Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Find out what pescatarian is and the benefits of the pescatarian lifestyle!
So what exactly is a pescatarian?
Said Pesk-a-tarian. A Pescatarian is someone who does not eat animals from the land, only of the sea. Some people also forgo animal biproducts from the land, but it depends on the individuals. The common idea is only eating sea-food for your animal protein, while eating a diet full of fruits, vegetable and carbs. Some people may eat eggs and cheese. There are a rising number of pescatarians across the globe for a variety of reasons. The biggest reasons are the great health benefits, and many people see it as a compromise between omnivores and vegans!
Fish & Seafood Are Rich in Vitamins & Minerals
The first amazing benefit of a pescatarian diet is the amount of nutrients packed into the food! With such variety in the ocean, it's easy to see how almost all of your necessary vitamins can be checked off the list with this diet. Fish and seafood are packed with things like vitamin D, riboflavin, as well as the popular Omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. Maybe next time you're cramping from a run, try some nice tuna steaks instead of a banana!
The ocean actually boasts one of the best sources of zinc in the world! Just one ounce of oyster will provide you with your entire daily need of Zinc! Seafood also boasts high levels of calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health and reducing your risk of osteoporosis.
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Fish Are an Excellent Source of Protein
One benefit of a pescatarian diet is the variety of protein sources. So many people are used to getting their protein from only a handful of animals in this world. The oceans are full of animals of all shapes and sizes that can provide that for us! Not to mention there are plenty of sea-weeds and algae that provide us with great health benefits! Did you know that pound for pound, salmon has less cholesterol than beef does? Not to mention it's packed with amazing, healthy fats. If you're going to eat animal protein, you might as well get extra benefits, right?
Encourages Healthy Skin & Hair
All those healthy fats and minerals we touched on earlier? They don't just help your heart and brain stay in top-notch gear, they also have some qualities that help your appearance! Fatty acids and minerals can help keep your hair moisturized. Having moisturized hair means it will grow stronger, and subsequently longer! Not to mention a diet rich in minerals and fats can help keep your skin clear from blemishes, and it will be able to deal with dry air easier! So your skin AND heart will be smiling with this diet! Just one of the many benefits of a pescatarian diet.
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Promotes Heart Health
Besides being delicious, a perk of a pescatarian diet is it's ability to improve circulation and help your cardiovascular health. This diet can decrease your risk of arrhythmias aka an abnormal heartbeat. This also decreases your chance of a sudden death related to this medical issue! The wonderful Omega-3 fatty acids in a pescatarian diet can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduces the risk of death from coronary heart disease!
A healthy heart can mean the ability to play with your kids for longer, go for a better run, and lift heavier weights at the gym! Not to mention your cardiovascular system plays into every other system in your body!
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Helps Cognitive Functioning
Seafood is packed with those Omega-3s we are always hearing about! Why are Omega-3s so important? Well they can help with cardiovascular abilities, help stave off cancer, and they can even improve function of the neurotransmitters in your brain! This means that by eating a diet higher in this essential ingredient, you can actually lower your chances of getting Alzheimer's of dementia!
On top of that it has proven that plenty of folic acid and Omega-3s can help babies in utero. By increasing your intake if you are pregnant you are supporting the development of your child's brain, skin and eyes! Pair this with tons of vegetables and you're creating a recipe for a nice, healthy baby!
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Pescatarian Can Be Paired With Any Lifestyle!
When fish and seafood are your only animal-based protein options, sometimes people can be wary of where the variety is. Ironically that couldn't be further from the truth. A 2010 study by Marine Life estimates that there are over 230,000 species in the sea! So you can imagine how many different recipes could be created.
This is great because it means you can morph Pescatarianism to fit your lifestyle in many ways! Are all your friends interested in the Keto diet? You can pair the two together! Having such a variety at your disposal means you can easily create or morph recipes. High fat, low fat, high carb, low carb...whatever! You're sure to be able to find something to fit your needs. Plus, many seafoods can be eaten raw or cooked and then served cold. This means your coworkers can't complain about heating up fish in the office microwave!
Eating Seafood Helps the Environment!
If you're worried about your meat consumption because of the environment, then pescatarianism may be a great compromise for you! By picking sustainably sourced seafood, you can decrease your affect on the planet. Many brands now state if their catch was sustainably caught or farmed in a way that is less harmful to the environment. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a program called "The Seafood Watch" that helps you make better choices. You can actually download the app here.
Interestingly enough, fish are a better ROI in terms of farming them! For every 100 kilograms of feed fed to a fish, we can then use 61 kilograms of fish to eat! For a chicken it's only 21 kilograms of edible animal. That means by consuming more fish, you're actually keeping down the resources needed to create that fish!
So next time you're sitting down for dinner, opt for just the 'surf' side of the menu! Your health, looks, and environment will thank you!