Okay, maybe you are here because you are looking for some reference to your diet plan as a vegetarian. But, did you know that one common variation is fish-vegetarian?
The addition of fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet can create a healthy diet. Namely Pescetarian diet. This new diet trend is often associated with people who add aquatic animals to their vegetarian diet plan.
The Pescetarians (sometimes also called pesco-vegans) eat freshwater and saltwater fish and mollusks, as well as fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, eggs and dairy products that typically vegetarians consume. While you do not know how many people follow a model of how Pescetarian did, the interest on this type of diet seems to be increasing.
With the great benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, added with proof of health effects of fish consumption, which is high value in omega-3 fatty acids, makes the pesco-vegetarian lifestyle has a potential as a booster in healthy living and especially for cutting weight.
Who are pesco-vegetarian?
They are a heterogeneous group. These people are usually very health conscious. They try to take control of their health through the food choices they make. For many people, the pescetarianism acts as a breakthrough to vegetarianism to compromise for vegetarians that the need of a protein source from aquatic life, is important.
People who have health problems or want to lose weight can try the Pescetarian method. Comparison between the negative effects on health that can be made by eating red meat, to the benefits of plant-based diets and omega-3 fatty acids present in fish, is a reasonable reason for a convenient and feasible way to make healthy choices.
The components of the diet
The Pescetarian diet is similar to the traditional Mediterranean diet. It is vegetable based, but with fish serving as a source of primary animal proteins. As a model of Mediterranean nutrition, a healthy diet Pescetarian is full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Besides, you could just be, even with the same ways as a pescetarian diet based on typical Nordic or Japanese diet. It is an extremely flexible way of eating.
The wide variety of aquatic life available to pesco-vegetarian, each of which is said to be low in saturated fats and rich in other nutrients. Mollusc such as mussels, oysters, and clams contain many minerals.
Oysters can be the richest foods of zinc that we know, with a portion of about 110 grams, provides almost seven times the daily requirement of zinc. The same portion of mussels covers about 45% of the DV (daily value) of iron and a whopping 144% of the DV of selenium to power the body’s antioxidant system.
The same amount of mussels provides about a quarter of the calcium needs of many people, as well as the needs of a whole day of selenium. Other forms of seafood should not be neglected, such as shrimp and squid are nutritious, but they are high in cholesterol.
While some people may choose a pesco-vegetarian diet in addition to maximizing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, sardines, and mackerel, there are many varieties of sea fish and freshwater to available. Eating two portions of fatty fish per week will provide a good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6.
Other nutritional benefits of fish and seafood, including vitamin D in fatty fish and calcium in the whole, consumed fish like contained in fish such as anchovies. Ways to getting enough vitamin B12 intake in vegan diets and some vegetarian diets can be problematic, so fish is not just a lean protein, it is also a good source of vitamin B12.
Do pescetarian eat eggs?
Yes, in addition, most of them as well as vegetarians, includes both dairy and egg products into their diet. But the choice is yours.
Health benefits of pescetarian diet
There is certainly evidence that a food model like this may have positive impacts on some chronic diseases. In addition, research in 2013, the analysis of the Adventist Health Study-2 found that the vegetarian who also add fish, had lower levels of blood cholesterol, as well as a minor risk of diabetes, blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome compared to non-vegetarians.
While few studies have specifically examined the pescetarianism and the benefits of fish consumption. It lower risk of heart disease, less dementia, and depression, smarter children, lower rates of type-2 diabetes and cancer. Yes, the potential benefits of eating fish are impressive.
1. Lowering the risk of heart disease
One of the key components of health promotion of a pescetarian diet is the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish (particularly fatty fish). There are many good epidemiological studies that show that increased consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Sufficient amount of fish/seafood consumption that contains omega-3 fatty acids, could be the preventive ways of cardiovascular diseases.
Data from the Cardiovascular Health Study indicated that in the elderly, increased intake of DHA and EPA (fatty acids in fish) may reduce the risk of deadly heart attacks and the higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, the more lower incidence of congestive heart malfunction.
2. Decreasing dementia and depression risk
Causes of depression according to experts is a low level of serotonin is produced by the brain. So to solve the problem of depression should be appropriate in handling, there is an alternative to anti-depressants, which is with omega-3 fatty acids. Well, the omega-3 is the essential fatty acids that your body needs in order to accommodate the level of serotonin normally. Your body doesn’t self-produce omega-3 fatty acids, therefore you need to get it from the intake of the food you eat.
While dementia is a disease that often strikes people in old age. When experiencing dementia, a person will lose memories or even change personality.
There are two kinds of dementia, namely Alzheimer that caused by parts of the brain are not functioning, and vascular dementia caused by lack of blood circulating to the brain. Some cases dementia can also be caused by a genetic disorder.
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for increasing the brain function, whether it’s processing power or the cell’s damage prevention, so it has a purpose to protect the brain from degenerative disorders.
3. Higher IQ for children
The brain takes omega-3, as well as bones, need calcium. Therefore, when the mother was pregnant, both mother and baby need an amount of intake of this important fatty acids.
Several types of fishes are beneficial to babies and children because it contains DHA fatty acids. In our body, DHA most widely found in the brain and the eyes. So it is not surprising that research has proven that the benefits of being pesco-vegans are beneficial for the development of the brain and the eyes of a baby.
Further research also proves some other omega-3 benefits. If mothers with levels of DHA in their blood are high, have children who are better in the sensorial, cognitive ability and motor motion. It is presented in the Journal Of Pediatric Research and conducted by Laval University, Quebec.
Baby with sufficient omega-3 has the progress of about 2 months earlier than a baby who is less. They are better in the tests conducted on the sensitivity of the age of 6 months and had the ability to learn better visually when aged 1-2 years.
4. Lowering the rates of diabetes factors
Salmon is an excellent type of fish consumed by people with diabetes mellitus. In fact, we highly recommend to include in the list of menu foods for diabetic people.
Salmon was so good for diabetics because it has omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve the sensitivity of cells to the hormone insulin level, reducing the chances of suffering from heart disease, and also to help lose weight. Tuna can be used as a substitute for salmon if you begin to feel tired of consuming salmon. Tuna fish have the same nutrition as salmon fish.
A study on the effects of a vegetarian diet on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes concluded that all variants of plant-based diets, including Pescetarian, were associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes and lower BMI Compared to non-vegetarians.
Increasing the consumption of plant foods, reducing the consumption of red meat and working and prioritizing foods of animal origin such as fish containing good fat and omega-3, is able to improve its overall health.
5. As anti-carcinogenic agents
Mackerel is very rich in essential oils, and high amount of fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. Various minerals contain including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphor, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc, and copper, as well as the anti-carcinogenic agent and antioxidant Coenzyme Q10.
Coenzyme Q10 protects cells from damage that could lead to increases the risk of cancer, improve the ability of the body to fight inflammation, also good diet menu for pescetarian in recovering state from illness.
Too much fish, is it good or bad?
The presence of mercury and other toxins in fish, in combination with environmental concerns and sustainability, raises questions about the feasibility of a diet based on fish and seafood.
Some studies have shown that the benefits of eating fish far-outweighing the toxin-related risks. In general, bigger and more predators the fish, the higher the mercury. Eating the smallest fish in the food chain could be a better choice when it comes to fish.
The salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, oceans oysters, mussels, trout, mackerel, are the choices with a higher concentration of EPA and DHA and with lower levels of mercury.
These guidelines can fit well with a Pescetarian food model. It is important to remember that a pescetarian diet does not mean that you should eat fish continuously like 2 – 3 times a day. It’s basically a vegetarian diet that includes fish. That’s it. This means that most of the dishes are based on vegetable proteins, including wheat, lentils, tofu, walnuts, and legumes.
According to Sharon Palmer, as the author of The Plant-Powered Dietitian blog, the Pescetarianism is a simple transition to a more plant-based lifestyle. In her experience, many people who like to make small incremental changes in their diet and lifestyle, how to give up the red meat, or do without meat starting from a day to a week, or becoming a pesco-vegan. They may find that, in seeking these lifestyle changes, you are ready to embrace even more vegetable-based meals during the week.
It’s important to educate people that a pesco-vegan diet doesn’t mean having to eat fish at every meal. It means a person should enjoy a lot of veggies and vegetarian meals with additional protein sources.
With its focus on plant-based foods, this diet plan provides a powerful part of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals substances, healthy fibers, and fats.
The addition of fish and seafood not only increases the intake of omega-3 healthy fatty acids for the heart but also increases the variety of lean proteins available. Some indications on how to build vegetable based meals and choose sustainable fish at low levels of mercury, can facilitate the transition to pescetarianism and get more health benefits.
Personally, living with a pescetarian-lifestyle is an advanced way to widely open the variation of diet plan. Humans naturally instinct to get bored as time goes on, and to counter it, being a Pescetarian is a great choice. If you have an opinion on how you see this option, kindly leave a comment below and share with the world.