Anchovies are widely popular and known for providing exceptional health benefits. These are small fish and they look very similar to sardines. Anchovies belong to the family of Engraulidae and are found throughout the world's oceans. These oily fish are a powerhouse of many important nutrients. These low calorie fish are used for flavouring purposes and also as the ingredient in food seasoning. They are an important part of salad dressings and pizza toppings. They are used for making many sauces like fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce as well. In this article, we’ll try to find out the health benefits of anchovies – especially the benefits they provide for the heart health.
Nutritional Facts of Anchovies
Anchovies are rich in heart healthy nutrients. They contain very good amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, potassium and Vitamin A. Also, they are strong source of protein. In addition, anchovies are a wonderful source of calcium, selenium and Vitamin D. Anchovies do provide small amount of Vitamin B3 or niacin as well.
Heart Health and Benefits of Anchovies
Anchovies are a very good food for the heart because of its Omega 3 contents. Two major Omega 3 fatty acids- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in high amounts in anchovies. These two Omega 3 fats are extremely important for the heart health as they reduce the risk of developing heart disease significantly. Omega 3 fatty acids are known for reducing the amounts of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood stream. These healthy fats can also help to prevent excessive blood clotting. Omega 3 fatty acids help in reducing blood pressure levels and rates of heart arrhythmias as well.
According to the studies, Omega-3 fatty acids may lower the overall risk of death from heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests that people should eat Omega 3 fatty acids rich fish at least two times or two servings a week to keep the heart healthy. To get the maximum health benefits, one should eat fish baked or grilled and not fried.
Other Health Benefits of Anchovies
Besides heart health benefits, anchovies also provide other health benefits. They are responsible for the prevention and treatment of many health conditions and diseases. Check out the other major health benefits of anchovies.
- Omega 3s and selenium play crucial role in the prevention of cancer.
- Omega 3 rich anchovies are excellent anti-inflammatory food.
- Anchovies contain high quality proteins which help to maintain healthy muscle and skin.
- Calcium in anchovies plays important role in keeping the bone healthy and reduces the chance of osteoporosis.
- Vitamin A in anchovies improves the eye health.
- Niacin in anchovies keeps the nervous system healthy.
- Niacin also plays an important role to keep the digestive tract healthy.
In addition, anchovies are a good food for the mental health as well. Omega 3 fatty acids in anchovies are responsible for the prevention of depression and mental fatigue.
Anchovies can contain certain levels of mercury and other environmental toxins. They also contain high level of sodium. Therefore, it’s a good idea not to eat anchovies in high quantity. Also, you must cook the anchovies thoroughly to avoid health risk caused by the parasitic infection.
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