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Seafood: The All-Brainer

January 25, 201726 min
Learn how to incorporate more seafood into your diet for better brain health.According to dietary guidelines and USDA, 80-90 percent of Americans are not eating the recommended amount of seafood each week. You should get two to three servings (8-12 ounces) of seafood each week, but most of us only consume one serving of seafood weekly. Children and pregnant mothers consume even less, about 25 percent of what they should be eating.The umbrella term of seafood includes fin fish and shellfish. It’s best to eat a variety, just like you would with fruits and vegetables. You’ll get the greatest health benefits by mixing it up. Seafood is packed with Omega-3s, which are essential for optimal brain development and overall health. These omega-3s also reduce risk of depression.You can start to increase your seafood consumption by first getting plenty of the fish you enjoy. Next, branch out and try some fatty fish and canned fish. Frozen seafood is nutritionally sound and more affordable than fresh. Watch for sales at the fresh fish counter, buy extra and freeze it. Strive for variety to get your omega-3s, protein, selenium and B vitamins. Pregnant women should have two servings of seafood per week for the eye and brain development of their unborn babies. Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and young children should avoid predator fish: swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish. Mercury levels are higher in these fish. Tilapia is a great gateway fish to the world of seafood, especially for those who enjoy chicken. It has come under a lot of scrutiny for sourcing methods. Get to know your fishmonger and be sure your fish is responsibly sourced. Make sure it doesn’t smell fishy; that’s a sign it’s been sitting too long. If you don’t have a family of seafood enthusiasts, try incorporating seafood into favorite dishes. Fish tacos, pasta and burgers help introduce a seafood palate in a way that’s familiar. Check on Dish on Fish for shopping and preparation tips. Listen as registered dietitian and fish expert Rima Kleiner joins Dr. Mike Fenster to dish on fish.
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