Here’s to your health, Seafoodies!
We hate to brag, but we think Seafoodies are the best! There’s always room for improvement, though, right? September is Self-Improvement Month—and it’s a great reminder to take care of ourselves and can always do more to improve our own health. In the spirit of self-improvement, we think it’s the perfect time to pay closer attention to what we eat, since that’s what gives us the energy for all the other things we want to do!
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we all eat seafood two to three times per week to stay physically and mentally healthy. But do you know why? Here are some of the little-known ways eating seafood can help improve your well-being:
- Strong teeth. Chew on this: Eating seafood can help protect your teeth! The protein strengthens overall tooth structure, and the amino acid arginine helps to alter the actual pH balance in your mouth, making it more likely you’ll stay cavity-free. Seafood rich in vitamin D–like salmon, canned tuna and trout–helps you absorb the calcium your body needs to keep teeth strong and regenerate tooth enamel. And the omega-3s in seafood can also improve the health of the mouth’s connective tissue and regulate inflammation, protecting your teeth.
- Restful sleep. When travel, stress and late-night screen time keep you from catching some quality zzzs, eating seafood can help restore your body’s natural sleep cycle. Varieties such as salmon, tuna and halibut are good sources of vitamin B-6, which can help your body synthesize sleep-inducing melatonin. Salmon and tuna are also excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which can help babies sleep.
- Balanced thyroid hormones. Our bodies can’t manufacture the iodine we need to produce thyroid hormones crucial to metabolism and muscle building, so we need to get this essential mineral from food. Cod, shrimp and salmon are good sources because they absorb some of the iodine naturally occurring in seawater.
- Healthy kidneys. A diet that includes omega-3-packed seafood can help prevent chronic kidney disease, as well as benefit those who are already living with the disease. Salmon, albacore tuna and trout are all rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Meals high in animal protein can harm already-taxed kidneys, so aim to replace meat dishes with seafood a couple of times a week.
- Disease prevention. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that eating seafood twice a week can help your body fend off health problems, such as heart disease, obesity and stroke. This is thanks in part to omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clotting.
To ensure you’re reaping these nutritional benefits, aim to eat a variety of seafood at least two to three times a week. Some easy ways to eat more seafood include:
- Top your salad with shrimp or salmon.
- Add some shelf-stable tuna to your favorite pasta dish.
- Snack on a flavorful seafood dip with crackers or crudités.
- Choose from the seafood selections when dining in or taking out.
- Try a new seafood recipe at home once a week. We highly recommend the free e-cookbook, Everyday Seafood Recipes (hint, hint).
So, eat up, Seafoodies! Think of it as indulging in a little delicious self-care!