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Let’s Hear It for Fish! Seafood Is Filled With Nutrients Your Body Needs.

Let’s Hear It for Fish! Seafood Is Filled With Nutrients Your Body Needs.

You do not need to live near the water to enjoy the health benefits of seafood. Fish in all its forms—fresh, frozen or canned—is full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and because there are so many varieties, you have lots of options.

“Eating fish twice each week is an important part of a healthy diet,” said Kelsey Shackelford, MBA, RDN, LD, clinical nutrition manager with Morrison Healthcare at Archbold. “I advise people to vary their choices to reap the benefits of different nutrients and also to prevent getting tired of eating the same thing.”

Nutrition You Need

Different varieties of fish contain different types of vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients, including:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids—These healthy fats may help reduce inflammation and may support brain health. They also aid in fetal growth and development. Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout and tuna, have high levels.
  • Protein—Protein supports creation and repair of cells that make up the body’s tissues, delivers nutrients to the body, fights infection and helps blood clot. It is abundant in nearly all fish varieties.
  • Vitamin D—This essential vitamin strengthens bones, aids in the absorption of calcium, helps muscles function and supports the nervous system. Mackerel and salmon have particularly high levels.

Canned fish is generally less expensive and easier to prepare but opt for products with little to no added salt and those packed in water instead of oil. If you’re buying fresh, look for fish fillets that appear translucent or whole fish with shiny skin, and use or freeze within two days. If buying frozen fish, thaw it in the refrigerator the day you want to eat it.

Fuss-Free Cooking

Preparing a healthy seafood dish does not need to be complicated. Simply gather fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients, and let the flavors speak for themselves. For example, a piece of salmon can be dressed up with a drizzle of lemon juice for a punch of vitamin C, olive oil for added omega-3s and garlic for flavor. Toss on the grill or broil in a pan and serve alongside your favorite veggie.

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