Catfish is, in fact, good for you. Since there are so many different types of catfish, some are also eaten across the world. Considering how wide swept the availability of catfish is, there is a lot of research on the benefits of eating catfish. Catfish is considered to be low in calories, yet high in nutrients, making it one of the healthiest fish you can eat. However, you also have to choose the right catfish to eat to get the most benefit out of it.
Benefits of catfish
Eating catfish has many benefits because it is high in many nutrients, so all the benefits are listed below.
Low in calories
If you are someone who wants to go into calorie defect and still want a source of protein, catfish is a perfect food item for it. The calories in catfish are 105 calories in a 100-gram portion. In comparison, pork has 242 calories in 100 grams and 239 calories in 100 grams of chicken. Therefore, catfish is a healthy replacement for other types of meats, and it also tastes great.
High in protein
Fish are known for being high in protein, and catfish are particularly high in protein. A 100 grams catfish filter will have 18 grams of protein, which meets 32–39% of the daily protein requirement. Of course, this is not as high as chicken, but chicken also has more calories. High protein helps in immunity and maintaining cells and tissues of the body. It also helps in weight loss because it reduces appetite and cravings while helping in building body mass.
High in omega-3 fatty acids
Seafood is known for being high in omega-3, and 100 gm of catfish provides 237 mg or 15–20% of the Adequate Intake (AI) for adults. Since our body cannot make omega 3, an outer source is very important. Omega-3 helps cardiovascular and mental health and decreases the risk of all mortalities. The type of omega-3 in catfish is also easily absorbed by the body, making it an ideal form of this nutrient.
High in vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is very important for health, yet many people are deficient in it. However, 100 gm of catfish can provide 121% of the Daily Value, making it an extremely rich source of the vitamin. Vitamin B12 helps in many ways, such as improving red blood cell formation, brain health, and heart health. This vitamin is especially useful for pregnant women, infants, and the elderly, that usually lack this vitamin.
Minimum mercury contamination
Usually, fish that live at the bottom of the water, like catfish, can absorb a lot of harmful chemicals like mercury, which can be terrible for humans. The mercury level in catfish is relatively low compared to much other bottom-dwelling fish. Mercury can build inside the body and lead to neurodevelopmental issues as well as neurotoxicity in children, so pregnant women are especially harmed by it. Catfish only contain 0.024 PPM of mercury, which is lower than swordfish, tuna, herring, and mackerel.
What type of catfish is good for you?
The benefits that catfish provide depend a lot on the fish’s source. For many reasons, a wild-caught catfish will not have as many nutrients as a farm-raised catfish. Many people think wild-caught catfish are better for their health because farm-raised ones will have more chemicals in them, but this is completely wrong.
The difference between wild-caught and farm-raised catfish
The catfish that are caught in the wild usually scourge for food at the bottom of the water. Since catfish are omnivorous, they eat other fish, plants, and algae that have no nutritional value for humans. The diet of a wild catfish is unknown, but it usually doesn’t have enough minerals and vitamins and is more likely to be high in harmful chemicals like mercury. On the other hand, farm-raised catfish are fed a proper diet of soy, grain, wheat, and other protein sources that help the catfish grow up to be high in nutrients. There are little to no chemicals used to raise the fish, which means it has almost no mercury level. However, farm-raised catfish are more susceptible to diseases than wild-caught ones due to their growing environment, which reduces the nutritional benefit of the fish. A wild-caught catfish is also generally more expensive than a wild-caught one, but you should choose whichever one you trust more because catfish, at the end of the day, is good for your health.
How to eat catfish?
Catfish can be eaten in as many ways as you can make chicken. It is healthiest to bake the fish as it requires the least amount of oil compared to frying or deep frying the fish. However, it tastes better after getting fried, so it depends on your aim. Many different online recipes show millions of ways to make catfish at home. You can even eat the skin of catfish. You can also choose to buy the whole fish (you will have to skin it, which is a little hard) or fillet it, depending on what you prefer, and cook it according to the cut you have. The easiest way to make catfish is to put it in a pan with butter, salt, and pepper for a few minutes until it’s cooked.
Now you know that catfish is, in fact, very healthy for you as it contains so many different nutrients. The fish is low in calories yet high in protein and vitamin B12, making it an exceptional choice for people trying to lose weight and improve their health. There are so many different recipes for catfish that you will never grow tired of the taste of the fish. Therefore, one should always have catfish to reap its benefits.
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