Is Seafood For Breakfast Healthy?
Seafood is fast becoming a breakfast staple in several health conscious households, who believe in the virtues of the lean protein provided by this food. However, there is a section of health professionals, who strongly believe that regular consumption of seafood can lead to accumulation of deadly pollutants like mercury and PCBs in the system. So, should one include seafood for breakfast, or is it better to stick to traditional animal meats for the 1st meal of the day? This article attempts to explore answers for these queries.
Seafood encompasses a variety of non-fin aquatic species including crabs, shrimps, prawns, mollusks, etc. Each species has its unique nutritional value. Here is the nutritional composition of the 3 most common species eaten for breakfast…
Health benefits of eating Seafood for breakfast:
·Rich source of lean protein
Seafood is a rich source of high biological value lean protein. The structural makeup of this protein is such that it is more easily digested than animal proteins. This makes it a perfect source of protein for convalescents, young children, and people with weak stomach.
·Provides heart healthy fatty acids
A section of people fear eating seafood due to the high cholesterol content. However, instead of causing stress to the blood vessels, seafood is a rich source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that exhibit cardio-protective properties.
·Provides the early morning boost to immunity
Seafood is a good source of elements like Chromium, zinc, selenium and iodine. These trace mineral play an important role in the upkeep of the body’s immune system – a necessity in today’s world plagued with deadly flu viruses, new strains of bacteria, and morbid pollutants.
·Rich source of antioxidants
Unlike the popular belief that vegetables and fruits are the only sources of antioxidants, seafood is a good source of free radical fighting compounds like selenium, chromium, and Vitamin A.
·Provides a plethora of nutrients
Apart from protein and lipids, seafood are also a source of several minor yet essential nutrients like Vitamin B complex, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, calcium, zinc, chromium, iodine, and more.
A breakfast food must provide proper proportions of all 3 proximate principles. However, seafood contains no carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Unless combined with a high fiber food, breakfast seafood can lead to constipation and other related health problems.
·Possible treat of contamination
Crustaceans are marine scavengers and highly affected by contamination of sea/ocean bed. As per the directives by Environmental Defense Fund, several varieties of seafood contain high levels of mercury and PCBs during the summer months. They recommend including seafood not more than 2 times a month.
Seafood allergy is a potentially fatal condition, that can result in symptoms ranging from mild nasal congestion or hives to dangerous anaphylactic attacks. There is no known cure to seafood allergy and complete restriction of the food is the only way to manage this condition effectively.
·High sodium content
Several species of seafood are naturally high in sodium - an electrolyte responsible for high blood pressure and contraindicated in people suffering from hypertension and/or kidney disorders.
Seafood may not be the perfect food to start your day with; however, it surely is healthier than animal meats like beef and pork. While having seafood for breakfast daily is not the right thing to do, starting your day with some organic seafood once or twice a week will certainly show its benefits in the long run.