Sometimes, you might get the crazy idea that you should take control of your own body.
Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea – you’re on the right track! Your next step is to find out exactly how you should take control.
But here’s one you may not have heard much about: pescatarianism.
You may be thinking, “What on earth is a pescatarian?”
Don’t worry – this post will cover all of your questions, and explain why a pescatarian diet might be right for you.
So, if you want to try a new and healthy diet, keep reading to learn 10 reasons why you should consider pescatarianism.
First, let’s find out what it really is.
What is Pescatarianism?
Pescatarian diets may seem new to you, but they’ve been around for thousands of years. In fact, Asian and Mediterranean cultures have relied heavily on fish for their nutrients for generations.
The logic behind the modern form of the diet goes something like this:
If we hadn’t been forced to kill the creatures we had to as early humans to get our protein due to the scarcity of wild fruits and vegetables, we all would have been vegetarians or vegans. And now that we can choose for ourselves what we eat on a daily basis, we should be smarter about what foods we eat.
And that choice should involve seafood products instead.
Pescatarians stay away from land animals and birds, which includes chicken, beef, pork, and other poultry.
Instead, they eat seafood like salmon, tuna, trout, whitefish, and sardines. Pescatarian diets also allow for shellfish like lobster, shrimp, or crayfish.
But it isn’t just seafood.
In reality, pescatarianism is more of a slight variation on traditional vegetarian diets.
Pescatarians can eat any kind of fruit, vegetable, grain, bean, seed, or nut.
They just choose to bring more nutrients and health benefits into their diets from seafood than they’d get through plant products alone.
Benefits of Becoming a Pescatarian
Pescatarians have no problem reaching their recommended daily allowances of virtually all the nutrients their bodies need.
Fish contain many necessary vitamins, including the B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin D – all of which are known to be beneficial for the nervous system, vision, and bones.
Fish also have loads of essential minerals, like zinc, iodine, selenium, and iron.
Seafood is also the best source of omega-3 fatty acids you can find. According to MayoClinic.com, a high intake of these fatty acids is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, high blood triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure.
So, while vegetarians and vegans have to supplement many of these nutrients into their diets, pescatarians needn’t think twice about whether they’re getting them or not.
2. Full of Protein
If you become a pescatarian, you’ll most likely have a lower risk of dying from every major chronic medical problem.
Because of the incredible amount of protein in seafood.
A study published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” in 2012 reported that people who received more of their protein from fish and plants than red meat were far less likely to die prematurely.
Also, the significantly lower amounts of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol per serving contribute to a much healthier body overall – one that can make use of all that extra protein more efficiently than ever.
3. Increased Fertility
There’s a reason oysters are thought to be an aphrodisiac. In addition to adding to your life, a pescatarian diet may help you bring new life to the world.
The high levels of those amazing omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help regulate your body’s reproductive hormones, and increase blood flow to your reproductive areas.
Zinc and selenium, also found in high amounts in fish, are very important to testosterone and sperm production.
So, if you’re having trouble conceiving, you should definitely consider a pescatarian diet.
4. Better Mental Function
If your brain doesn’t get the right nutrients it needs on a daily basis, you can forget expecting it to work at full power.
And you guessed it – a pescatarian diet can help your brain reach its full capacity. How, you might ask?
Once again, it’s because of those omega-3s! Research into the impact on the function of the brain shows that omega-3 fatty acids can boost the function of neurotransmitters, and improve complex cortical processing and attention.
In fact, pregnant women who consumed lower levels of omega-3s were shown to give birth to children who had lower memory test scores and trouble with learning.
So please, think smart, and eat more fish.
5. Reduced Risk of Cognitive Decline
As we age, we’re more susceptible to memory loss and brain impairments like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
However, when you consume the amount of omega-3s in fish, you can naturally treat and prevent such diseases and disorders.
And while we are still learning about the brain and its impairments, one study concluded that a higher intake of fish was associated with a lower risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s.
6. Healthy Skin and Hair
True beauty secrets are hard to come by – even though it seems like everyone has them. Unfortunately, you can’t just go out to your local cosmetic store to find them.
But have no fear: you can go to your local supermarket instead.
There’s a wide range of evidence to support the effectiveness of omega-3s found in fish in supporting healthier skin and fighting off undesirable skin conditions.
Some laboratory studies have revealed that omega-3 fatty acids reduce skin inflammation and the effects of psoriasis.
Research has also shown that a high-seafood diet could reduce the appearance of both acne and eczema – again thanks to its high omega-3 content. Supplements of omega-3s are often reported to nourish hair follicles for shinier and stronger hair.
7. Better Circulation and Heart Health
Higher cholesterol, blood clots, and inflammation increase blood pressure – but the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA reduce the risk of damage to your blood vessels.
Seafood also is thought to increase levels of nitric oxide in the body, which results in a relaxation of blood vessels that improves blood flow.
So if you want a healthier overall cardiovascular system, consider ordering the fish instead.
8. Lower Risk of Cancer
One of the leading factors in developing cancer is high levels of inflammation. That’s why so many people try vegetarian and vegan diets – to get away from the inflammatory effects of meat products.
But research has shown that consuming more fish and seafood can help fight cancer by suppressing that inflammation. In fact, pescatarians are even better protected against cancer compared with vegetarians, according to some studies.
The omega-3s in fish may even be able to stall tumor growth in people who have already been diagnosed with cancer.
So, if you’d like to lower your risk of cancer – or better your chances of fighting it, try going pescatarian.
9. Faster Weight Loss
As with any alternative diet, there are promises of weight loss with pescatarianism. However, eating lots of fish over other fattier meats may be truly effective for losing weight!
Protein in fish is also linked to higher satiety – or fullness. That means you’ll need to eat less overall. And if you’re looking to get stronger by increasing your muscle tissue, the huge amounts of protein in fish will help you build muscle more quickly.
10. Environmental Benefit
When you cut beef out of your diet, you’re helping the planet.
The Vegetarian Resource Group reported that one pound of beef required 2,500 gallons of water to produce. Compare that to a pound of wheat, which requires only 25 gallons of water.
In fact, for every hamburger that came from an animal raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest was destroyed. And in the United States, more than 260 million acres of forest have been cut down for animal agriculture since 2005 alone.
In other words, moving away from beef altogether could be the greatest contribution you make in your life to saving our planet. And you won’t even have to become a vegetarian to do so.
Whatever type of lifestyle you choose to better your health and positively impact the environment deserves praise.
But don’t worry if you can’t switch to pescatarianism entirely from day one. Work your way into it by choosing certain days of the week where you cut out other meat products entirely. Eventually, you’ll be a fully-fledged fish fanatic.
Do you like the idea of becoming a pescatarian? If so, let me know how it works for you in the comments below!
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