Benefits and Nutrition

Photo: Seafood pasta.

Undoubtedly, there are many benefits to making seafood a regular part of your diet. Numerous studies are publishing links between seafood consumption and improved health, largely because of Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs). These compounds, which include Omega-3s, have been found to be so beneficial, they are being added to products such as pasta. The pages under this heading link to some research results regarding seafood and PUFAs, a list of health benefits, and nutritional information, including the new dietary guidelines for Americans.

Australian researchers push Sunlight and Seafood

December 27, 2007 - According to Roy Palmer, an Australian who researches and communicates information on the health benefits of seafood, both seafood and sunshine contribute to stores of Vitamin D, essential for proper immune function and bone growth. Mr Palmer said seafood contained a number of nutrients recently listed as essential for building immunity by Professor Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology at the University of Southampton in the UK, and one of Europe’s leading nutrition researchers. Among these key ingredients were zinc, selenium, vitamin D and the long-chain Omega-3 fatty acid (oil), all of which are are found in seafood. More information on seafood and nutrition can be found on the seafood services Australia website at: http://www.seafood.net.au/health/

Two New Studies Say Benefits Outweigh Risks

October 19, 2006 - Results of two new studies assessing the benefits versus the risks of consuming seafood have been made available. The studies, one from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the other from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, concluded that for most people the benefits of eating seafood outweigh the risks. They also stated that even groups at risk, such as pregnant woman and children, could benefit from eating seafood, if they were careful to avoid the most contaminant prone species.

The four main points that were emphasized in the National Academy of Sciences Report were:

  1. Women who are or may become pregnant or who are breast-feeding may benefit from eating seafood, especially those kinds which have relatively higher concentrations of EPA and DHA. A reasonable amount would be two 3-ounce servings per week, but they can safely consume up to 12 ounces per week. They can consume up to 6 ounces of white tuna -- that is, albacore -- weekly, and should avoid eating large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel.
  2. Children ages 12 and under are given the same guidance as pregnant women, except that serving sizes should be age-appropriate.
  3. Adolescent and adult males and women who will not become pregnant may reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease by eating seafood regularly -- for example, two 3-ounce servings per week. Those who consume more than two servings per week should choose a variety of seafood to reduce risk for exposure to contaminants from a single source.
  4. Adult men and females who are at risk of coronary heart disease may reduce that risk by consuming seafood regularly -- for example, two 3-ounce servings per week. There may be additional benefits from including seafood selections high in EPA and DHA, although supporting evidence is limited.

  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences