I became a committed vegetarian at 16. But when recent blood work indicated I was anemic, I decided to eat SeaChoice green listed species to add more variety to my diet.
Fish supplements are good but there are many benefits to eating whole fish: high-quality protein, iron, healthy fats, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E, and minerals like selenium.
Whole fish versus supplements?
Supplements can be helpful, but our bodies are genetically programmed to recognize whole foods and all their intricate components. Isolating individual factors misses subtle nutrients that have a synergistic benefit when eaten. Vitamin C complex, for example, is more effective than in its isolated form, ascorbic acid. Same goes for the B complex—the sum is greater than its parts.
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Fish health perks besides omegas?
Studies show that salmon contain small protein molecules called "bioactive peptides" that may provide support for cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. They also provide one of the highest amounts of vitamin D—a nutrient not naturally abundant in a lot of whole foods, as well as selenium, a common deficiency in our corner of the world in part from soil depletion due to high rainfall.
Healthiest fish preparation?
Avoid high heat, which destroys beneficial nutrients. Barbequing is out and frying, too. Poach, gently sauté, or bake fish (not above 325º F/177º C) so as not to damage delicate omega-3s and other healthy, sensitive components.
How can I add more fish to my diet?
- Get the biggest bang for your buck with one of the heavy-hitters (the highest in omega-3s): salmon, halibut, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, or rainbow trout. Add them to brown rice pasta or salad with plenty of cold-pressed olive oil and fresh lemon juice
- Sauté cakes made from fresh or frozen locally caught fish on low to medium heat
- Try pickled herring (without white vinegar), a Scandinavian delicacy, on top of a whole grain cracker or bread
- Bake a fish casserole with brown rice, veggies, and a béchamel sauce
- Add anchovies (buy whole and rinse off salt) to your favourite dish or Caesar salad dressing
- Breakfast on kippers and toast
- Try these sustainable seafood recipes
What new sustainable green-listed seafood will you try?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green