Health Benefits of America’s Top 4 Most Consumed Seafoods

America's most popular seafoods

With heart-healthy diets trending in recent years, it’s no wonder that fish consumption has been on the rise in the average American diet. In fact, overall seafood consumption has increased steadily over the past several years (excluding a slight dip following a particularly large spike in 2015).

This trend is good news for our health and well-being, but what exactly do different types of fish offer in terms of vitamins and nutrients? Let’s take a closer look at the various nutritional perks of America’s four most popular seafoods.

1. Tilapia

High-protein, low-carb Tilapia is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in omega-3’s, vitamin B12, iron and energy-regulating magnesium. Tilapia is high in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. It also contains few calories per serving and is low in saturated fats.

Try the recipe: 5-Ingredient Garlic Parmesan Tilapia from The Seasoned Mom.

Mix together lemon juice, melted butter and garlic powder. Brush the mixture onto the Tilapia fillet and broil each side in the oven for five minutes. Sprinkle the filet with parmesan cheese and bake for an additional five to six minutes. Add lemon juice and parsley to serve.

Looking for more Tilapia recipes? Check out 5 clean and easy Tilapia recipes here.

2. Shrimp

Shrimp is high in B3, vitamin D and cancer-fighting selenium. With a number of associated benefits for your skin and hair, shrimp is known for being a beauty-boosting superfood. Shrimp contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which shields the skin from premature aging. Plus, the high zinc levels in shrimp encourage cell turnover and oil production, leading to supple skin and hair. Zinc also maintains leptin, a hormone that impacts hunger and fat storage.

Try the recipe: Sweet Chili Garlic Shrimp from Rasa Malaysia.

Pan-sear the shrimp in olive oil for a few minutes and remove from the skillet. Saute garlic in the same pan, then stir in the cooked shrimp. Add the Thai sweet chili sauce, lime juice, sugar, salt and the chili-garlic mixture, then serve.

3. Salmon

In addition to being loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon—as well as other seafood like herring, shrimp and oysters—contains high amounts of vitamin D. This is great because most Americans are deficient in the vitamin. Adequate intake of vitamin D can improve sleep quality, aid in bone development and protect against diseases.

Salmon is considered the best food sources of vitamin D available. A 4-ounce serving of salmon contains nearly 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D. The omega-3’s found in salmon aid in growth and development, promote vision, fight depression and are linked to reduced risk of autoimmune diseases.

Try the recipe: Salmon with Lemon & Dill from allrecipes.

Drizzle lemon juice and butter mixture over raw salmon in a baking dish. Add garlic powder, sea salt, pepper and dill to the fillet and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

4. Tuna

Tuna has long been considered a lean source of protein. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids and mood-boosting vitamin B12. Tuna contains niacin, which enhances heart health by improving cholesterol levels and selenium, which regulates thyroid function and works against the development of cancer.

Try the recipe: Tuna Salad Bruschetta By Martha Stewart.

Martha Stewart’s tuna salad bruschetta calls for baking baguette slices in the oven for about five minutes. First, brush the bread with olive oil, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice, mustard and reserved tuna oil together, then add tuna, beans, shallot slices, parsley and celery to the mixture. Spread bread slices with mustard and top with the tuna mixture to serve.

If you haven’t already, jump on the seafood bandwagon and start incorporating these heart-healthy recipes into your diet. Not only will you have an excuse to try delicious new recipes, but you’ll also reap a heap of associated nutritional benefits!

Want to learn more about the top consumed seafood? Check out this article on America’s favorite seafood to eat!

Photo Credits: nada54 / Shutterstock Inc, Carol Mellema / Shutterstock Inc., zoryanchik / Shutterstock Inc., Food Network