Why seafood is good for your health

From heart disease to aging, seafood consumption has a range of benefits for your body and mind

By SeaWestNews

There is an abundance of ongoing scientific research and published peer-reviewed studies around seafood and its many health benefits. Here are some of them as listed by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance;


Modest consumption of fish (e.g. the Canada Food Guide recommends 1-2 servings/wk) – especially species higher in the omega-3 fatty acids – reduces risk of coronary death by 36% and total mortality by 17%; it may also favorably affect other clinical outcomes such as a reduced risk of stroke.


Omega-3 fatty acids consumed through seafood are important components of the brain and nerves. Eating fish may therefore be favorable for optimal brain function.


Seafood consumption during pregnancy and lactation may have a range of benefits. Getting enough omega-3’s is needed to build a developing child’s nervous system. DHA, one of the types of omega-3 fatty acids in seafood, is critical for normal eye and vision development in infants. Other studies suggest that omega-3’s improve cognitive development. These positive effects persist beyond infancy to influence cognition in later childhood.


Research has shown that the levels of mercury in Canadian aquaculture products are far below the levels that could adversely impact health. Health Canada has only advised limited consumption of those predatory fish that are higher in mercury (fresh or frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy or escolar).


Harvard researchers have reported that they found that the benefits of eating fish far outweighed the potential risks of PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins. The levels of PCBs and dioxins in fish species are low – similar to other commonly consumed foods such as beef, chicken, pork, eggs, and butter. Furthermore, only 9% of the PCBs and dioxins in the food supply come from fish and other seafood; more than 90% comes from other foods such as meats, vegetables, and dairy products.