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The Health Benefits of Eating Shellfish

fresh lobster market in Western, CTOrdering a lobster dinner may feel like an indulgence but it could be one of the healthiest options on the menu. Shellfish are low in saturated fats and rich in essential nutrients. These lean proteins offer many of the same life-extending, disease-fighting benefits as fish like salmon. It’s a good idea to add shellfish to your weekly shopping list!

The Top 3 Health Benefits of Eating Shellfish

Low in Bad Fats, High in Healthy Fats

Saturated fats have a bad reputation for a good reason. Eating too many saturated fats can drive up your level of harmful, artery-blocking LDL cholesterol. While many types of meat are high in saturated fats, shellfish aren’t. Instead, shellfish are a source of healthy polyunsaturated fats. Your body needs polyunsaturated fats or essential fats to function properly. You can get both essential, polyunsaturated fats—omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids—from eating shellfish.

Packed with Essential Amino Acids

Your body needs amino acids. It uses them for everything from healthy immune function and hormone regulation to building muscles and cells. That’s why health experts considered them the building blocks of your body. While your body produces some amino acids on its own, there are nine essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. Meats are the best source of these essential amino acids. Shellfish and fish are packed with these essential amino acids.

Rich in Hard-to-Get Essential Micronutrients

Fresh Shrimp market in Rhode Island CTHave you noticed a trend in the health benefits of shellfish? They are full of hard-to-get nutrients that your body can’t make on its own. While omega-3 fatty acids are the most well-known nutrients in seafood, there are many others. Selenium, zinc, vitamin B, and copper are just four examples. Your body needs selenium and zinc for healthy immune and cognitive function. You need vitamin B for cell function and a strong nerve structure. Your body needs copper to make hemoglobin, collagen and other proteins. These nutrients aren’t found in many dietary sources, you can reach the daily recommendation by eating shellfish.

Is Eating Shellfish Risky?

These benefits are great but what about contamination? This is a question that many people have about seafood. Concern about the impact of eating contaminated seafood has become widespread. There is some basis for these concerns. Lobster and shrimp can contain heavy metals like lead and cadmium. All fish have some level of mercury. Picking up seafood from a trusted fishmonger, who can tell you where the shellfish is from, cuts down on this risk. Eating only one or two servings of shellfish a week also limits the risk. Evidence, from health experts, suggests that the benefits of eating shellfish outweigh the risks. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, health experts advise avoiding raw shellfish. Eating any meat raw increases the risk of foodborne illness.

Shellfish range in flavor from juicy and salty to tender and sweet. You can choose between lobster, crab, shrimp, oysters, and mussels. For the best selection of fresh shellfish in New England, order from City Fish Market! Our retail counter and take-out-kitchen are open! We are doing all that we can in our market to ensure our customers are protected from contracting COVID-19.