In Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook's Introduction, it's stated that seafood is the strongest thread in the fabric of New Orleans' culinary history. From the cookbook:
Over many generations, New Orleans cooks relied heavily on fish and shellfish to energize their imaginations. The reason may be that seafood offered them almost limitless options in their seasonings, sauces and methods.New Orleans' cooks and chefs were on to something more than they realized. Not only were these people responsible for presenting the hungry diner with delicious, multi-varied dishes, they were often serving up plates full of health benefits.
SeafoodHealth.com presents a survey conducted by McCormick & Schmick's, featuring an array of facts about seafood consumption in America. Surprisingly, a quarter of respondents ate seafood primarily for the health benefits conferred such as the consumption of Omega-3. Of the respondents, 37% cook seafood at home at least once a week.
Phillipfoods.com has an excellent discussion by Dr. John La Puma, MD FACP, of why seafood is rightly called "Brain Food". Omega-3 is an excellent source of unsaturated fats and with the human brain composed of 60% fat, the fat truly goes to your head! As well, eating seafood also helps lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack in three ways:
They act to thin the blood naturally. They keep the lining of the arteries smooth, and clear of thickening and inflammation. They act as a natural anticoagulant by altering the ability of platelets in your blood to clump together.A seafood nutrition chart featuring the United States' top 20 seafoods can be found at Seafoodbynet.com. Unlike most traditional nutritional charts, this chart features information on Omega 3 found in different fish and shellfish as well as the expected calorie, carb, protein and cholesterol counts.
SOURCE: "Seafood Statistics"
SOURCE: "FAQs: Nutrition and Seafood"
SOURCE: "Seafood Nutrition Chart" photo courtesy of rastafabi, used under this Creative Commons license.