Fresh seafood is some of the most nutritious and delicious food on the planet. Fish and seafood have been endorsed by government agencies and non-profit organizations as a routine part of a smart, healthy diet. Most seafood is very low in harmful saturated fat, but high in valuable omega-3 fatty acids. A wide variety of seafood offers muscle-building protein and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
The incredible diversity ofible marine life, coupled with infinite preparation possibilities means that, no matter what your taste, there's a fresh seafood dish you'll enjoy. Fish alone offer a cornucopia of distinct flavors and textures. Some fish seem as though they'll melt in your mouth such as fatty tuna. White fish like tilapia and cod derive flavor almost entirely from the aromatics with which they are cooked. Some need to be cooked with other elements because their flavor on its own would be overwhelming. Other fish like halibut are solid, firm with a texture resembling a steak or pork chop.
Cold water fish with oily flesh such as salmon, trout and tuna contain the highest levels of omega-3 fats. The American Heart Association recommends that people with healthy hearts and those who have been diagnosed with heart disease can both reapp the benefits of omega-3 fats. These "good fats" have been shown to lower blood pressure, regulate heart rhythm and decrease the risk of blood clotting. A study conducted by the American College of Cardiology suggested that eating more fish may lower the risk of congestive heart failure. The American Alzheimer's Association has also recommended including fish as part of a "brain-healthy" diet.
With seafood, as with many other types of cuisine, the meaning of quality is freshness. If you live in a land-locked area truly fresh seafood can be difficult to obtain. Anyone who lives near a coast should have no problem finding fish and other fare straight out of the sea. For everyone else, the best bet may be ordering fresh seafood online.
When ordering online, there's no way to tell exactly what you're going to get, so look for a site that guarantees satisfaction. There are dozens of online shops that advertise daily cuisine fish and overnight delivery. If the site is true to its word, it's not likely that your local grocer or even fish market can get fresher seafood. Many sites will even ship live seafood (crabs and lobsters) in specially designed packages.
If you do live somewhere with a fresh seafood market, here's what to look for before buying something labeled "fresh". Fish, in particular, should be carefully inspected before purchase. Check for firm, almost bouncy flesh that responds when you touch it. Color should be as bright and even as possible through the meat and the skin. If scales have not been removed they should still be firmly attached, smooth and shimmering. Fish should have a moist feel inside and out. When shopping for whole fish look for bright red, moist gills. Make sure the eyesballs are not sunken into the skull. They should be as bright and clear as possible. Be sure to smell the fish as well; different species exude different scents, but they should all smell clean and fresh.
Whether fresh seafood is purchased online or in town, safe handling methods are critical. Cooking and handling instructions are often included which outline proper cooking procedures as well as storage suggestions.