This column first appeared in The Daily Athenaeum
By Brittany Osteen
When I was younger, I never ate seafood, anything red and very few types of meat. My fear of seafood came from watching ‘Finding Nemo’ when I was six. Now that I am older, I have been more open to trying seafood (and things that are red), but my flavor for fish still had a very small scope until recently. As fate would have it, I was asked to help organize the West Virginia Seafood Nutrition Partnership earlier this year.
The West Virginia Seafood Nutrition Partnership works to promote a heart healthy diet – something I recognized as an extremely worthy cause in W.Va. In case you don’t know who they are (I didn’t either), the Seafood Nutrition Partnership is a national non-profit whose mission is to help people lead longer, healthier lives by eating more seafood. Their mission is direct: encourage people to eat seafood twice a week for optimum health as recommended by the USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans. When the Seafood Nutrition Partnership was first created, only 1 in 10 Americans followed this guideline. Since then, the ratio has improved with 1 in 3 Americans including seafood in their diets in the last year.
Many Americans know about the protein benefits from eating seafood, but few know about the other health benefits and there are a ton. Adding seafood into a normal diet can help prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Seafood not only reduces risk of diseases, but it also shown to improve mood and decrease the instances of some cancers. Eating seafood twice a week can also help improve the ability to think, learn and remember now, while decreasing your risk of dementia later in life. As we approach finals, eating fish can even help us prepare as the omega-3s play an important role in our eye’s sensory functions and our brain’s key functional units. Pretty impressive, right?
I was one of the 1 in 3 Americans to add seafood into their diet this year. Before joining the seafood movement, I thought there were only a couple ways to eat seafood. In the first month that I joined, I tried oyster and clam chowder, flounder, tuna salad, salmon, a sushi burrito, and many other combinations. YUM! My favorite recipe is Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos from health.com!
Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos
What you need:
Please join me in pledging to eat seafood at least twice a week. It is a lot easier, cheaper and more delicious than you may think. For more information, recipes or to take the heart healthy pledge, click around seafoodnutrition.org.
The staff, Board of Directors, and chef ambassadors of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership invite the public to join us in sharing the health impacts they have achieved through the Healthy Heart Pledge. We invite you to share your story!