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The Nutrition Source: Aquatic Foods | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Close up of a seafood counter showing octopus, prawns, fish and lobster over ice.

A Blue Food Assessment study, “Aquatic foods to nourish nations,” published Wednesday, highlighted several ways in which blue foods improve human health, including reducing micronutrient deficiencies and offering alternatives to red and processed meat, which are often associated with non-communicable disease. 

Global analyses tend to focus on terrestrial food or reduce thousands of edible aquatic species into overly simplified categories like “seafood” or “fish.” Furthermore, they only account for blue food’s protein and caloric value, overlooking critical nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. However, there is a wide range of blue foods produced throughout the world and available during every season.

Christopher Golden

“Aquatic foods seem to be a unique win-win. They have very high nutrient richness and can be produced with relatively low environmental impacts compared to terrestrial meats.”

Chris Golden, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“Because aquatic foods are so nutrient-rich, public health specialists have innovated methods to create processed fish products developed from emerging technologies,” explains a comprehensive “Aquatic Foods” page on The Nutrition Source, part of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. The page explores the interconnections of aquatic foods and human health, including cardiovascular disease, cognitive health, and fetal development. It also offers recommendations for nutrient-dense, protein-rich meal options that incorporate blue foods.

Read the full Aquatic Foods page on The Nutrition Source

Learn more about blue food and nutrition