Yes, I am a Pescetarian.
Why should I be a Pescetarian?
Living a healthy life may come hard for some people. You may have a long list of food that you should never eat or a long list of certain food that you always have to eat. It is a big comitment that you take to have better health, and it is never an easy task. But being a Pescetarian was not that hard for me, and surprisingly I did not suffer from any cravings that I usually have when I’m dieting.
What is Pescetarian?
First of all, Pescetarian derived from the Italian word Pesce, which means fish and Pescetarian is now associated with people who add aquatic animals (as you may call it seafood) to their vegetarian diet. Pescetarians eat freshwater and saltwater fish and other types of seafood, vegetables, grains, eggs and dairy products that vegetarians typically consume. This type of of diet is a long term diet which I find easy, because you can eat anything, just as long as it doesn’t contain red meat, pork, or poultry. Although it may seem hard at first, you will questioned yourself “can I give up meat entirely?” but overtime your body will adapt with this diet and your body’s craving for mammals and poultry will disappear.
What is the health benefit of being a Pescetarian?
Scientists have long observed that including seafood in your diet is a healthful habit. Fish is a high quality protein and it also contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and there are abundance of minerals in shellfish, and oysters are known to be the most rich zinc food on earth. If you wonder about your protein intake, vegetarian diets supply more than adequate amounts of protein to begin with, and with fish on your plate now you can just add a healthy percentage of tofu, tempeh and many non-meat protein source.
American Heart Association journal reported that eating fish just once or twice a week associated with a 42-50 percent reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death in healthy adults. All the iron you need comes from fish, many fruits and vegetables, also whole grains. Even when you are not aiming for weight loss, Pescetarian diet is a great way to keep your body healthy.
By being a Pescetarian, not only you will reduce the risk of heart disease, but with large quantities of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid it is now known to be connected to possible treatment for an array of conditions including depression and ADD. It also shown to have potential risk-reducing effects for cancer and diabetes. And for me personally, because I suffer from iron deficiency anemia, I cannot maintain a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but this is the right choice for me because Pescetarians have a lower risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.
Pescetarian helps benefit environment
If we really want to reduce the human impact on the environment, the simplest and cheapest thing to do is to eat less meat. All of the chickens, cows, sheep and pigs we breed need vast amounts of food and water, they also produce mountains of physical waste.
Livestocks also creates an unimaginable amount of waste and toxic emmision. The gases released from the manures that they produce, the oil burned when taking their carcasses to markets thousand miles away, the electricity needed to keep the meat cool, and many other reasons.
Whereas, fish that is sell in the market has to be fresh, therefore it is always better to eat local fish and other seafood. For us Indonesians, being a Pescetarian also support the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs program called Gerakan Makan Ikan. This program is aiming to help children create a better intelligence by eating fish because it has all the nutritions that a human brain needed.
Pescetarian Food is Delicious
Giving up on meat, poultry and pork may be the most challenging decision you can make. But, I can assure you that you won’t be missing out on the delicious menu. If you think about it, most restaurants always serve menu from beef to seafood. So whenever you have social gathering in a steakhouse, you can always order the salmon steak. Even fast food restaurants always have their fish burger on the menus.
One thing to remember before you become a Pescetarian is that humans are natural fish eater. Even back in the cavemen era, our natural instict was to enjoy raw fish. Fish and other seafood are always better to enjoy fresh without adding too many spices. Because it contains all the natural nutrients that may go away if they are cooked. But if you are not a sashimi-eater, grilled or baked is always a better choice rather than deep fried seafood.
So, now you know about the benefits for our body and our earth. If you are ready to commit, you can go and make that trip to your local market to grab the fresh-est fish and oysters you can find, and get ready to cook some delicious dish!
written for soulscape.asia