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What Are the Pros and Cons of Eating Seafood?

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Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker

Almost everyone loves to have seafood especially fish, prawns, oysters, lobsters and so on. In fact, so many people prefer to eat seafood rather than eating red meat. This is because seafood provides a lot of benefits and also a variety of nourishment to the body.

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Even though there are a lot of health benefits to eating seafood, there is still a little bit of danger attached to it. Today this article is to look at the advantages of taking different seafood as well as the disadvantages connected to eating seafood.

Due to the different cultures that we have, there are diverse recipes that can be derived from various seafood. However, no matter the recipe or how it is cooked, it doesn’t take away the bad sides to eating seafood.

Therefore, before you decide to go all out and stock your fridge with the different kinds of seafoods we have, you might want to take a look at the pros and cons of eating different seafood.

First, let’s take a look at the general advantages of eating seafood. They include:

1. Seafood is a great natural source of vitamins, and a variety of other nutrients. If you want to get a variety of macronutrients in one meal, then seafood should be your choice. It is also a great option of getting low fat, and cholesterol.

Seafood contains very little fat. They contain the healthy kind of fat that is actually helpful to your body. The type of fat they produce are known as saturated fat. Seafood such as salmon, herring, tuna, sardines, shrimp just to mention a few are excellent sources of Vitamin D. They are also excellent sources of calcium, which are essential to your bones.

Asides Vitamin D, seafood are good sources of Vitamin A, vitamin B, as well as Vitamin B complex. These vitamins are needed for the production of energy, concentration, body metabolism as well for the enhancement of beauty.

2. Another benefit of eating seafood is that they are an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. The primary reason why so many people prefer taking in seafood is simply that it is in fact highly nutritious.

Omega 3 fatty acids play a vital role in the body’s immune system. It helps to improve the immune system and also fight allergies. For those who suffer from severe allergies, it helps strengthen your health.

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Asides the vitality it helps provide to your immune system, it is also an excellent choice for your skin. Omega 3 helps in protecting your skin against the ultraviolet rays of the Sun.

3. When you take in a lot of seafood, you need not worry about your eyesight. This is because the presence of Omega 3 fatty acids helps reduce the rate of macular degeneration of your eyes. This means that the more you take in seafood, the more omega 3 fatty acids you get, and the lesser the rate of macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration occurs when there is a progressive degradation of the macular cells found in the retina. This condition happens as people get older and the condition usually results in the loss of their eyesight.

The function of Omega 3 is to reduce or permanently stop such degradation from happening. Another role of Omega 3 is that it helps in improving brain function. It acts like a magical ingredient that helps to improve the cognitive function of people who consume it.

It is what we can consider a “brain booster”. Research has it that people who regularly eat seafood have very low risks of having Alzheimer disease as well as other degenerative brain diseases.

4. Seafood contains a high content of protein. They are also low in fat. This means that if you are looking for a particular type of food that contains lots of protein and very little fat (The healthy kind of fat), then seafood is what you should get.

For people with heart conditions such as high blood pressures and so on, seafood is a healthy choice of food. In as much as people who have heart diseases are completely forbidden from eating red meat; however,they need a kind of food that will give them a large amount of protein and seafood is their best option.

Although they can also consume chicken, but for most people the default option they quickly consider is the intake of seafood. It is very delicious as well as safe especially for those with heart conditions.

Seafood is a very great option for those who want and need to change their diet due to any diseased condition they may be having. The consumption of seafood will give you all the necessary vital vitamins that are needed for one’s body to function well. Research has proven it that it is always better to take in natural vitamins than consume natural supplements.

Looking at this, there are so many reasons why you should eat seafood; however there are also some disadvantages associated with seafood. There is a saying that “too much of anything is bad”. It likewise applies here as well. The problems associated with eating seafood include:

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1. Due to the level of pollution and poisoning in the ocean these days, seafood can get easily contaminated. In as much as seafood is very good for your health, eating the polluted ones could land you in the hospital if care isn’t taken.

Seafood can actually cause mild food poisoning or Severe food poisoning depending on the severity of the contamination as well as how much of the contaminated seafood you may have consumed. For some people, they enjoy eating it and have good experiences from it.

2. Although research has shown that the consumption of seafood is very good for pregnant women, it can also be hazardous. Due to the presence of omega three fatty acids which most seafood contains, it is advised that pregnant women should eat seafood in other to improve the rate of brain development of their babies.

However, the level of mercury present in seafood is very high. Mercury is a very harmful substance to the body, and in respect to a baby, it can stop or retard the development of a baby. Hence, most pregnant women are advised to reduce the intake of seafood to the barest minimum

They must make sure that the type of seafood they are about to consume at a particular period is very safe for consumption else they cause developmental problems to their babies.

3. Some people get extremely extensive allergic reactions from eating seafood. However, this occurs to people who don’t know if they are allergic or not. Having to discover you are allergic to seafood in a sushi restaurant during dinner is one of the worst experiences ever. It could cause laboured breathing, loss of breath and in extreme cases death. So in order to prevent that, you must get tested to know if you are allergic or not to seafood.

4. If your seafood doesn’t come from fresh water, it can be harmful to you. In fact, research has it that most seafood consumed in restaurants do come from the farm which could cause it to be highly contaminated and poisonous.

This doesn’t mean that all seafood coming from the farm is poisonous; however, most have been said to cause harmful effects to the body. It is therefore advised that if you must eat seafood, then ensure that the source of your seafood is not contaminated or polluted.

5. It is not all kinds of seafood that are healthy for consumption. Some are just unfit for human consumption. For example, not all fishes are good for eating. Some fishes such as tilapia are not unsuitable but are not also healthy for eating.

Fishes like tilapia are edible but not healthy. This is because they do not contain omega 3 fatty acids and also the kind of fat they carry is not the healthy kind of fat. They provide almost about 99% unsaturated fat.

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Therefore, before you begin to think of consuming seafood, there are some questions you need to ask yourself such as

1. Is this healthy for me?

This is because though you might not be able to consume red meat due to some health issues, you may also not be able to consume all the types of seafood as well due to the kind of fat they give to your body. So, if you must have seafood, do know the sort of seafood that works with your body.

2. Is this from a safe source?

This is probably the most critical question you need to ask yourself. You need to know if you are allergic to the kind of seafood you are about to take. If you are not sure about being allergic to seafood, you probably need to meet your doctor for a test

Seafood can be very tempting to eat, however, remember that an allergic reaction can cause inability to breathe freely for a while and inevitably death if not treated on time.

3. Is it safe for me to consume?

As we have seen earlier, most seafood coming from the farms or the ocean may not be safe for consumption due to their exposure to harmful pesticides and other chemicals. Therefore, before eating your seafood, ensure that it is coming from a safe location.

Consider the source of the seafood and if possible, get a seller or retailer you can trust who gets theirs from a known safe source.

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