How Eating Seafood Affects The Immune System
Most health and wellness enthusiasts will agree that consuming things like cinnamon, elderberry, turmeric, vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea is great for the immune system. But what if there's an element you're missing that could boost the immune system exponentially and "level-up" your health and physical wellness? Here’s the deal: there is – and it’s fish!
If you’ve been wondering how eating seafood affects the immune system, this one’s for you. In this blog, you will learn what fish is best for the immune system and what great things it can do for your overall health. But first, let’s consider the effects of red meat on the immune system and why switching to fish is a good option.
The Effects of Red Meat on the Immune System
It's said that we are what we eat – if we eat healthy foods, then surely we'll be healthy too. But you might be surprised at some of the effects foods can have on our immune systems. For example, let’s consider how eating red meat affects the immune system.
Like all things in life, there are good effects and bad effects that eating red meat can have on our immune systems and bodies. Meat can be nutritious – this we know. It’s a great way to add protein, Vitamins B1 and B12, zinc, and iron to your diet. It’s vitamins B1 and B12 that strengthen our immune system tenfold. Deficiency in these two vitamins can cause a reduction in micronutrients such as lymphocytes and chromium, which our bodies need to stimulate immune defenses and fight infections.
Image by Mike Bergmann on Unsplash: Does seafood weaken your immune system? No, but red meat potentially can.
Vitamin B6 is also vital in our bodies as it aids the development of new, healthy red and white blood cells. But getting enough vitamin B6 into our diets isn't difficult at all, as red meat is vitamin B6 dense. In fact, you only need to consume about 150g to 200g of red meat each day to get your daily recommended amount of vitamin B6 (ages four and older).
That said, it’s important to note that the World Health Organization classified red meat as a possible carcinogen back in 2015. This was declared after numerous studies suggested that red meat consumption could increase your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney failure, and diabetes. As it turns out, red meat may not be so good for us after all.
Does Eating Fish Weaken Your Immune System?
After reading up on red meat, you may be wondering: does seafood weaken your immune system in a similar way? Or is it a good addition to your diet? The short answer to the first question is: no, it doesn't – and the answer to the second is a resounding yes! Studies have shown that all fish, especially fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, is incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These same studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation in our bodies and help us ward off illnesses.
What Is The Best Fish For Immune Systems?
Does eating fish help the immune system, no matter the type? Is shrimp good for the immune system? The answer to all of these pressing dietary questions is yes. All seafood, whether shellfish or regular fish, contains the vital nutrients our bodies need to keep our immune systems in tip-top shape. But what is the best fish for immune system health?
Here are a few types of fish and shellfish you can add to your diet to start boosting your immune system today.
Salmon And Tuna
Salmon and tuna are both easy to find in your local supermarket, whether fresh, frozen, or canned. These fish are incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for a healthy immune system. Both fresh and frozen salmon contain the same amounts of omega-3 acids, but some studies have shown that canned pink and red salmon have slightly higher levels of omega-3s.
Shellfish (E.g. Oysters, Shrimp, Crab)
Shrimp, crab, and oysters are all an excellent source of selenium. Studies have shown that adding selenium into your diet could strengthen your immune system and help ward off chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
When it comes to adding shellfish into your diet, there's no real difference between fresh and frozen shellfish. However, frozen shellfish is far more convenient as fresh shellfish should be consumed the same day as purchase and can be a bit more expensive.
Image by Fernando Andrade on Unsplash: Is shrimp good for the immune system? As an excellent source of selenium, which strengthens the immune system – the answer is yes!
Benefits Of Fish For The Immune System
Seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help ease our body’s inflammation response. Despite being a vital part of our immune response, helping us fight off infections and even heal damaged tissues, inflammation is also the root of many health issues such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
By adding omega-3-rich foods to your diet, you can help reduce your body's inflammatory reactions, which can help ease the symptoms of certain chronic illnesses.
Helps Ward Off And Fight Illness
The most important system in the world is, without a doubt, your immune system. Therefore, keeping it healthy and strong should be your number one concern each day.
Because seafood is so nutrient-dense, it naturally boosts your immune system, which can help you avoid and recover from illnesses much more effectively.
It may come as a surprise to learn that your eyes have a separate immune system from your body. Studies have shown that DHA, a type of omega-3 acid found in fish, is a vital structural component of our retinas. This means a lack of DHA in our diets could have a negative effect on our vision.
Adding seafood to our diets can, without a doubt, be incredibly beneficial to our health. Studies have shown that the lean, protein, and omega-3-rich ocean dwellers can not only help strengthen our immune systems but protect us against certain chronic illnesses as well. Regardless of whether you’re eating salmon, shellfish, crab, or shrimp, the benefits seafood will have on your immune system are equally strong.
Featured image by CA Creative on Unsplash