Seafood

Don't Let Seafood Get Away from Your Weekly Diet

Seafood has long been considered to be an excellent source of nutrition with positive effects on overall health. Most health experts tout the benefits of seafood, especially certain types of fish and many recommend eating fish twice a week for hearth health and healthy brain function.

Omega 3 fatty acids are a known component of a healthy heart and have been found to be abundant in all types of seafood. Even those with heart disease may benefit from a diet rich in seafood’s Omega 3 fatty acids.

Tuna or other broiled or baked fish may lower the instances of congestive heart failure in older adults, while cold water fish such as halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna can aid the type of brain functions that may help fight the signs of Alzheimer ’s disease.

Allergies

Seafood can contain elements that are known to cause sever allergies in some people – those which are typically some of the most severe and have been fatal. Although food allergies are not as common as most people believe, it is important to be aware if an allergy to sea food is present before eating it or coming into contact with certain fish oils or even coming into contact with people who have been exposed to seafood, as allergic reactions can occur from second-hand exposure.

It may be possible for some people with seafood allergies to eat certain types of seafood, as the allergy may not be across the board, however before doing so, all seafood consumption should be under the supervision for a doctor for those who have previously known allergies.

It is also important that allergy suffers read all food labels carefully as many non-seafood related precuts are often made with seafood oils and other fish products. When in a restaurant, be sure to check with the staff to see how the food is prepared or if any non-seafood related foods are prepared next to seafood precuts such as on a grill, or other cooking device.

Because children as very susceptible to food allergies when they are younger, it is a general rule that seafood introduction should wait until a child is older than age 3.

Proper Handling

Only buy seafood and fish from sources that re reliable and have a good reputation. Always check the ‘sell by’ date on the packaging and make sure that all food is properly cooked to the correct temperatures for it’s particular type.

Fish and seafood should always be stored in a cold place until it is used. To avoid cross-contamination – getting seafood or fish related elements on other food – use a separate utensil and cutting board when handling fish and seafood. When fish has been properly cooked, it should have a flakey consistency.

Cook mollusks, shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels within one to two days of purchasing. If the mollusk's shell is open, tap it and see if it closes on its own. If it remains open, throw it out. If closed, it is safe to cook. Live lobsters and crabs should be cooked on the same say they are purchased.

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