By Michael Sharp | August 7th, 2018
The sea; whenever I think about the sea it always brings me a to a state of calm; the blue water, the greenery surrounding it, the sounds of the birds, the sand, and the sun beating down on me with the wind gently breezing by.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, whenever I think of the sea, I inevitably also think of the beautiful superfoods we acquire from the water. If you don’t know, a superfood is defined as a food extremely beneficial for human health due to its nutrient capacity, or one carrying a unique or specifically health benefit.
It has been said that humans have been eating from the sea for as long as nearly a million years ago! Due to the fact that the diets of our early human ancestors have been said to be one of the healthiest, places an emphasis on the shear health benefits of food originating from the sea!
Which foods am I speaking of? Read on as I list some of the most nutrient dense foods we receive from the sea!
A Sea of Superfoods!
Salmon; one of the many fatty fish in the ocean. Salmon’s omega 3 content is what makes it a sea star for human health!
Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of fat that our bodies cannot synthesize, making this essential to obtain from our diets. These fats carry immense health benefits ranging from brain development and healthy functioning, heart heath, blood pressure reduction, reducing inflammation and pain in the body, hydrating the skin, lubricating the joints, hormone production and much more!
Salmon also contains a unique antioxidant called Astaxanthin, which is the reason for its pink color (fun fact: this is also why flamingos are pink due to their consumption of salmon and therefor Astaxanthin). This hard to pronounce nutrient (asta-ZAN-thin) is responsible for protecting the cells in our body from inflammation and damage!
The sea community of shellfish offer some of the most nutrient dense seafood on the planet, which is why I must title this second sea superfood “Shellfish”, because if not, this list would be pages long full of different varieties of shellfish.
Shellfish such as clams, oysters, krill, lobster, shrimp, crab, muscles, and scallops carry a range of health beneficial nutrients such as zinc, iron, selenium, omega 3, choline, copper and most importantly, collagen.
Collagen is a type of protein produced in the human body but decreases in production by 1% every year after the age of 20, being a major reason why skin sags and wrinkles. Besides being one of the main components of the dermis layer of our skin and providing elasticity to the skin, collagen is also used to maintain healthy joints, bones, nails, hair, and digestive lining.
When you swim in the ocean, do you ever get that weird slimy green stuff wrapped around your leg? That my friends is seaweed, one of the most nutrient dense foods known to man!
There are thousands of varieties of sea plants just as there are thousand of different kind of land plants, the difference being that some believe sea vegetables are even more nutrient dense that their land counterparts!
Seaweed contains many nutrients including magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, protein and more! Seaweed is also known for its antioxidant content, containing pigments like phycocyanin’s, chlorophylls, carotenoids, and phycobiliproteins that are responsible for the color of the seaweed but also act as major anti-inflammatory compounds for humans!
One of the most health beneficial qualities of seaweed is its iodine content. Iodine is a key nutrient used by the thyroid, the king of metabolism, to produce its main hormone!
These tiny oily fish pack a nutrient dense punch!
Because these little guys can be eaten whole, we are basically eating many of its vital organs (I know, hold back your gags folks!) including the brain, liver, skin, bones, and any other organ of the sardine. These organs typically hold most of the nutrients needed to help the fish survive, providing us with these exact same vital nutrients when we consume the fish.
Sardines practically provide a little dose of almost every nutrient you could think of. Being an oily fish, sardines also provide a potent dose of omega 3 fat!
And there you have it! The next time you ponder the sea, remember to think of the many superfoods it provides, then head to your local grocery store to pick these foods up, or, drop a line in the water and start fishing!
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Keep on living holistic,
Michael Sharp, CNP, NNCP.
DISCLAIMER: The information listed above is for educational purposes and discussion of general health information only. The information, opinions, ideas, and suggestions listed above are in no way intended to diagnose disease/health issues or act as a treatment for disease/health issues and is not to act as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Before taking part in any natural or alternative approach to health, these approaches should be reviewed by your doctor for approval especially if there are existing health conditions and if prescribed and or pharmaceutical medication is being taken due to the potential for interactions between medications and any natural approaches to health.