What is Seafood?

The Good and the Bad of Seafood

Seafood is described as any form of sea life that is edible to humans. It also includes fish, shellfish.

This includes shrimp, crayfish, crab, lobster, clams, scallops, oysters, and mussels, eatable aquatic animals, excluding mammals, as well as both freshwater and ocean creatures.

Seafood are high-protein foods that are low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. They also have high amount of vitamins and minerals. Seafood has been shown to have a lot of health benefits that are good for humans.

It is also known to reduce the risk of cardiac disease for the general population, it provides adequate nutrients for the period of fetal growth and development.

After cereals, fish and other seafood creatures are the other most important foods human consume. 

It is said to be supplying about 20 percent of the world populations of animal protein Consumption.

Research also has it that the muscle of a lean fish supplies about 17-25 percent of protein which is also same as a beef or poultry meat, although its lower in calories. 

Fats that are found in red meat, poultry and eggs are called solid fats, while fats from seafood are oils

Fish perishes quickly, Fish is majorly preserved by freezing, pickling (means anaerobic fermentation in brine or soaking in vinegar, canning, smoking.

It has either been dried, smoked, salted, pickled, or fermented when it is not eaten fresh.

Although these practices are no longer necessary for preservation, but the unique alterations in taste that they produce have made a continuous development in demand for fish preserved in these methods.

So many ocean fishes are known to be very commercial such as species of salmons, redfish, mackerel, sardines etc.

While some fresh water may include catfish, eel, carp.

The American Heart Association also recommends that at least twice a week, oil fish like mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon should be eaten.

Benefits of Eating Seafood

Seafoods is very rich in proteins and so therefore contains essential amino acids, vital or needed fats and other minerals like calcium, iodine, zinc, ion.

It also contains vitamins like vitamin B, Vitamins A, Vitamins D.

Seafoods are known to contain DHA which are very useful in cases of pregnancy and breastfeeding as its helpful for brain and visual development.

Seafoods when compared with other Animal’s meat, have a higher ability to store or retain protein and energy and also convert food to flesh. Thereby making it reliable

Seafood contains vitamins and minerals like niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin B12, thiamin, riboflavin, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium.

Also, oily fish have good amounts of vitamins A and D, while fish with bones remaining, such as canned salmon and sardines, are good sources of bone-building calcium.

Fish, especially marine fish, are a dietary source of iodine which the human body needs to fuction fully.

Health Hazards of Seafood

Microbiological Hazards

It’s known that all kinds of food contain microorganisms like bacterial and fungi’s, which causes foodborne diseases.

And it’s a very harmful thing to the human health and riskier to some people especially those with pregnancy, those with decreased stomach acids, the young children and older adults, and those with problems of immune systems like HIV/AIDS, liver disease, diabetes, cancer, or gastrointestinal disorders.

Harmful viruses like Norwalk virus and hepatitis A are mostly linked to shellfish harvested from waters that are contaminated with sewage.

Bacteria mostly occur in molluscan shellfish (oysters and clams) but can also be present in some ready-to-eat fish products

The greatest risk comes from eating raw or partially cooked oysters or clams.

Which then they may become contaminated with bacterias. These insclude Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and other bacteria associated with land use, runoff, sewage discharges, etc.

These microorganisms occur naturally in warm coastal waters,. They are likely to cause serious illness or even death in high-risk individuals.

Not all mollusks are contaminated, but it’s not actually easy to tell which one is free from contamination.

Because the diseases linked to raw shellfish are serious for vulnerable individuals, the safest thing for these people is to avoid eating raw shellfish.

NOTE: Handle seafood safely so as to avoid foodborne disease and also buy from places where they handle their foods safely, as it will be of more benefits and quality.

Fish toxins

This can also be one of the dangers of seafoods some fish like species from tropical or subtropical waters may have toxins that cause illness which are mainly the ciguatoxin [found mainly in reef fish such as barracuda, grouper and snapper] and scombrotoxin, or histamine poisoning [associated mainly with mahi-mahi, fresh tuna, mackerel and bluefish]

This toxin develops when fish have not been kept cold enough after harvesting and shipping.

It will be very difficult to identify which fish has toxins.

Safety precautions

Store seafoods when immediately bought on ice or in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you are going to use it within 2 days then it should be stored in the refrigerator.

If you won’t use it for 3 or more days after buying it, then you will have to freeze it.

Crawfish Peel cooked or blanched crawfish tails and rinse with cold water to remove all fat.

To blanch, put live crawfish in boiling water that covers them, and boil for 7 to 8 minutes in a large pot

while Shopping for fish, purchase fish that is refrigerated or appropriately chilled.

Search for fish to be shown on new ice, and keep alert when you see ice dissolving.

Fish ought to likewise be shown for a situation or under some sort of cover.

While picking new entire fish, search for these elements: clear, protruding eyes; versatile, firm tissue; red gills; sparkling skin; and snug scales.

New fish should smell new and gentle, not off-putting, acrid or alkali like. Search for fish filets and cutlets that have damp tissue, firm surface, and no staining or dryness.

Whenever contacted, the tissue should spring back. Tissue that looks dull could mean the fish is old.

While choosing new shellfish, search for the tag or mark on the bundles.

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