How to buy better seafood for your family

(NC) Seafood is widely known to be some of the healthiest protein available. Fish is an excellent source of Vitamin D, is low in fat, contains a variety nutrients and minerals each offering a wide range of benefits to the body, and oily fish are an excellent source of omega-3s.

What’s more is this delicious heart-healthy option is quick and easy to prepare so you can incorporate it into your diet any day of the week. Here are some helpful tips on how to select the best seafood.

Fish filets and freshness: Look for firm flesh that is intact without any cracks. If the fillet is wrapped in plastic, it should contain little to no liquid. The freshest fish should smell like the ocean. Pay close attention to products labelled as previously frozen (see next tip).

Frozen fish: Ensure the package is intact and look for fish without traces of frost on the flesh. Also make sure the fish is frozen all the way through and never re-freeze thawed fish or seafood.

Flavour profiles: Mild and flaky options include cod, tilapia, haddock, pollock and hake. Bolder flavours usually come from oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. And for dense meaty flavours, try tuna or swordfish. Remember that all fish is extremely versatile and delicious with any number of marinades, herbs and spices.

Sustainability: Look for global, science-based certification labels like the MSC blue fish for wild seafood and the ASC for farmed options. Both mean the fish you’re buying is the species it claims to be and is certified sustainable and traceable to the source, which is good for the oceans. Plus, it means you’re supporting fishers, fishing communities and companies that work hard to end overfishing and maintain abundant marine habitats.

Seasonality: Strike up a conversation with the expert behind the fish counter. They can tell you what’s seasonal and what local options are available. And if you’re craving something that’s out of season, canned or frozen options are best.