Seafood 101: Support Your Immune Health by Eating a Variety of Seafood

Now, more than ever, people are looking for ways to “boost” or support their immune system. Seafood, both fish and shellfish, provides essential nutrients to the body that keep the immune health functioning properly. An important step in staying healthy is eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seafood and fatty fish, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and nuts and seeds.

Remember, a healthy immune system will not stop a person from getting COVID-19; proper hand washing and social distancing are needed to help stop the spread of the virus. A stronger immune system may provide a better chance to fight against diseases and viruses.

Seafood is a nutrient-packed food that reduces inflammation with vitamins A, B, and D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and minerals such as calcium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium (2,4).

Good nutrition is essential to supporting a strong immune system, which may offer protection from many health problems including chronic disease. The Dietary Guidelines recommend regular fish and seafood consumption for optimal wellness of all functions of the body (12). Data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study of more than 420,000 people shows eating seafood reduced respiratory deaths by 20% (1). In fact, higher fish and omega-3 fatty acid intakes were significantly associated with lower total mortality.