Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

March is National Nutrition Month: Enjoy the many health benefits of seafood!

Image credit: NOAA
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month (NNM)?
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes ADA and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. If you go to the website below, you can find lots of great resources about improving your health through diet and exercise.http://www.eatright.org/nnm/
Why, might you ask, am I writing about ADA's nutrition month program when my outreach work focuses mostly on fisheries, marine ecology, and seafood sustainability? Well, seafood is obviously a major component of my extension work, and just as important as sustainability issues, are the important health benefits that seafood provides.
 In fact, the USDA recently released its new dietary guidelines to help Americans make healthier food choices and confront our Country's obesity epidemic. Part of their press release on the new guidelines mentioned, "The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focus on balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains."
Image credit: NOAA
Seafood is a low-fat source of high-quality protein and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Most health experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week to maximize the benefits to your heart, brain, and body. Eating seafood has been shown to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension in the general population. Pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as developing fetuses and small children can also benefit from the health benefits of seafood especially because of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from food, and seafood is a major source of them. They play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.
To learn more about the nutritional benefits associated with seafood visit:

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