Seafood Swap

Have you considered a Seafood Swap on some of your favorite foods? Summer is a great time to use seafood swaps in burgers, tacos, pizzas, pastas, skewers, salads and more! Bonus: It’s good for our health and the planet’s health.

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership staff have always liked to experiment in the kitchen and try out new recipes, and we’re here to share some of our learnings. This is a great time to learn how to swap different ingredients into favorite dishes or even try a new recipe. Below, we’ll talk about ideas for swapping seafood into your family’s favorite foods, talk about how different species of seafood can be swapped into dishes, and also share some tips on how we are creatively using items from our pantry to make recipes work when we don’t have all the correct ingredients on hand.

Also, check out our blog post about using canned or frozen seafood and another about our favorite comfort foods with seafood.

Seafood Swaps

Seafood works for all of your family’s favorite foods – even comfort foods! Think fish and shellfish when making burgers, tacos, pizza, salad, sandwiches, and more!

Tacos: This is arguably the easiest place to add seafood. Any fish as well as shrimp, lobster and scallops are all perfect vehicles for taco seasoning. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes (and we have dozens of variations):

 

Burgers: There are several types of seafood-based burgers available at grocery stores across the country, including salmon, Alaska pollock, shrimp and mahi mahi. But, you can also make them at home! Any “cake” recipe – think crab cakes – can be sized up for a full-size burger or just make mini sliders!

 

 

Pizza: Though we’re a nutrition organization, we strongly believe there is a place in everyone’s diet for pizza! Seafood makes for a great pizza topper. Try some of our favorite combos:

 

What Seafood Should I Buy?

In our Ultimate Guide to Buying Seafood and Ultimate Guide to Cooking Seafood, we share a lot of information about utilizing different species of seafood, as well as offer tips to make the most of what you can find at the grocery store. This includes lists of fish that have similar qualities such as taste profiles and cooking techniques.

If you’re looking for:

  • A light, delicate fish. Choose a lean fish, such as barramundi, sea bass, cod, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, mahi mahi, perch, pollock, red snapper, rockfish, sole or yellowfin tuna. For shellfish, shrimp, crab and lobster are light and lean.
  • For a richer taste. Choose a fattier fish usually with darker flesh, such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, swordfish, trout or albacore tuna. Several shellfish varieties fit in this rich category and offer delicious briny flavor, such as clams, mussels and oysters.

In terms of cooking style, if you want to:

  • Grill: Many fish stand up to the heat, and it can bring out a delicious smoky flavor. Pick a variety that is firmer in texture, such as catfish, mahi mahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp, snapper, swordfish or tuna. Many fish also are great on grilled skewers!
  • Steam or poach: Try lean fish – mild-flavored with tender, white or pale flesh – such as sea bass, cod, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut or pollock.
  • Broil or bake: Try a medium-fat fish, such as bluefish, catfish, salmon or swordfish.
  • Eat it without having to cook it: Choose a precooked fish that’s frozen (so you just have to warm it up), or opt for canned tuna, salmon, sardines or crab.

White fish is generally the best example of these “species swaps.” White fish is simply a mild-flavored, often slightly-sweet fish, which can be interchangeable in recipes. These include wild Alaska pollock, bass, cod, grouper, haddock and halibut. There are also some thinner fillets of white fish, which can be used in these recipes but keep in mind they cook much faster, including flounder, perch and sole. Learn all about these white fish options in this blog post.

To sum it up: Let availability and freshness be your guides. It’s easy to substitute one fish for another in a recipe. Also, keep in mind the frozen and canned sections offer the same health benefits and often a wider variety to choose from.

Recipe Ingredients on Hand

If you’re not be able to find all the ingredients to try out a specific recipe and we’re here to offer some easy swaps for some popular ingredients. Some general tips:

  • Fruits and vegetables can swap in recipes. For example, if you want to make this Smoked Salmon and Kale Frittata recipe that calls for kale, try spinach or even frozen spinach, just make sure you wring out excess liquid. Keep in mind for baking, the liquid in a recipe can throw off the end texture or the baking time.
  • Acidic liquid ingredients such as lemon juice and vinegar can be swapped, just keep in mind the end flavor profile. It’s a great time to use those random bottles of vinegar at the back of your pantry!
  • We always recommend using a lot of herbs and spices for flavoring, and only add salt if needed. Experiment with different flavor combos using those dried herbs you bought for a specific recipe months ago. We’ve been playing around with different spices in our tuna and salmon salads and found curry is amazing paired in this staple! (Try this recipe.)

Here are some tips to use ingredients you have on hand for cooking fish dishes:

Recipe calls for: Try swapping:
Buttermilk Yogurt, or milk with a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar added
Bread crumbs Rolled oats, crushed cereal, or crushed crackers
Cream (half and half) For one cup, 7/8 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp. butter
Cream (heavy) For one cup, 3/4 cup milk plus 1/3 cup butter
Cream cheese pureed cottage cheese
Garlic (clove) One clove of garlic = 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Herbs (fresh) 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh = 1 tsp. dried herbs
Lemon zest Approximately double the quantity of lemon juice
Mayonnaise Avocado, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream
Sour cream plain Greek yogurt
Wine Broth, fruit juice mixed with a splash of vinegar

Dish On Fish: Maple Walnut-Crusted Halibut

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish On Fish:

While we are always interested in eating a delicious seafood dinner, spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning is not always appealing. That’s why this Maple Walnut-Crusted Sheet Pan Halibut is a seafood mealtime must—it takes just minutes to make and cooks in one pan!

Halibut is a “meaty” white fish that can handle some heat! Whether grilling it or popping it in the oven (at 400 degrees for this recipe), you’ll love how well this sumptuous fish holds up to the heat. In this recipe, the crunch of the walnuts pairs deliciously with a little sweetness (thanks to maple syrup), which is why we absolutely love this dish. If you’ve eaten halibut in a restaurant but have yet to try it at home, we’re challenging you to add this amazing recipe to your repertoire—it’s a great fish dish to start with!

The first order of business is selecting the halibut. Ask your fishmonger for the freshest pieces or opt for frozen and defrost in your fridge. Frozen halibut is a great option to have on hand when it comes to weekly menu planning and meal prepping.

Not only is halibut delicious, it provides a boatload of healthful nutrients, like muscle-building protein, immune-boosting selenium and heart-healthy omega-3s. Eating fish regularly has been shown to help improve cholesterol, manage weight and boost brain and heart health.

This recipe is one of our personal favorites, as the combination of sweet maple syrup and walnut crunch adds a flavorful texture to this nutrient-filled dish.

Maple Walnut-Crusted Sheet Pan Halibut

Ingredients
  • 1 lb halibut skin removed
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears 6 – 8 spears per serving, ends trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 lemons sliced
Instructions

1. Heat oven to 400°F.Line a sheet pan with foil and either spray it lightly with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
2. Trim tough ends from asparagus. Toss with a teaspoon of olive oil.
3. Peel and slice sweet potatoes very thinly (1/8th inch). Toss with 2 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Chop walnuts, transfer to a small bowl and combine with lemon zest, maple syrup and dill.
5. Remove skin from halibut pieces, spread opposite sides of each with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Press walnut mixture on top.
6. Arrange asparagus and sweet potatoes on baking sheet and top with halibut.
7. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Let stand for 5-7 minutes. Serve.

Little Seafoodies

The benefits of seafood for kids are big! Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system. So how do moms get their kids to eat more of this delicious, nutritious food?

Seafood Nutrition Partnership talked to hundreds of moms and asked top nutrition experts and chefs for their input — all parents with tested-true tips.

February Is Heart Month: Take the Heart-Healthy Pledge and Eat Seafood 2x Per Week

February is all about things heart related including American Heart Month!

This is a perfect month to learn more about your heart, your risk for heart disease and how to prevent it. Increasing your physical activity, managing stress, sleeping better and quitting smoking are all ways that the American Heart Association suggests to help out your heart.

But don’t feel overwhelmed; even small changes can be good. A great place to start is by eating seafood two times a week. Eating two servings of fatty fish per week has been linked to a lower risk of heart attack and other cardiac issues. Seafood is loaded with essential omega-3s, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Taking the heart-healthy pledge and choosing to include more seafood in your diet is a perfect place to start caring for your heart.

Ideas for getting your seafood fix twice a week:

  1. Have seafood for lunch. Pack a lunch with canned tuna, salmon or sardines. These are quick and easy options that are great on a salad or sandwich for extra added protein and healthy fat.
  2. Change it up. Have fish you’ve never tried before. Some unique fish options include grilled Atlantic or Pacific mackerel, oven-baked Pollock and Ahi Tuna.
  3. Shellfish is Seafood Too! Clams, mussels, oysters and calamari all supply omega-3s and will help you reach your goal of seafood twice a week.
  4. Get creative with your seafood choices. If you have limited seafood options, change up the way you eat it! Try salmon patties instead of your typical piece of salmon, a shrimp stir-fry with colorful vegetables, grilled fish tacos with a tangy slaw or pan-seared cod in white wine sauce (recipe provided below).

Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Sauce
Serves 4

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the cod:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh cod, cut into 4 fillets (or 4, 6-ounce fillets)
  • Salt and pepper

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. For the white wine tomato basil sauce: Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and blistering, but still hold their shape, 9 to 12 minutes. Add in the white wine, stir, and allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and set aside until needed.
  3. For the cod: Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Season both sides of cod with salt and pepper. Place cod in the oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the cod over and place the pan in the oven to continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until it’s cooked through.
  4. Pour the white wine tomato basil sauce over the cod and serve at once.

Recipe: https://bakerbynature.com/pan-seared-cod-in-white-wine-tomato-basil-sauce/

Dish On Fish: Perfect Seafood Recipes For Lunches

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish on Fish:

We get it. Time is short, deadlines are looming and hunger has officially struck. If you don’t have time for a leisurely lunch during the day—but don’t want a boring brown bag (who does?)—try our easy and delicious seafood lunches that you can prep and pack in minutes.

Seafood for lunch? You bet. Not only is it an easy way to get in one of your 2-3 seafood meals each week, but seafood is loaded with healthy fats like omega-3s and protein. The omega-3s in seafood—DHA, and EPA—are important for many reasons, including boosting brain health and focus. Plus, seafood is a complete protein, to help keep your energy up throughout the day and prevent that post-lunch slump.

These lunches are packed with heart-healthy omega-3s and protein, which will help keep your energy up and prevent that post-lunch slump. In fact, these lunches are so delectable that you’ll be watching the clock all morning.

We are going to share an a-mazing Avocado Tuna Salad plus some other fun variations on seafood lunches.  These lunches are so delectable that you’ll be watching the clock all morning, eagerly awaiting your lunch break. Between the blend of flavors and fish options, you’ll never be bored with your brown bag lunch again. These dishes will also help you reach your goal of two seafood servings a week, to meet seafood recommendations.

Blackened Shrimp

Nothing compliments the taste of fresh shrimp, like mixing flavorful spices and herbs (to give it a real kick). This blackened shrimp is not only a great option for lunch, you’ll also turn to it all year as an easy (multi-day) meal prep option. Blackened shrimp is perfectly incorporated into a variety of different dishes throughout the week—like shrimp tacos! Get the recipe here.

 

Avocado Tuna Salad

No to-go lunch list is complete without tuna salad. However, this twist on the traditional dish is both tasty and creamy, you’ll be wondering how you ever made it any other way. Get the recipe here.

 

 

Easy Egg Crab Muffins

Egg bites have become the latest brunch craze, perhaps thanks to their flavor and the easy-to-eat shape. Unlike the ones you may have seen before, we promise you won’t find these egg crab muffin bites at any corner shop! Get the recipe here.

 

 

 

365 New Days, 365 New Chances

365 new days, 365 new chances. Don’t you love having that “fresh” start to the New Year? There’s something so refreshing about it. Do you set New Year’s resolutions? I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to know that, according to Inc. Magazine, the top three resolutions reported for last year were diet or eat healthier, exercise more, and lose weight.

Ideally, a new year presents a perfect time to review the last year and make healthier changes, but are you ready for a lifestyle change? Individuals who break down their resolutions into smaller, more manageable steps have a higher rate of accomplishing those resolutions. If you are searching for a healthier lifestyle, I suggest you start with the Healthy Heart Pledge.

The Healthy Heart Pledge is a commitment to yourself that includes the following components:

  • I pledge to eat two servings of seafood each week.
  • I recognize seafood is a healthy choice for me and my family. It is one of the leanest proteins with a variety of nutrients beneficial to heart and brain health.
  • I know I will help myself and my family improve our health by committing to eat at least two servings of seafood each week as recommended by the USDA HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and supplement with omega-3s.

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership aims to reduce the risks of heart disease, improve baby brain wellness and increase memory for seniors by educating Americans about the health benefits of sustainable seafood and building awareness of seafood’s essential nutritional value.

See more at this link: http://www.seafoodnutrition.org/healthy-heart-pledge.html

Seafood is such a great source of lean protein—that’s just one reason why I suggest you start here for your resolutions. The American Heart Association also recommends eating fatty fish at least twice each week because of the health benefits to the heart, including decreased risk of arrhythmias (which can lead to sudden death), decreased triglyceride levels and perhaps a slightly lower blood pressure. There are also many studies looking at the benefits of omega-3 fats for brain and joint health, depression, and anxiety.

With all these health benefits it is imperative to figure out how to fit this selection into your weekly meal plan. Fatty fish incudes fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and trout.

Let’s bring the SEA to your TABLE. Get creative with the ways you incorporate seafood into your diet so it doesn’t get cumbersome. Let’s start with my favorite fatty fish—salmon! Salmon is very versatile. If you’re tired of eating a simple salmon filet over and over again, this fish is one that can be switched up!

Try salmon the following ways:

  • Salmon pizza. It may sound odd to some, but it tastes delicious! For a healthy swap use a whole-wheat pizza crust and, instead of alfredo sauce, use fat-free cream cheese. Try the recipe here.
  • Salmon cakes
  • Salmon club with avocado: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with grilled salmon and smashed avocado.
  • Basic blackened salmon—see the recipe below.

Basic blackened Salmon

Serves 4

All you need:

  • Blackened Seasoning (Recipe below or your favorite store-bought)
    • 3 tbsp paprika
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • ½ tsp oregano
  • Spray avocado oil
  • 4 (5 oz.) Responsible Choice salmon
  • Topping options:
    • Fresh guacamole
    • Tropical salsa
    • Bruschetta

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to broil high.
  2. Combine blackened seasoning mixture
  3. Spray salmon filets with avocado oil. Heavily sprinkle blackened seasoning on filets.
  4. Broil for 10 minutes or until flaky.
  5. Add topping of choice.

 

Live Smarter And Heathier With Seafood

Fish provides essential health for everyone in the family.

Here are some excellent reasons to celebrate National Seafood Month:

  1. LIVE (HEALTHIER) LONGER: Fish literally saves lives. Eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause by 17 percent. Seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are preventable through nutrition and lifestyle changes, like adding omega-3s to your diet. Low seafood intake contributes to 55,000 deaths each year, making seafood deficiency a leading dietary contributor to preventable death in the U.S. Older adults with highest fish consumption lived an average of 2.2 years longer.
  2. SEAFOOD IS A “PROTEIN WITH BENEFITS:” Seafood sits among the highest-quality proteins (like eggs, meats, poultry and dairy) and offers additional health benefits. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve how you feel during pregnancy and help your child develop a healthy brain and eyes, and improve memory and sharpness. As a “protein with benefits,” leading health organizations recommend Americans eat seafood at least twice a week.
  1. SEAFOOD IS BRAIN FOOD: “As calcium is to the bones, DHA is to the brain,” says Dr. Tom Brenna, member of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Seafood provides docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 essential for brain development and function, helping neurons trigger and cells regenerate. It is such an important building block that people with low levels of it have measurably smaller brains! The FDA and EPA agree seafood consumption is especially important for pregnant or nursing women because eating fish regularly helps with the growth and development of children’s brains and even helps boost IQ. Babies from moms who ate seafood twice a week had a higher IQ averaging 5.8 points. People who regularly eat fish are 20% less likely than their peers to have depression.7 In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has endorsed the fatty acids in fish as an effective part of depression treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources cited at seafoodnutrition.org

Top 6 Secrets For Getting Kids To Eat More Seafood

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits of seafood for kids are big! Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system. So how do moms get their kids to eat more of this delicious, nutritious food? Seafood Nutrition Partnership talked to hundreds of moms and asked top nutrition experts and chefs for their input — all parents with tested-true tips. Here are the ones that, when put into action with real moms as part of SNP’s Little Seafoodies program, seemed to work best.

Here are the top six secrets to getting your kids to eat more seafood:

  1. HAVE FIN FUN! WHEN SEAFOOD LOOKS FUN, IT’S “YUM!” For younger kids, this can simply be visually appealing, like a sandwich shaped like a fish. The heart of this concept is for there to be an exciting component. Maybe it’s interactive and they can “play” with their food or make a taco or bowl with their favorite flavor combos.
  1. DIPPING MEANS YUMMING! Seafood, the perfect ketchup delivery device! More than three-quarters of respondents in our mom survey said dipping sauces would be a good way to get their kids to try seafood. Ketchup, ranch dressing and barbecue sauce are kids’ faves.
  1. DO THE SEAFOOD SWAP! “Kids love chicken fingers, breaded fish or shrimp is really not that different than chicken,” said Nelson. “Kids love burgers, patty up some shrimp or fish and make burgers.”

“Our kids love tacos and spaghetti…whose kids don’t love those? So sometimes I just substitute beef with shrimp or fish in my tacos and spaghetti sauce,” said Indianapolis mom of two Stephanie Hart. “I find that if you introduce seafood with familiar flavors your kids already love, they’ll eat it with few or no questions. Once they get used to it, then they’re willing to expand and try new things.”

  1. TOP IT. KIDS LOVE IT! Kids love fruit? Pile it on! Try making an avocado and fruit salsa with mango, pineapple or even strawberries to top a fillet. “Serve fish with sauces and toppings that are flavorful and preferred by kids,” suggested Jessica Levinson, mom of twin girls, dietitian and author of 52-Week Meal Planner. “For example, my Orange Maple Salmon goes over swimmingly with kids because of the sweet flavor of maple syrup.”
  1. ADD IT TO A FAVE, WATCH ’EM RAVE! Crab in mac & cheese, please! Tuna on pasta makes it go fasta! “I got my daughter back on the shrimp lover’s wagon by adding it to her favorite foods like cheese quesadillas and as a topping on homemade pizza (which she makes herself),” said mom, dietitian and co-founder of Teaspoon of Spice, Deanna Segrave-Daly.
  1. OUR BEST ADVICE IS TO KEEP TRYING. “Seafood on the menu doesn’t happen overnight— it’s a series of trial and error. Being willing to ‘try and error’ is what landed a variety of seafood on my kids plate today,” said dietitian and mom Robin Plotkin.

For more ways to increase your seafood intake, visit seafoodnutrition.org/seafoodsmarts

How Omega-3s In Seafood Can Help Boost Your Health

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish on Fish:

You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of omega-3’s – because this fatty acid is the key to everything – from good skin and strong brain and eye health to a better overall mood! With seafood, getting your omega-3’s is as easy as 1-2-3.

What are omega-3s?

Because our bodies on their own cannot make omega-3s, it is essential we get these healthy fatty acids from our food. Health professionals recommend we take in anywhere from 250 to 1,000 mg of the omega-3s EPA and DHA per day. Unfortunately, the current average intake by Americans is only about 90 mg/day. In order to meet the recommended U.S. Dietary Guidelines, people are encouraged to eat at least two servings of seafood each week, which will help build up their omega-3 levels.

How do omega-3s benefit me?

Omega-3s provide us with a whole laundry list of health benefits. Here are some of the key advantages.

  • Promoting Brain Health ­– Seafood provides docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 that is essential for brain development and function, since it helps neurons trigger and cells regenerate. DHA is important for the brain—from prenatal development to the aging brain. Since our bodies do not make omega-3s, it is critical that pregnant women, breastfeeding moms and young children get DHA from fish in their diets regularly, for optimal brain and eye development in babies and youngsters. Also, studies have shown that omega-3s may be helpful weapons in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Fighting Depression ­– Omega-3s can have mood-boosting effects on the brain that, in turn, can help ease symptoms of depression. Research has shown that the fatty acids found in seafood, particularly EPA, can help combat depressionand benefit those with mood disorders. This also applies to post-partum depression. Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega-3s can help reduce the risk of baby blues.
  • Reducing Risk of Premature Birth ­– Premature birth is a critical global health issue, with an estimated 15 million babies born too early each year. Studies have shown that when pregnant women increase their daily intake of omega-3s, it can help lower the risk of having a baby prematurely by as much as 11%. Adding EPA and DHA to the diet of a pregnant woman also can have a positive effect on the visual and cognitive development of the baby.
  • Supporting Eye Health ­– Omega-3s may help reduce the risk of developing problems with vision (such as macular degeneration) as we age. Foods containing DHA, like seafood, help support our eyes’ retinal development and our overall eye health.
  • Enhancing Skin ­– The omega-3 fatty acid EPA may help promote the skin’s oil production, as well as skin hydration. Eating the recommended 2-3 servings of seafood each week can help cell membranes hold water, which results in softer and smoother skin.

Looking for a recipe that embraces all of the amazing health benefits we just talked about? Try cooking up salmon, one of the most nutrient-dense foods that packs a boatload of heart-healthy omega-3s. These quick and easy Grilled Salmon Skewers should do the trick!

Grilled Salmon Skewers

Servings: 2 each for 2 people

Ingredients

For the skewers:

  • 3/4 pound salmon, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
  • 8 (10-inch) bamboo skewers (will use two skewers per serving, with two servings per person)

For the marinade:

  • 1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil (not extra virgin; pick something with a higher smoke point)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Prep: Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 1 hour to keep them from catching fire. Preheat grill to medium heat (about 375˚ F).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the marinade ingredients.
  3. Double skewer the salmon and lemon slices, folding them in half and spearing them onto two skewers one at a time. (The double skewer aids in turning the salmon kebobs on the grill.) Brush both sides of skewered salmon with the marinade.
  4. Oil the grates on the grill, then carefully place salmon skewers onto the hot grill. Grill skewers for 3-4 minutes per side or until salmon is cooked through and opaque.