Seafood benefits health


Ivan Ledgard, Staff Writer

Mankind has always depended on food from the ocean and freshwater alike. From prehistoric coastal communities to modern industrial giants, it is clear that humanity has not only survived, but thrived off the seemingly boundless amount of wildlife in the seas. Many people enjoy indulging in prepared seafood, but less are aware of the benefits its consumption guarantees.

Seafood Health Facts, a joint project of Oregon State University, states that “Seafood is a nutrient rich food that is a good source of protein.” They have also concluded that the overall benefits of seafood consumption greatly outweigh its potential risks such as mercury poisoning.

Fish, crabs, squid and octopuses contain a considerable amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their tissues. Doctors and nutritionists alike agree that most adults in the U.S. consume much less fatty acids than what is considered adequate. As a result, most doctors recommend omega-3 fish oil pills as they are a key part in maintaining a healthy heart.

Several issues are associated with the consumption of seafood, however. Despite the seemingly immeasurable amount of wildlife in the ocean, threats to the conservation status of many marine organisms are becoming ever more prevalent.

Seafood, as well as freshwater fauna, can come from either corporate fish farms, the wild, or from individuals who catch fish for recreation. Because these methods vary, and because seafood is perishable just like food acquired by terrestrial means, many people consider eating seafood with a high degree of circumspection.

None of this, however, detracts from seafood’s many benefits, and the myriad of oceanic species are unlikely to go extinct anytime soon.