundant in shellfish. Talk about Oysters. They’ve been found to contain vast amounts of Zinc which helps improve immune functions and speed up wound healing. Clams too are rich in iron and B vitamins which help support nerve structure and cell function.
Still speaking on the nutritional value of shellfish, lobsters, and oysters contain a high amount of copper which helps the body to produce hemoglobin, collagen, and other proteins needed for proper functioning and maintenance of human health.
Now, all that is on the plus side. Are there any disadvantages to continuous, uncontrolled consumption of shellfish? You bet! For starters, shrimps, have high cholesterol content.
Another disadvantage has to do with where the shellfish you are eating is sourced from. Shellfish can accumulate heavy metals used sometimes in manufacturing industries like lead and cadmium. Obviously, if the seafood you consume is gotten from such waters that could hurt your health.
Shellfish also easily absorb red tide- a toxin resulting from plankton bloom. Eating shellfish from waters with high red tide can lead to shellfish poisoning. That, again, is something you don’t want.
So what’s the conclusion?
It’s difficult to single out one seafood and mark it as being superior to the others. Generally, all plates of seafood are a great source of lots of high-quality nutrients. Although it’s safe to say that there are more associated risks with eating shellfish than with fish, that doesn’t make them any less nutritious.
All in all, it is advisable to alternate between the various types of seafood you consume to maximize your nutrition and minimize any potential risks. Don’t get tied down by just one kind of seafood. That said, Bon appétit!