Catfish May Be a Bottom-Feeder But It's Healthy
By Paul Rothbart
It's commonly known that fish is one of the healthiest proteins you can eat. Seafood, as well as many freshwater fish, is popular and delicious. Salmon, swordfish, and trout are three of the more commonly consumed fish. Catfish is a staple of Southern cuisine but is looked down upon by some people as a bottom-feeder and thus not very healthy. The truth is catfish can be very tasty cooked in a variety of ways, especially the traditional breading and frying. It's also a nutritious protein with a number of health benefits.
It Has Lean Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for building muscle. It also aids in the production of enzymes and hormones. Many forms of protein come with a considerable amount of fat, which can be detrimental to health. A single serving of catfish is about 3.5 ounces and contains only 105 calories while supplying 32-39 percent of your total recommended daily protein. That's fewer than the 203 calories a same-size serving of salmon contains with a similar amount of protein. Catfish tends to fill you up with its protein and with its low caloric content, it can be helpful for weight loss.
Vitamin B12 provides many health benefits such as preventing anemia, boosting mental health, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are not uncommon. One serving of catfish contains 121 percent of the recommended daily allowance of this essential nutrient. It is, in fact, one of the varieties of fish with the highest B12 content.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most beneficial nutrients. They are excellent for brain health, boosting cognitive function and memory while helping to prevent Alzheimer's and dementia. They are also very beneficial to heart health and for strong skeletal muscle. Fish is the main source of omega-3s. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the consumption of eight ounces of fish each week. Catfish is a good source of omega-3s. A 3-ounce serving contains 10-15 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
In addition to the aforementioned, catfish contains significant amounts of other essential nutrients. One serving contains 26 percent of the recommended daily allowance of selenium and 24 percent of phosphorus. It also has potassium at 19 percent and 15 percent of thiamine. Overall, quite a nutritious protein.
When it comes to sources of protein, it's hard to beat fish. Although not generally considered elevated cuisine, the humble catfish is an excellent source of nutrition. If you haven't yet, give it a try.
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