Fish & Seafood

Mackerel: Benefits and Harms to the Body

Humanity has been fishing since ancient times. The oldest fishhook ever found by archaeologists was made over 42,000 years ago.

It is not surprising that even today people love fish so much – after all, it is a valuable food product. Some of its varieties even surpass meat in protein content. And fish is also on the list of leaders in the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. One of the most popular species in the world can be considered mackerel. Even if it is difficult to find fresh or frozen fish in your area, there are still canned fish on store shelves.

We figure out in what form mackerel will bring more benefits to the body, how to choose and cook it correctly.


The history of the appearance of mackerel in nutrition

This is a fish from the Scombriev family. In Europe, it is known under the name mackerel. It lives in the seas and oceans, is found off the coast of Ireland, Japan, Norway, Australia, the USA and Russia.

In autumn and winter, this fish can enrich your diet with fats (up to 28% fat), and immediately after spawning, its meat acquires dietary properties, retaining only 13% fat.

You can cook mackerel in many ways: it is stewed, fried, salted and smoked, canned, baked in the oven and on the grill.


The composition and calorie content of mackerel

This is a very nutritious product. Mackerel contains healthy fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Calories per 100 g 205 kcal
Squirrels 18.6 g
Fats 13.9 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Omega 3 fatty acids 2670 mg
Omega 6 fatty acids 219 mg
Vitamin D 16.1 mg, which is 107.3% of the daily value
Vitamin E 1.5 mg, which is equal to 10.4% of the norm
Vitamin B3 9.1 mg, which is equal to 56.8% of the norm
Vitamin B12 8.7 mcg, which is equal to 362.9% of the norm
Calcium 12 mg, which is equal to 1.2% of the norm
Iron 1.6 mg, which is equal to 16.3% of the norm
Magnesium 76 mg, which is equal to 19% of the norm
Phosphorus 217 mg, which is equal to 31% of the norm
Potassium 314 mg, which is equal to 6.7% of the norm
Selenium 44.1 mg, which is equal to 80.2% of the norm


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The benefits of mackerel

“This fish is popular because it can be consumed in any form: salted, fried, baked and smoked,” says Gastroenterologist at L7 Breast Center Baver Salikhova. – Mackerel is classified as a variety of fatty fish, it contains a large amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids, fluorine, iodine and other useful substances necessary to maintain the normal functioning of the body and prevent chronic diseases. Fish also contains vitamins A, C, D, E, K and group B.

Regular consumption of mackerel will improve the cognitive functions of the body, increase efficiency, prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders of brain activity, as well as normalize the conduction function of the nervous system, which is a prevention of the development of severe forms of depression and dementia.

The content of anti-inflammatory components in the fish fillet helps to reduce pain in articular and rheumatic diseases, increase the motor function of the joints.

Due to the content of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10, mackerel is considered an anti-carcinogenic product, its inclusion in the diet prevents the spread and development of cancer agents in the body, minimizes the likelihood of cell malignancy (acquisition of the properties of a malignant tumor by healthy cells – ed.), reduces the risk of breast cancer, oncological diseases prostate, kidney and liver.

Benefits for men

Mackerel contains nutrients needed to support men’s health, including the prevention of heart disease (1).

“Fish can replenish the protein reserves of the body,” adds Baver Salikhova. – 100 g of mackerel contains 18.6 g of protein – the most important nutrient for the formation of muscle mass and the main building material of cells. The composition of the fish includes many trace elements: calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium and others. These compounds strengthen the myocardium, normalize the functioning of the heart, nervous tissue, regulate metabolism, stabilize blood pressure, and maintain cholesterol levels within acceptable levels.

Benefits for Women

Mackerel can replace nutritional supplements for health and beauty, as its meat is a valuable source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

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“People who eat mackerel in their diet improve digestion, increase the body’s resistance to viral and bacterial diseases, normalize hormonal levels, improve the condition of the skin, hair and nails,” says gastroenterologist Baver Salikhova.

The most useful option is mackerel baked in the oven. Fish prepared in this way retains the greatest amount of valuable substances and vitamins. Boiled mackerel will also be useful.

Benefits for children

Fish should be regularly given to children. Due to the high concentration of Omega-3, mackerel supports mental health and improves cognitive abilities: attention, memory, thinking.

In a small 2018 study, 232 preschool children were asked to eat fish (mackerel or herring) or meat (beef, lamb or pork) three times a week. After 16 weeks, children leaning on fish had increased levels of omega-3 in the body. On cognitive tests, children in this group performed better than those who ate meat. (2).

The high content of vitamin D in mackerel also helps to strengthen the skeleton and healthy growth of the child.


Harm mackerel

“You should be careful eating hot-smoked mackerel, canned and salted,” warns expert Baver Salikhova. – Since excessive consumption of such products can provoke diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), liver and kidneys.

People who have been diagnosed with hypertension should be especially careful, since the high salt content in mackerel can lead to an increase in blood pressure.

It is recommended to refuse the use of this fish in the presence of food allergies and intolerance to the elements that make up its composition. With exacerbation of chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, you should also temporarily limit the consumption of fish.


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The use of mackerel in cooking

This is a versatile fish: it is good solo and in combination with other products.

Salted Mackerel

If you do everything according to the recipe, in just two hours the fish will become moderately salty, spicy and very tasty.



Defrost the mackerel, peel, remove the head, entrails, tail and fins. Rinse well and divide into portions.

Peel the onion and cut into rings. Mix salt, sugar and pepper in a small bowl.

At the bottom of a clean 1.5-liter jar, put part of the onion rings, a little mixture of salt, sugar and pepper, bay leaf. Put a few slices of fish on top and sprinkle them with Provencal herbs.

Next, alternate a layer of onions and seasonings with fish sprinkled with Provencal herbs until the jar is filled to the top.

Close the jar with a Capron lid and leave for an hour. Then turn it upside down and leave for another hour. At the end of salting, the fish can be served immediately to the table.

Mackerel Riyette

This is the name of a pate with large pieces of fish. It is used as a spread on bread.


Frozen mackerel 500 g
White wine 50 ml
Carrot 2 pcs.
Shallot 3 pcs.
Sour cream 2 tbsp. spoons
Mustard 1 st. spoon
Bay leaf 2 pcs.
Thyme 1 branch
Dry seasoning for fish Taste
Ground black pepper Taste
Salt Taste
Water For cooking


Defrost and clean the fish from the insides, remove the fins and head. Peel the carrots, cut the onion into quarters.

Put the mackerel in a saucepan and fill with water so that it covers the fish completely. Add carrots, shallots, thyme, bay leaf, dry seasoning, pour in wine.

Place the saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Then remove from heat and let stand for a quarter of an hour. Remove the fish, cool slightly, remove the skin and remove the bones from the carcass. Strain the fish broth and set aside.

In a separate container, mash the mackerel with a fork, add mustard and sour cream to it, put dry seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, mix thoroughly. If the appetizer is too thick, add a little broth. Place the rillette in the refrigerator for two hours, after which it can be served.


How to choose and store mackerel

In order for the fish to benefit health, and not lead to food poisoning, when choosing a product for the table, pay attention to its appearance and aroma.

High-quality fresh or chilled mackerel has a smooth, even surface without growths and damage. Skin color is uniform. Aroma – natural marine, without harsh notes. The eyes are clear, not cloudy, and the gills are pink or red.

Frozen fish are subject to the same requirements as fresh fish. Separately look at the layer of ice on its surface. It must be clean and thin.

Good smoked mackerel – golden color. It has a rich, pleasant aroma. If there is almost no smell, this is a sign that the fish has been lying for a long time.

Mackerel is better to buy immediately before cooking and eating. Fresh and chilled fish is stored in a container with a lid in the refrigerator. In a plastic bag, it quickly goes out.

Salted and pickled mackerel is kept in brine or marinade so that it does not dry out and does not weather. And smoked fish is wrapped in waxed paper, then placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

Frozen mackerel is stored in the freezer; re-freezing should be avoided.



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