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The Powerful Benefits of Seafood

Now, more than ever, a healthy diet and exercising are critical to fighting disease. You’ve probably heard that seafood is good for you, and that most Americans don’t eat enough. As we learn more about nutrition and food, we learn more about the health benefits of eating more seafood. These benefits are something we should all sit up and pay attention to. In celebration of National Seafood Month, let’s take a look at the power of seafood.

What makes seafood so special, and why should you add it to your diet? As research continues to show, all types of seafood have nutrients that help build muscle, protect our hearts, support our immune systems and maybe even boost our moods—and who doesn’t need a little help with that right now?

Here’s a short list of the nourishing nutrients in common seafoods.

Omega-3s — You’ve likely heard about them; you know they’re important. But did you know that omega-3 fatty acids are found in all types of seafood? Fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna, which have more fat, have more omega-3s.

We’re also learning that omega-3s help support a healthy immune system, and they play a role in brain health, including improving mood. People who eat more seafood also have lower rates of heart disease. One single-serve pouch of StarKist Light Tuna has 180mg of omega-3s, so top your salad, mix a pouch into your pasta, or make a quick quesadilla for lunch to add more omega-3s to your meals!

Discover the difference between omega-6s and omega-3s.

Vitamin D — You probably know this as the “sunshine vitamin,” but did you know that seafood is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D? We know that vitamin D works with calcium to support and build strong bones and teeth, but we’re also learning more about how this vitamin helps support the immune system and respiratory health. Both are areas we need to focus on right now.

One serving (3 oz) of StarKist canned wild pink salmon has more than 50 percent of the daily requirements for vitamin D. Mix some salmon into your scrambled eggs in the morning, or add it to your salad for lunch.  

Selenium — This little-known nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that plays a number of roles in protecting our bodies from stress and disease. The way to think about antioxidants is to think about an iron railing. Without protection, that railing can succumb to oxidation and rust. A protective coating over the iron prevents that.

Antioxidants are nutrients that protect our cells from oxidation—basically acting as a protective coating. One serving (3 oz) of tuna has more than 100 percent of the Daily Value for selenium.

Protein — Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues. It helps us build muscles, stay energized and feel full. Most seafood is low in fat, so it’s a great protein choice.

One single-serve pouch of StarKist Tuna (2.6 oz) has 17g of protein; it’s a great option as a snack after working out! Add it on top of cut-up bell peppers or crackers; put it in a lettuce cup, or a tortilla, for a quick wrap; or eat it straight out of the pouch for an easy on-the-go snack. Discover some delicious Tear & Pair inspiration.

Iron — Iron is the building block of our blood, and its function in our bloodstream is super important. Iron is what transports oxygen from the lungs to all the other parts of the body. Without enough iron, we may feel tired and lack energy.

Iron keeps our lungs and our bodies strong. A 3-oz portion of salmon or tuna provides about 4 percent of the recommended amount of iron for adults.

So, as we head into fall and winter, what better way to help boost our health than by adding a serving or two of seafood to our diets? It’s more important than ever this year! Check out this infographic from the National Fisheries Institute reviews all the research behind the important health benefits of seafood.

For a variety of simple ways to add more seafood to your meals, take a look at our family-friendly recipes. And for quick and easy snack ideas, look at our Tear & Pair guides. Happy National Seafood Month!