You often see or notice anchovies on the local market shelf or in the menu of various foods and dishes. However, have you ever tried eating one of this before? Well, the anchovies are a kind of fish that is a part of the Engraulidae fish family. This fish is actually rich in both nutrients and flavor. It may be small, but I am telling you, they are rich in various essential nutrients, including rich levels of heart-healthy fats, proteins, and important vitamins and minerals in every serving. These essential nutrients are what make up all the necessary health benefits of anchovies. Give this article a read and get to learn more about this fish.
Anchovies: What is this?
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As what I have said earlier, the anchovies are small, foraging, salt-water fish that has more than a hundred species. They are widely present in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Generally, they are found in large schools. This is what makes them so easy to catch in large amounts. One of the most famous areas to catch these anchovies is actually the Mediterranean Sea. In the actual fact, this is the reason why they’re a huge part of the North African, Middle Eastern, and European Cuisines.
Although the taste of the anchovies is not that much delightful, people still consume it for the amazing health benefits that may bring about. Normally, anchovies are sold in cans or tins. Nevertheless, they may also be a great addition to sandwiches, pizzas, salad dressings, as well as in tomato sauce.
Moreover, anchovies are also available in canned and filleted forms in most of the grocery stores. Bear in mind, however, that the canned anchovies are free of BPA. This is for you to avoid the possible negative effects of BPA, which is a very harmful chemical. Furthermore, you may also find the salted type of anchovies in various Italian markets. Fresh anchovies are also available in some local fish markets. Note, the fresh anchovies must be silver in color and has bright eyes. Also, they have no foul odor –you must ensure all of these qualities so that you will get the best quality.
Nutritional Value of Anchovies
The anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and protein. All of which are beneficial for the maintenance of good health. Furthermore, they also contain zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and calcium. The anchovies are also a good source of vitamins, just like vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Refer to the table below to know more about the nutritional content of the anchovies:
2oz. of the canned European anchovies may contain about:
|Principles||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin E||1.5 milligrams||7%|
|Vitamin K||5.4 micrograms||7%|
|Vitamin B12||0.4 micrograms||7%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 milligrams||5%|
Health Benefits of Anchovies
Here are some of the most astounding health benefits of anchovies:
- Helps in promoting weight loss. There is a low level of calories in anchovies. However, they are high in minerals, vitamins, and protein. Thus, making the fish one of the perfect choices if you want to lose weight.
- Helps in boosting the heart health. There is an impressive amount of essential vitamins and minerals in the anchovies, which are all beneficial in protecting the heart health. For instance, niacin –it has shown to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. These are two factors, which may increase the risk of heart disease.
- Good source of protein. Anchovies are a protein-rich food. This is beneficial in various aspects of the health just like in repairing and building tissues, producing essential hormones and enzymes in the body, and many others.
- Helps in supporting strong bones. Each serving of the anchovies provides many essential nutrients, just like calcium. This is essential in keeping the skeletal structure strong. This is one of the best health benefits of anchovies.
- Rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid is essential in almost every aspect of the health. The anchovies are a good source of these important fatty acids, thus giving so much benefit for the health.
Precautions of Anchovies
Evens though there are lots of health benefits of anchovies, there are still some drawbacks, which are necessary to take into consideration.
Firstly, bear in the mind that canned foods have the tendency to have higher levels of sodium as salt is usually added in order to preserve the fish. 1-2 ounce can of the anchovies contain about 69% of the daily value needed for sodium. This is what makes them on top of the sodium foods.
Furthermore, eating raw anchovies may come with a certain risk of parasitic infection. Even though it is not as common as the canned or cooked anchovies, the raw anchovies are one of the staple ingredients in dishes all over the world.