Is Halibut Good For You?
Health Benefits of Halibut
One of the biggest names in Alaskan seafood is halibut. Halibut is a massive flatfish that is born looking like most other fish, but as it matures the eyes move to the topside of the body and allows it to lay flat on the ocean floor and hide in the silt. Halibut is one of the largest sized fish to be commercially sought after. Its flaky white meat is highly sought after, but as for anything we put into our bodies we have to ask the question whether halibut is good for you or not.
Mercury & Toxin Levels
One of the biggest concerns with seafood safety surrounds the concern of toxic contaminants, including mercury. Recently there has been a raised concern in the safety of halibut due to toxic contaminants, but those concerns are based on accidental misinformation. There are two types of halibut in the world, Atlantic halibut and Pacific halibut, and each type is located in the oceans after which they are named. All of the halibut sold in the US is Pacific Halibut coming from fisheries in Western Canada and Alaska.
Atlantic halibut on the other hand does not have any active fisheries operating for two reasons. Due to an overabundance of fishing of Atlantic halibut and a decrease of the biomass the great majority of Atlantic halibut fisheries have been closed up. Another reason for the decline of Atlantic halibut is the levels of toxins found in the fish. Atlantic halibut has been known to have higher levels of toxins such as mercury in it, making it not safe for consumption. Wild Pacific halibut on the other hand is not plagued by these issues and is found to be a safe fish for consumption.
Protein vs Fat
During any weight loss regimen or fitness program you will be told that you need to find a low fat source of protein. Luckily halibut is just that source! Halibut has a very low amount of fat, and it has a very high amount of protein. Protein is the main building block for your muscles and high muscle mass increases your natural metabolism. If you are looking to drop some fat weight then you need to have a higher source of protein in order to feed those muscles. Just as important as feeding the muscles, you don’t want to counter what you are going for by adding a high amount of fat to your diet. With these goals in mind, halibut is the perfect fish for you to add to your menu.
Full of Vitamins & Nutrients
You probably still remember your parents nagging you to take your vitamins, but many do not realize the importance of having your daily vitamin intake on a regular basis. Vitamins are vital to our body’s natural functions and they help our cells work properly and for our organs to function at their maximum potential. People who do not consume enough of a certain vitamins can begin experiencing health issues that can be potentially fatal if ignored. The most well known example of not having enough vitamins in your diet is scurvy, where a deficiency of Vitamin C causes the immune system to weaken, resulting in infection and loss of teeth. Though that being an extreme example, it only shows how important vitamins are to the body.
The first vitamin that halibut possesses in abundance is Vitamin B12, which is one of the more important on the list. Though it has a great deal to do in maintaining healthy skin, B12 is necessary for the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients into the body. Those who have a deficiency of B12 often complain of symptoms such as fatigue, often due to poor nutrient absorption, which leads to a lack of energy. Halibut is also full of Vitamin B6, which is known to be vital in controlling liver function and is crucial for healthy nerve function. Those who do not consume enough Vitamin B6 will feel that it may be hard to them to concentrate, are more likely to feel depressed or anxious. Studies have shown that having a healthy dose of Vitamin B6 every day can help reduce symptoms in those who live with depression and anxiety.
Vitamins are not the only health benefit of halibut, but there are many other vital minerals and nutrients in halibut as well. The first thing that halibut is filled in abundance with is selenium, a very powerful antioxidant that is critical to keeping you healthy. Selenium is known to greatly reduce inflammation in the body, helps support the immune system, and can protect you against certain types of cancer. Halibut is so full of selenium that a single portion of halibut fillets can have enough selenium to cover you for the day.
Halibut can also help keep your heart healthy with a high dose of niacin. This powerful nutrient is vital if you want to keep your heart healthy and keep your cholesterol levels down. Also if you have either type of diabetes, then niacin can help keep your blood sugar in check. Phosphorus is another nutrient that halibut has a lot of.
This important mineral helps keep your bones and teeth strong, and it controls your metabolism, and keeps a healthy pH balance in your body. The final major nutrient in halibut is magnesium. Magnesium is essential in keeping your nerves in check, keeps your muscles from tensing up too much, promotes a healthy digestive system, and for those who suffer from migraine headaches, magnesium can help keep them under control. Yet these are only the most common nutrients in halibut. There are so many more essential nutrients in this amazing fish that can help keep you healthy in the most delicious ways!
Is Halibut Good For You?
If you are still asking yourself that question at this point then you have not been paying attention! If you stick to the more commonly sold Pacific Halibut then you are looking at safe and serious super food. Regardless of what your health goals are, you have to add halibut to your menu! Not only will this amazing fish help promote a healthy weight, but it will have a great impact on your overall well being with all of the nutrients found within. With all of these facts about halibut we can only come to one conclusion; that it is probably unsafe for your health to NOT eat halibut!
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Protein Definition: The US National Library of Medicine defines proteins as:
"Large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs."