What is a Pescatarian Diet
While you will no doubt have heard about the benefits of a vegetarian diet, you may not be aware of the lifestyle known as the Pescatarian diet. This is a way of eating that includes seafood and fish but excludes other animal products like meat – basically, a Pescatarian is a vegetarian that eats fish. Some Pescatarians also eat dairy produce and eggs, although this is not always the case. The Pescatarian diet is nothing new, with many cultures having had a heavy reliance on fish for their nutrient intake for countless generations. As seafood is a very healthy source of fatty acids, vitamins and dietary protein, it is easy to see why this way of life is considered to be beneficial, and its many followers have a strong belief that it can contribute greatly to their well-being.
Is the Pescatarian Diet Healthy?
The Pescatarian diet has a lot to offer when it comes to promoting health and well-being. There are numerous advantages in retaining fish in the diet as it can help to eliminate the nutrient deficiencies which may be experienced by some vegetarians and can help to supply an adequate source of protein and iron in the diet. Protein is an essential component in anyone’s diet for building up muscles, cells and tissues, and those who solely enjoy a plant-based diet may find that they struggle to include enough of this key component in their everyday intake. Plants are not complete sources of protein, whereas fish and seafood are, and therefore it makes sense to consume these foods on a regular basis if you find that you are struggling to eat enough protein in a standard vegetarian diet.
What are the Benefits of a Pescatarian Diet?
There are numerous benefits to switching to a Pescatarian diet including:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Fish is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which help to improve mental health, boost cardiovascular health, help to control hormone levels and cut the risk of developing diabetes.
Eating fish can help to control inflammation in the body which, when left unchecked, can lead to cancer, asthma and arthritis among other conditions.
Better Heart Health
Eating fish can help to protect against coronary heart disease and strokes by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, decreasing the formation of blood clots and regulating the heartbeat.
Fighting Cognitive Decline
The Omega 3 fatty acids in fish help to preserve cognitive function, reducing the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Eating fish can help to lower the risk of developing anxiety, ADHD and depression. It can also help to treat the symptoms experienced by sufferers of any of these conditions.
The nutrients found in seafood and fish can help to reduce the food cravings that lead to overeating. Also, a low intake of omega 3 has been linked to obesity, so the high content found in fish can help to guard against weight gain.
Pesco Vegetarian Recipes to Inspire You
If you are interested in trying out a Pescatarian lifestyle but are not sure where to begin, here are some inspiring Pesco Vegetarian recipes to get you off to a healthy start.
Pasta dishes are always popular, and now you can combine this perennial favorite with the benefits of seafood.
Cooking and preparation time: 20 minutes
10 shrimp per person
Handful of fresh basil, torn
100 ml white wine
50 ml olive oil
Handful of chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 chopped clove of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
300 g spinach tagliatelle
Pinch of salt
Fill a large saucepan half way with water, add the pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Add the tagliatelle and boil for five minutes before draining and putting to one side. Add the olive oil to a skillet and put over a medium high heat. Fry the shrimp in the pan together with the sun dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, white wine and salt. Cook until the shrimp is pink and the wine has reduced. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle fresh basil over the shrimp. Plate the tagliatelle and put the shrimp on top. Serve.
Perfect for the barbecue season, this delicious kebabs are sure to please the whole family.
Cooking and preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 minced clove of garlic
½ teaspoon of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon of honey
1 salmon fillet chopped into cubes
½ red onion cut into cubes
½ zucchini cut into cubes
10 cherry tomatoes
Mix the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, chili flakes, honey and olive oil in a bowl then spoon the marinade over the salmon and leave for 1 hour. Once the salmon has marinaded, place one of each vegetable and a piece of salmon on a skewer and repeat until you have filled each skewer. Barbecue until cooked or cook in a medium oven for 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Serve with rice or quinoa.
Lime and Chili Mackerel
This delicious and easy dish is ideal for a midweek meal or for a summer barbecue!
Cooking and preparation time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Juice of two limes
1 chopped red chili
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 piece of minced ginger
2 handfuls of fresh chopped cilantro
1 sliced lime
3 whole mackerel
Mix the chili, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic and half of the cilantro in a bowl. Score the mackerel four times on each side diagonally down to the bone and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover with foil and put into the fridge. Leave for 3 hours. Once the fish is marinaded, add the lime to the tray and grill the fish for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with potatoes and salad.