Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans. Seafood prominently includes fish and shellfish. Fish the more common seafood in Nigeria is seen eaten in most lounges, bars, and restaurants with Croaker and Catfish being the most popular. Other common seafood consumed by Nigerians are Crayfish, Prawns, Titus, Salmon, Tilapia, Shrimp, etc. A recent study estimated that Nigeria ranks third globally for the number of people dependent on coastal fisheries for food and nutrition security, and the demand for fish is growing. Coastal regions like Lagos, Ilaje (Ondo State), Badagry, Rivers, etc are known to be heavy consumers of seafood. It is usually eaten in soups like Okra, Vegetable, and pepper soup.
Seafood is an excellent source of top-quality protein and compares favorably with meat and chicken. Not only that, it’s packed with many essential nutrients your body needs to function well, every day! We really could go on and on about the amazing benefits seafood has to offer, but let’s start with these 7 to help you get it easily to your dining table!
Seafood is a good source of protein
Protein is a vital macronutrient for the body; without a healthy source of protein, the muscles in the body will begin breaking down and will not heal properly when damage occurs or after a strenuous workout. Seafood is an incredibly lean and natural source of protein, making it a great food for any health-conscious individual. Plus, the more variety you can add the better, as different sources of protein will provide a variety of essential vitamins and minerals
Seafood is a good source of vitamin D
Most people are aware that you can get vitamin D from sun exposure, but during the long winter months it can be hard to catch some rays. Vitamin D has many functions in the body, perhaps the most vital being regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function. Fortunately, seafood is one of the best food sources of vitamin D, namely salmon, sardines, and tuna, so eating seafood regularly can help maximize your overall intake of vitamin D.
Seafood is rich in omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to our health because they can help support good eyesight, fight inflammation, and can even help boost brain function. Although supplements are readily available, seafood remains one of the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids available to us. New research on omega 3s fatty acids (as found in seafood) and depression have found that eating seafood can not only reduce the risk of depression, but can help treat depression as well, and give you a more positive outlook on life.
Seafood supports mental health
Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are two of the most essential nutrients for cognitive function and mental health. Many people throughout the world live with a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is attributed to a lack of vitamin D in the winter due to limited sun exposure. As well, lower intakes of omega-3 fatty acids have been noted in those with depression and anxiety. Therefore, incorporating more seafood into your diet regularly can help to combat this and support mental health.
Seafood helps to improve sleep quality
When you are constantly on the go especially in a cosmopolitan like Lagos State, it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep. Many essential nutrients help to induce good sleep and support natural circadian rhythm including; tryptophan, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. Fortunately, these vital nutrients are commonly found in seafood so a healthy dose of fish for dinner can help ensure you are getting some adequate sleep.
Seafood Eases Joint Pain
If you are worried about early aching and stiffness in your joints, start adding seafood to your diet, research has found it can reduce joint stiffness and help ease the symptoms of arthritis.
Seafood Can Give You Better Skin
Who doesn’t love nourished, moisturized, youthful-looking skin? The omega-3 and fatty acids in seafood can help moisturize the skin, reduce acne and protect the skin from UV rays.