Can Eating Seafood Boost Your Immune System?
Broiled, baked, roasted, or grilled, there’s no doubt that seafood can be a pleasure for the palate. But do the advantages of seafood go beyond the flavor?
According to scientists, the answer is a resounding YES!
In addition to eating nutrient-rich foods and enjoying an active lifestyle, seafood could strengthen your immune system and prevent illnesses. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, two or more servings of seafood per week can be beneficial to everyone. And in today’s uncertain world, a little bit of boosted immunity certainly can’t hurt!
Not convinced? A 2018 health study of more than 420,000 people concluded that eating seafood reduced respiratory deaths by 20%. That sure does seem like a good reason to work a few seafood dishes into your weekly rotation!
Here are just a few of the many benefits associated with eating high-quality seafood:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Many fish, including salmon and tuna, are loaded with “the good fats.” They contain ample amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which may enhance immune function.
Zinc helps your immune system and metabolism function. And, it even helps wounds heal! Shellfish like oysters, crab and lobster are a good source of zinc, and so is salmon.
The antioxidant selenium is a mineral found in seafood, Brazil nuts, some dairy, and other foods. It’s needed in small amounts to support a healthy immune system and thyroid function.
Vitamin D is essential to immune function, and dreary winter weather can make it difficult to get the 15 minutes of daily sunshine our body needs to get enough. Good news! Vitamin D can be found in salmon, as well as egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified milk.
Some of the nutrients in seafood may actually reduce inflammation, which can impact everything from joint pain to acne to immune function. Inflammation-fighting nutrients include vitamins A, B, and D, and minerals such as calcium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium. Those (along with the Omega-3s mentioned above!) may help to reduce inflammation, which can increase your body's ability to ward off illnesses.
A balanced diet is one of the best lines of defense from disease and illness, and (quality) seafood plays a part in that. So do your body a favor and include some wild-caught catches in your weekly meals!