There are so many options for adding raw seafood to your diet, from poke bowls to raw oysters, and from sashimi to ceviche. Raw seafood is chock-full of vital nutrients and weaving raw seafood into your diet comes with some huge health benefits. Eating raw fish lets you do away with the extra chemicals and oil, and many people love the taste. Raw fish can be healthy, delicious, and sustainable!
Benefits of Raw Seafood
- Omega-3 Fats – Fish is naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to so many things from heart health to reducing depression and anxiety. Frying fish may reduce the amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids in the fish, so eating raw fish can be a great way to get as many Omega-3 fats as possible. Topping the charts for heart health and Omega-3 fatty acids are tuna and salmon, both of which are great options to eat raw.
- Reduced Consumption of Chemicals – Raw fish doesn’t contain contaminants that form when fish is fried or grilled. For instance, fish cooked under high heat may contain varying amounts of heterocyclic amines, a known carcinogen. Fresh raw fish is a great way to get all of the health benefits of fish without those contaminants.
- Rich Nutrients – Fish is a great source of protein, as well as many vitamins and minerals that help your body function well. Weaving raw fish into your diet gives your body a boost of many crucial vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A and vitamin D. Vitamin A contains powerful antioxidants, and vitamin D promotes healthy bones and teeth since it helps your body use calcium.
Things to Look Out For
There are some risks that come with eating raw seafood, such as an increased risk of bacteria. It is generally recommended that high-risk groups— such as people with compromised immune systems, babies, and older adults— should not eat raw or undercooked fish. If you are going to eat raw seafood, it pays to be informed and minimize risk. Here are a couple of things to look out for:
- Bacteria – While rare, the most common risk of eating raw seafood is being exposed to harmful bacteria and parasites such as tapeworms. The risk is very low, though, and most parasites and bacteria can be easily killed when fish is frozen before consumption.
- The Solution – The best thing to do is to find a trusted source for your raw seafood. Look for restaurants with good reviews and inspection ratings, consider the fish suppliers, and don’t be afraid to ask establishments about what they do to prepare their raw seafood safely.
- Mercury – Raw fish can contain high levels of chemical contaminants such as methylmercury. Mercury occurs naturally in our environment but it’s also a byproduct of pollution that enters our oceans where it builds up in fish. Consuming too much methylmercury on a regular basis has been linked to some serious health issues such as memory loss and hair loss.
- The Solution – According to the Food and Drug Administration, one week’s consumption of tuna or any raw fish is not going to change the methylmercury levels in your body at all. Some fish are also naturally lower in mercury (like shrimp and salmon), while others naturally contain higher levels of mercury (such as swordfish).
Raw seafood comes with some wonderful benefits, and the raw bar at your local seafood restaurant is a fantastic option for weaving it into your diet. If you’re looking for a great source of raw seafood, check out our Bozeman raw bar and enjoy some fresh oysters, delicious ceviche, and more. Gather your friends or family and come down to Feast Raw Bar and Restaurant; your table is waiting for you!