Seafood: Delicious and Healthy

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July 22, 2011 – Most Kenyans love their meats, but for those that want to keep their weight in check whilst still experiencing a flavourful experience, seafood may just be the way to go.

Home cooked seafood dinners may seen a little intimidating in the beginning, but despite the whole journey from buying your live seafood from the market to killing it to cleaning it to cooking it – it just seems a little suspicious and quite an elaborate experience.

 

So Why Seafood?

First of all, seafood in general contains fewer calories than other savoury options.  So if you’re a foodie and worried about your weight, seafood is a heavenly alternative.

I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s true, fish is an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.  According to the American Heart Association, healthy fatty acids found in fish are essential for brain and eye development, and decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

The only time fish is not a healthy option is when women are pregnant or breastfeeding.  Almost all fish and shellfish are naturally contaminated with traces of mercury.  Most adults eliminate the mercury from their bodies, but to reduce the chances of young children from mercury exposure, it’s best to stay clear from seafood during that sensitive time.

Shellfish such as lobster and crabs are not only delicious (Lobster Bisque and Singapore Crab = YUM!), but also are great sources of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin A.  The best part?  Lobsters, only contain about 8 calories from fat per every 100g and for crabs, a incredibly low 10 calories from fat!

Shellfish in general are good sources of lean protein, which also keep heart problems away, maintaining muscular health, and promoting healthy eyesight.

 

Pointers For The Buyer

Shellfish has many varieties and each one has its own peculiarities of preparation.  When you first buy fish or shellfish, for the best flavours, it’s best to buy them alive and then cook when extremely fresh.  Even when alive, the shellfish and fish should smell fresh and sweet from the sea with no stench of ammonia.  The seafood should glisten and for fish, their eyes should not be cloudy.  Never buy crabs that are dead, unless you want to sit on the toilet for a while.

 

Where To Buy

Shellfish, in particular, is best eaten as fresh as possible like on the day it was caught.  In Nairobi, there’s a small seafood speciality store in Westlands called Aloha that brings in the freshest seafood from the coast on a daily basis.

 

Recipe Suggestions

In Kenya, most homely-bodies know how to prepare fish.  Whether it’s fish and chips or grilled or fried, fish is definitely not as intimidating as shellfish.

The Kenyan palette would probably appreciate a little spice in their seafood.  I would highly recommend trying Singapore Chili Crab! You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 

Other options

Frying calamari                                                                           Garlic and Spinach: Don’t forget your vegetables

 

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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