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The current recommendation for fish consumption is about 12 ounces per week. Fresh, frozen and canned fish can help you obtain the recommended amount of this exceptionally healthy protein source. 

Here are just some of the benefits that eating fish and seafood provide:

  • Youthful, Healthy Skin: Fish and seafood are rich in vitamins and healthy fats that help protect skin from the damaging UV rays of the sun. 
  • Heart Health:  Omega-3 fats can help protect the heart form disease and help to lower cholesterol.
  • Decrease your risk for stroke:  Nutrients in fish, including healthy fats, improve circulation, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk for blood clot formation.
  • Research has suggested that fish and seafood can help ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases like Cohn’s and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  • Healthy vision:  Fish and shellfish contain retinol, a form of vitamin A that aides night vision.  Studies have also indicated that omega-3 fats from fish can reduce risk for Age Related Macular Degeneration.
  • Supports healthy thyroid function and metabolism:  Fish and seafood provide essential minerals such as iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium that facilitate many metabolic actions.
  • Help you breathe easier:   Studies suggest that a diet rich in fish promotes stronger lung function as we age and may reduce risk for asthma in children.
  • Reduce depression:  Omega-3 fats and vitamins A and D in fish may reduce risk for depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and post-natal depression.
  • Brain food:   Research has indicated that people who eat plenty of seafood are less likely to suffer dementia and memory problems in later life.  Omega-3’s, such as DHA, have been linked to improvements in child behavior, concentration, reading skills and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Cooking guidelines

The general rule for cooking seafood is to bake, broil, sauté or grill at 450?F for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Some very dense fish, such as Tuna Filets, may require a few extra minutes per inch of thickness. 

This may vary for high-heat frying, which will only take about 1-2 minutes per inch of thickness, or steaming, which will take about an extra 2-3 minutes per inch of thickness.

8 ways to put fish on the table easily, economically

  • Buy healthy frozen options. Fish in the freezer case used to be primarily fried and battered. Today you can find sophisticated grilled and herbed choices, with simple cooking instructions.
  • Tuna sandwiches count! Eating fish twice a week doesn’t just mean at dinner: every meal counts.
  • Choose fatty fish. Fatty fish like salmon are less likely to dry out in the oven. Plus, they’re higher in the healthy omega-3 fats your body needs.
  • Put fresh or thawed fish fillets in an ovenproof pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and a little salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes for each inch of thickness, as a rule of thumb. Check at 8 minutes. If it flakes easily with a fork, it’s done.
  • Make a quick marinade. Mix 1 tablespoon each honey and orange juice concentrate with 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons each grated fresh ginger and grainy mustard. Marinate fish 30-60 minutes then cook as above, for 8-10 minutes. Especially good on salmon.  Even your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing can become a delicious marinade!
  • Add bread crumbs. White fish like hake, haddock or cod is delicious drizzled with a little olive oil (to make the crumbs stick), dredged in whole grain breadcrumbs, and topped with a dot of butter.  (Cook at 400-450°F for 10 minutes.
  • Stir-fry shrimp. Keep frozen, pre-cooked shrimp on hand. Thaw them in a bowl of water while you chop vegetables for your stir-fry. Cook the vegetables first, then add the thawed shrimp along with a mix of soy sauce and Dijon mustard and keep cooking just enough to mix flavors.
  • Save money with canned salmon: the budget secret! Canned wild salmon is available year-round for a fraction of the cost of fresh salmon – and it sits happily in your pantry for up to three years, until you’re ready to use it. Make salmon-salad sandwiches, salmon cakes, or add canned salmon to your favorite pasta dish – it’s great in macaroni and cheese, too.

Tips adapted from Oldways Preservation Trust, Health Through Heritage,www.oldwayspt.org

Recipes

citrus salmon orange relish

Citrus Salmon

Serves 4

Citrus Salmon:

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Thyme Leaves, divided

4 salmon fillets (about 1 pound)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon McCormick® Paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

Orange Salsa:

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 seedless oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper