It’s not every night that you get to enjoy a platter of baked salmon or lemon garlic shrimp, right? After all, fresh seafood is hard to get and much harder to prepare and cook into a tasty meal.
But you might want to include fish and other seafood into your weekly meals because, according to research, seniors should consume seafood more than twice a week to sustain their nutritional needs.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, you should include seafood in your diet because it contains plenty of nutrients essential for strong health. Older adults are particularly encouraged to eat it at least twice a week, if not more, as it benefits their overall physical and mental well-being.
So, if you ever spot a grilled halibut in the menu of your retirement communities in Winston-Salem, go and grab a serving of it!
If you are not too keen on eating seafood, then here are seven healthy reasons why you should love them now.
1. It is Packed with Essential Nutrients
Like many other food groups, seafood packs plenty of nutrients inside their meat and shells. However, they are a more healthful bunch to seniors because they contain the essential dietary nutrients that most seniors need. This includes:
- Iodine – essential for seniors with thyroid problems.
- Vitamin D, A, and B complex
- Omega-3 fatty acids or healthy fats
- Essential minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.
- High-quality protein
Harvest all these nutrients in some of the healthiest seafood, such as wild-caught salmon, tuna, cod, herring, farmed oyster, and sardines.
Remember to prepare and cook them healthily so you can reap all the nutrients they offer. Also, make sure to use healthy ingredients and partner your seafood with nutrient-rich foods.
2. It Keeps the Heart Healthy
Not all fats are bad for the heart. In fact, the American Heart Association encourages seniors to eat the healthy kind of fat called omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient strengthens the heart and helps it perform its functions by:
- Getting rid of the bad fats (triglycerides).
- Reducing inflammation and blood clotting.
- Ensuring a smooth blood flow.
- Maintaining your blood pressure at a normal level.
- Decreases irregular heartbeats.
With seafood nutrients ensuring your heart’s health, it also reduces your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis and heart failure.
Make the most out of the seafood you eat by making sure it is fresh and adequately prepared. Further, choose a healthier option of cooking it like grilling, broiling, or baking instead of deep-frying.
3. It Improves Brain Health
Most retirement communities in Winston-Salem aim to improve the brain health of their residents through a healthy diet. One way to do this is to include fish and other seafood in their menu every week.
Studies have proven that seafood contains omega-3 healthy fats and DHA that boost memory and thinking. Moreover, it protects your brain from age-related declination, thus warding off brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Get a healthy dose of these nutrients by substituting meat for seafood at least twice a week. For seniors who cook, include salmon, tuna, blue herring, and sardines as they are the best sources of healthy fats and DHA.
4. It Protects Your Vision
Another benefit that comes from the omega-3 fatty acids of seafood is the improvement of your eyesight.
We all know how old age can impair a person’s 20/20 vision and expose you to several eye conditions like macular degeneration, blindness, and cataract. Fortunately, you can take care of your precious sight by munching on some fishes like salmon, trout, and tuna.
These kinds of seafood have high omega-3 fats that can save you from age-related visual impairment.
5. It Enhances Sleep Quality
Fish for dinner might not be the most appetizing idea if you’re not a fan of seafood. However, you might want to make it a habit more than twice a week because, according to research, eating fish can help you achieve a good night’s sleep.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found out that eating fish enhances your sleep quality due to the vitamin B6 that it contains. This vitamin helps your body create melatonin, a chemical that promotes sleep.
Any fish will do, but the healthiest of the bunch that can help you sleep at night include:
Pair it with other healthy sleep-inducing foods like white rice, lean chicken meat, kale, bananas, and warm milk or honey. Most retirement communities in Winston-Salem take meal requests from residents. Make sure you maximize it by requesting seafood for dinner.
6. It Maintains Bone and Joint Health
Milk is not the only bone-boosting food in town. The combination of omega-3 fats, DHA, EPA, and vitamin D in seafood aids in preserving the strength and structure of your bones. Besides that, it also relieves joint pain and prevents inflammation most seniors experience during arthritis. This also means that seafood rich in the nutrients mentioned above can prevent the development of bone-related disorders, like:
- Bone loss and fragility
- Bone cancer
- Calcium deficiency
7. It Prevents Depression
Depression is an unrecognized yet very common mental illness that most seniors experience. This is particularly true for those who live alone or are ridden with a chronic health condition.
However, there’s an easy and healthy way to improve your mental health and avoid depression—that’s by getting your weekly dose of seafood!
According to research, fish and other seafood benefit not only your cognitive function but also the psychological part of your brain. Some of its specific benefits to your mental well-being include:
- Prevents depression and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Helps manage stress
- Boosts the effectiveness of antidepressants.
- Aids in managing other mental conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and ADHD.
- Wards off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Include your favorite seafood in your weekly meals if you want to live a life free of physical and mental illnesses.
Even if you live in one of the great retirement communities in Winston-Salem, like Heritage Woods, you can still eat your favorite seafood dish. Just make sure to put in a request so they can cater to your fish cravings.