The ocean, home to millions of creatures that contain more than 70% of the earth’s surface. Did you know? There are more life forms in the ocean than there are on land and only less than 20 percent of the ocean body has been explored by man, leaving about 60 percent of the earth that man is yet to explore, which means other millions of sea creature we do not know about yet.
Some examples of aquatic animals are sea lions, walrus, manatees, dugong, hippopotamus, beaver, corals, sharks, whales, dolphins, and alligators. Right from time, man has been known to use some aquatic animals for food while preserving some other unique ones to prevent them from becoming extinct. Some other reasons involve size and difficulty to catch some that are considered wild.
Fishing is one of the oldest trades known to man after farming. Fishes and other aquatic animals from oceans and seas are important resources for the world economy today, their use has made billions of dollars for many multinational companies all over the world. For example, fish oil is an important ingredient in the making of some drugs for the pharmaceutical industry, the cosmetic industry also makes use of them in the production of creams and moisturizers.
Some other use for them includes sporting events like fishing, for entertainment e.g. dolphins, some are also put in an aquarium in recreational centers.it was not until 1853 in London UK when aeration and filtration of water were understood that people were able to keep fish as indoor pets.
Over the years, different restaurants all over the world have used these aquatic animals to prepare different dishes that we enjoy today, some are even established solely to serve only seafood. Some common sea animals used for food are shrimps, crabs, tilapia, sardines, oysters, Titus, prawns, lobsters, octopus, squid, sea turtle, sea urchin, eels, and jellyfish.
There are thousands of dishes that have been invented using seafood as the primary ingredient. Seafood is appreciated not only for its tastiness but for also some of its health benefits to man which includes:
- Most seafood is low in calorie hence do not cause weight gain when eaten and can be added to our meals when dieting.
- Seafood is filled with nutrients such as vitamin A which helps to boost the immune system and improve eyesight, also vitamins B and D, omega-3 fatty acid, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium iron, and zinc.
- Seafood is easily digested in the body hence there is a low risk of constipation involved in consuming them.
- Omega-3 fatty acid in seafood helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid which are omega-3 fatty acid essentials helps in brain development during pregnancy and early childhood and helps in a variety of cognitive functions.
- Seafood such as mackerel, salmon, and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acid help to manage skin health by keeping the skin moisturized and thick.
- Seafood rich in fat is high in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid which reduces the severity of arthritis symptoms and reduces inflammation.
- Seafood helps to prevent and treat depression
- Seafood enhances the production of growth hormones in the body
- Eating seafood at least twice a week helps to reduce lung inflammation in children with asthma.
Seafood has a lot of health benefit in the body, some seafood you should consider adding to your meals are; mackerel, perch, rainbow trout, perch, cod, and Alaskan salmon.
WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID SEAFOOD
While seafood has a lot of health benefits to the body, there are some problems involved in eating them:
- Fishes take in chemicals from the water like mercury, continuous consumption will cause the chemicals to build up in the body over time. High level of mercury causes damage to the brain and nervous system
- A high level of domoic acid gotten from crabs causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps
- Some Seafood are capable of triggering allergic reactions
- Eating too much fish has been linked to prostate cancer
- Prawns, crabs, and mussels increase the risk of type 2 diabetes
- High level of mercury in the body gotten from consumption of fish over a long period causes vision problem, impaired hearing and speech, and lack of coordination in children
- Some seafood you should avoid; monkfish, salmon, grouper, orange roughy, red snapper, and Bluefin tuna.
- Fishes should always be cooked at low to medium temperature, also avoid canned seafood like sardines, they are known to cause low sperm count in men.