It’s fair to say that a high percentage of Australians will spend the best part of their break at the beach this summer. Whether it’s going for a surf, soft-sand running or beach cricket, we sure know how to make the most of our ocean’s recreational offering.
It could be said though, that as the ocean's nutritional offering goes, we lag behind the rest of the world in harnessing its power. Take for instance Japan, a country leading the pack in life expectancy thanks to its low-calorie and seafood dense diet. Nordic countries follow suit with their “New Nordic Diet” which was formulated by scientists to contain 35 percent less meat than the average Danish diet, with a focus on organic produce, eggs and seafood.
With four in five Aussies living in coastal areas, The Huffington Post Australia spoke to John Croft, a marine scientist and author of Arthritis and Aging, A Solution from the Sea, about the foods from the sea that offer the highest nutritional benefits in the hope that you’ll be motivated to ditch the dimmies and deep fried fish and go for something fresh, nutritious and best of all -- straight out of the ocean.
“Oily and high protein fish such as salmon is good for providing omega-3 fatty acids and relatively low calorie satiety. Eating the fish raw, as in sashimi is best as cooking has not denatured the full value of the nutritional components. If you have to cook it, either boil or gently fry.”
“While eating oysters raw is nutritionally the best way, mussels are usually eaten cooked. While still nutritionally valuable, cooking denatures some of the therapeutic benefits. These shellfish are highly nutritious and a good source of protein and minerals. Oysters provide the amino acid taurine, which helps the body minimise alcohol damage and New Zealand green-lipped mussels provide anti–inflammatory components.”
“Some green species can be eaten raw in salads while others can be cooked and added to vegetable dishes. Seaweeds include fibre and protein for digestive health in addition to a comprehensive list of minerals. Some species also contain valuable carbohydrate components that have been shown to address a number of disease states.”
“Crustaceans including shrimps, prawns, crabs and crayfish are a good source of protein, some offer essential minerals and also omega-3 fatty acids.”
“A serving of sardines is loaded with energy, protein, omega-3, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. 300 grams of sardines has been shown to supply 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D -- the vitamin you need to maintain strong bones and may also lower your risk of heart disease. Sardines also contain a high dose of vitamins including niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A, E, K and vitamin B12, which helps synthesise red blood cells and metabolise fats and proteins.”