The hot days of August beg for vacations and day trips to the water. Cool water and lovely breeze make for an enjoyable way to beat the heat, but there are more benefits – nutritional benefits to be exact – that water can offer. Because of my mild distaste for lighter meats like chicken and turkey and the generally high saturated fat content of red meats, I tend toward a “pescetarian-style” diet – in other words seafood! As long as you look for sustainable fish and avoid seafood that is high in mercury, such a diet can provide healthy vitamins and minerals along with a very lean source of protein. Check out our favorite West Coast resource on sustainable fish – the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
In terms of bone health, some fruits of the sea pack a wealth of calcium. Salmon may be a familiar example, as it is often cited for its numerous health benefits, but there are many other nutritional powerhouses dwelling beneath the water’s surface.
Sardines are high up on the list of calcium-rich foods (they are also a great source of vitamin D), and while they may not be high up on your list of appealing foods, they can be simple to incorporate into your favorite meals. Eat them on wheat crackers, on top of a salad, in a pasta dish, mixed with vegetables on toast, the list goes on!
Next up are oysters. These can be eaten on the half-shell, but if the slick texture isn’t for you, they can be battered with semolina and lightly fried for a great crunchy texture. Add lemon and a tart aioli dip for extra flavor.
This last calcium-rich option that I’ve been keeping stocked in my cabinets is a perfect alternative to chips: roasted nori snacks. These sea vegetable snacks are convenient, satisfying and nutrient dense. They also come in delicious sesame and wasabi flavors. Follow up your next trip with one of these healthy treats and embrace the power of the sea!