Fish and seafood are nutritional powerhouses, offering up an array of health benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. If you’re thinking about adding some fish to your diet on a regular basis, you might be worried about how to cook it so that it doesn’t taste like cardboard or how to avoid mercury contamination if you’re not eating wild-caught fish. Here are some of the most important benefits of eating Fresh Seafood and some tips to help you get the most out of your next seafood meal at home or out on the town.

Fish oils reduce cholesterol

One of fish oil’s best-known benefits is its ability to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can help lower risk for heart disease. It also helps raise good cholesterol, or HDL. Fish oil can even cut triglyceride levels, reducing your risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. And it has anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against arthritis and cancer.

Omega-3s help brain function

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy brain and nervous system. Try to incorporate fresh fish into your diet at least once a week. If that’s not possible, consider taking an omega-3 supplement daily (be sure to check with your doctor first).

Fish is a good source of lean protein

Fish is a high-quality source of protein, which is essential for building muscle, repairing tissue and maintaining a healthy metabolism. It’s also rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and reduce symptoms related to conditions such as arthritis or asthma. Lean seafood like fish provides you with about 12 to 15 grams per 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) serving.

Eating seafood reduces inflammation in the body

Researchers from McGill University studied a group of men and found that those who ate at least one fresh seafood meal per week had lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. CRP has been linked to a number of diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Consider sustainability when buying seafood

It can be difficult to find a list of sustainable fish, especially if you’re new to purchasing seafood. Many retailers have guides, but it can be challenging to make sense out of them and they don’t tend to cover all fish. It may take some time, but keep reading and asking questions at your local market or seafood counter until you learn which fish are safe bets.