Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Cooked Salmon on a white plate wiht cauliflower mashed potatoes and green salad.

Did you know that fish is like a multivitamin for our brains? Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for brain development, strong bones, a healthy heart and immune system. This time of year, many people are looking for ways to “boost” their immune system . Good nutrition is extremely important in supporting a strong immune system, which can offer protection from some chronic health diseases. Unfortunately, even though eating fish is like a multivitamin for our brain, almost 90% of Americans, both children and adults, do not meet the recommendation for seafood! I have to admit, I too fall into that 90% group of not eating enough seafood each week and I absolutely love seafood.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating fish as part of a healthy eating pattern. It is recommended to eat at least 8 ounces of seafood, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the recommendations are to consume between 8 and 12 ounces per week of a variety of seafood from choices that are lower in mercury.

Here are some tips from seafoodnutrition.org that I plan to try this month to encourage my family to meet the seafood recommendations:

Eat a variety of seafood: Fish that is rich in omega-3s include tuna, salmon, trout, and sardines.  Grilling and broiling are great cooking methods and don’t forget to add some spices to enhance the flavor..

Keep seafood on hand: Be sure to stock your pantry with canned seafood. Canned salmon and tuna are tasty, healthy and easy to prepare. Keep frozen fish in the freezer for any easy meal. Kids love fish sticks!

Buy budget friendly:  It doesn’t have to be expensive to eat seafood. Check out weekly ads and sales, and buy in bulk. I personally like to buy several pounds of salmon and freeze into individual serving sizes for future use. The picture at the top of this blog is an example of this method after pulling out fish from my freezer and grilling it.

Put it on a salad or a sandwhich: Top a salad with canned tuna or salmon or use it for sandwiches in place of deli meats. You can also cook extra of your favorite fish and use the leftovers for another meal or two – a great way to get your seafood twice a week.

Keep seafood safe: Keep seafood refrigerated until ready to use and then cook fish to an internal temp of 145°F, until it easily flakes with a fork. Cook shrimp, lobster, and scallops until they are opaque (milky white).

I challenge you to be creative over the next month and eat seafood at least twice a week.

Written by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, Zies.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Shannon Smith, MFN, RD, LD, CDCES


Dietary Guidelines for Americans, https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/

Seafood Nutrition Partnership, http://www.seafoodnutrition.org

National Fisheries Institute, https://aboutseafood.com/

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A polyunsaturated fat that is needed for proper brain growth and development has really been in the news recently. Omega-3s are found in many foods but are most prevalent in fatty fish. Some of the fatty fish high in Omega-3s include: salmon, sardines, canned albacore “white” tuna, flounder, mackerel and anchovies. Omega-3s can also be found in nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, flaxseed, eggs and oils. There are three major types of Omega-3 fatty acids that we get from food. The three types used in the body are Alpha-linolenic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid and Docosahexaenoic acid or ALA, EPA and DHA. Once a food is eaten the body converts the ALA to the other two types of Omega-3 fatty acids so the body can use them more efficiently.
What are the benefits of these Omega-3s? Evidence from research studies show a healthy cardiovascular system is one area that can be helped by these fatty acids. Research has shown that the risk of abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias is decreased when foods or supplements containing Omega-3s are consumed. This condition of heart arrhythmias can lead to sudden death. Additionally, triglyceride levels have been shown to be decreased in persons who consume foods high in Omega-3s. . Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure slightly and may slow the growth of                          salmon prepared on a serving plateatherosclerotic plaque. This is why the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week.
Beyond heart disease other chronic diseases in which inflammation may be reduced by the intake of fatty acids/Omega-3s are cancer and arthritis. When someone doesn’t get enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids symptoms such as fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, mood swings, depression and poor circulation can occur.
So, if these Omega-3s benefit our body in these ways how much do we need to gain this benefit? According to the American Heart Association one should eat at least two three and one half ounce servings each week. The three and one half ounce serving is referring to a cooked serving. Flaked fish would be a ¾ cup serving.
People often have fish fried but there are many other healthy methods that can be used to prepare fish. Try a tuna or salmon patty, casserole or dish using canned fish such as salmon or sardines, fish tacos, sardines in tomato sauce or on crackers, salads with canned fish on them or pizza with anchovies. Many cooking methods can also be used to make tasty fish. Fish can be grilled broiled, baked, steamed or poached. Here is one example of a simple but good tasting recipe that includes fish.

Baked Salmon

1 ½ pound salmon fillet
1 ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
1 large lemon, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Place skin side down on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle with the dill weed. Place the lemon slices over the salmon. Bring the foil over the salmon and fold the edges together. Fold the foil ends together to create a sealed packet. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or to 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. Serve with additional lemon wedges.
Try some fish today for good taste, more Omega-3s and good health!

Author: Liz Smith, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Living Well- More Than a Cookbook, NEAFCS, 2010

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