An Ocean of Seafood

Seafood has a great role to play in a healthy balanced diet and includes white fish, oily fish and shellfish. Seafood is loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals and is a wonderful source of the important omega-3 fats, making it a fantastic package for keeping your heart and arteries healthy.

Diets that regularly include seafood have been shown to provide protection against heart disease, some cancers and dementia.

Eating seafood can also decrease the risk of blood clots, promote healthier blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of arrhythmias and help to lower blood pressure.

Shellfish such as prawns, crab, squid, octopus, lobster and mussels; white fish like cod and haddock and oily fish which includes salmon, sardines mackerel, herring and fresh tuna can all be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.

However, don’t be tempted to undo their positive benefits by cooking with unhealthy fats or serving in rich sauces or batter.

Here are some ideas:

– Toss some prawns or scallops into a pan, add some garlic or hot chillis and drizzle with a little rapeseed oil, serve with a green leafy salad for a Mediterranean-style healthy lunch option

– Bake, grill, steam or poach fish for healthy heart options and serve with a rainbow of colour on your plate

– Use slices of lemon and fresh herbs that compliment fish, such as rosemary, dill or thyme, wrap in a foil parcel and pop it in the oven

– Try out a fresh tuna and onion omelette or smoked salmon with scrambled egg for a weekend breakfast treat

– Canned fish is so convenient - serve sardines on toast or traditional salmon and cucumber sandwiches

The message is clear, we should all be aiming to include fish into our weekly diet and try to eat fish twice a week with at least one portion being an oily fish or shellfish – just watch how you cook and serve it to make it even more heart-friendly.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 29) Echo.