There’s something fishy in your seafood; here’s why you need to be careful
First Published 17, Aug 2020, 1:59 PM
Sea food is a beloved delicacy for many for several reasons. The low-fat, high protein powerhouse packed with omega-3 fatty acids offers a wide range of health benefits.
Often called the brain food, seafood helps ease symptoms of depression and keeps your heart hail and healthy. It even keeps your hair and skin looking radiant. Fish is also proven to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
However, in today's environment these statements are only partially true as the fish you eat may prove harmful to your health. Unscrupulous fishmongers are using chemicals ranging from hydrogen peroxide to formalin to preserve their catch.
Fish is the biggest carrier of mercury, the metal which can harm the development of the brain. Mercury is released through waste and pollution and the organic mercury compound methyl mercury is eaten by fish. Studies have proven that mercury level is high in people who eat fish regularly.
The infamous carcinogen sodium benzoate is used as a preservative to prolong the shelf-life of fish. Though this chemical preservative is acceptable when used in low amounts, a combination with Vitamin E or C will release benzene which has harmful effects on the bone marrow. The sodium salt can have a detrimental effect on your health.
Ammonia is so dangerous that exposure to high concentrations of it can cause burning of throat, nose and respiratory tract. This can also lead to alveolar bronchial edema and destruction of airways resulting in respiratory distress or failure. It may also prove fatal if inhaled. The fish we purchase from the market is preserved in ice made of water mixed with ammonia. Ammonia is used to slow down the melting of ice.
Fish brought from the market is sometimes heavily contaminated with formalin, the chemical used to preserve bodies in mortuaries. The substance, which causes cancer, is used to prevent deterioration of fish. The toxic substance also affects the functioning of internal organs.
Hydrogen peroxide is an antimicrobial agent used to prevent decomposition of fish and to retain its natural taste. Though ingestion of a small amount of hydrogen peroxide is not harmful to the human body, consumption of higher concentration may result in mild irritation, burning of the throat, stomach and vomiting. It might also lead to burns to the gut mucosa and mucus membrane.