Lent is fast approaching, and for many Americans, that means eating more seafood. Lent brings the season of seafood to the table.
During the 40-day period before Easter that many Christians observe as a time for self-sacrifice, Catholics are supposed to refrain from eating meat on Fridays. About 23% of the United States population is Catholic, and about 62% of them don’t eat meat on the seven Fridays during Lent (according to Pew Research and Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, respectively).
That means about 14% of the population is looking for meatless items on those Fridays, and custom points them to seafood dishes. For restaurants, the result of that is a 20% increase in seafood sales during Lent, according to menu research firm Datassential.
Lent is a period of reflection, prayer, and abstinence for many Christians, and one of the most commonly observed traditions during this time is avoiding meat on Fridays. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health and nutrition.
Eating seafood is a great way to get the protein and other essential nutrients your body needs during this time, and there are many compelling reasons why you should incorporate more seafood into your Lenten diet.
First and foremost, seafood is an excellent source of lean protein, which is essential for maintaining and building muscle mass.
Unlike fatty meats, which can contribute to heart disease, seafood is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and promote heart health.
In addition to protein, seafood is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B12 and D, iron, zinc, and calcium. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerves, as well as for supporting the immune system and promoting overall health and wellness.
Another benefit of eating seafood during Lent is that it is an environmentally sustainable choice.
Many species of fish and other seafood are abundant in the world’s oceans, and by choosing sustainably caught or farmed seafood, you can help support efforts to protect and conserve these important natural resources.
Of course, it’s important to be mindful of which species of seafood you choose to eat, as some are more sustainable than others. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program provides excellent guidance on which species are the most sustainable and which to avoid.
In terms of preparation, there are countless delicious and healthy ways to incorporate seafood into your Lenten diet. Grilled, baked, or poached fish can be paired with a variety of vegetables and grains for a well-rounded and satisfying meal, and seafood soups and stews can be a comforting and nourishing choice on a chilly Friday evening.
Overall, the benefits of eating seafood during Lent are clear. Not only is it a healthy and sustainable choice, but it also provides a welcome change of pace from meat-based dishes and can help you explore new flavors and culinary traditions.
So whether you’re a devout Christian or simply looking for ways to improve your health and nutrition, consider incorporating more seafood into your Lenten diet this year.
With two convenient locations in El Paso, Texas. Lapa Lapa Seafood and Drinks is the perfect destination for seafood lovers looking to savor the freshest and most delicious seafood dishes in the 915 area.
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