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Proven Health Benefits

Proven Health Benefits of Catfish

While the word “catfish” might have more of a different meaning these days in the internet age, it’s one of the most commonly eaten fish around the world. There are a lot of fish that aren’t easily identifiable, but catfish certainly aren’t among them as you can spot them from a long distance. The way it’s eaten, a lot of people prefer their catfish to be fried, but other forms of cooking actually make catfish one of the healthier seafoods out there.

Catfish also has the benefit of not being too expensive and easier to find, as it helps you a variety of ways. Whether you want to lose weight, make your heart healthier and more, catfish can get you to your health goals. Not only that, but most people would agree that catfish tastes great. To show you what catfish can do, here’s a a look at the nutritional breakdown and proven health benefits you get from adding catfish to your diet.

Nutrition of Catfish

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If you really want a low calorie food that packs a ton of helpful nutrients, look no further than catfish. When prepared in a healthy way such as broiling or grilling, catfish only contains 80 calories per three ounce serving. Despite being so low in calories, catfish delivers more than a quarter of your daily recommendation for protein. There are no carbohydrates in catfish with just over two grams of fat.

As for the nutrients, vitamin D is the most abundant with more than an entire day’s worth of your suggested value. There’s also a third of your needed vitamin B12 and more than 10 percent of your daily thiamin. Other vitamins in smaller amounts include vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. In terms of minerals, catfish has between 10 to 20 percent of the recommended amount of phosphorus, potassium and selenium, with smaller (but significant) amounts of magnesium, zinc and calcium. To top it all off, catfish is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

Burn Fat, Build Muscle

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Eating the non-fried version of catfish is one of the foods that you can easily fit into any weight loss plan. At only 80 calories per each three ounce serving, you can have multiple servings per week as part of well rounded meals that stay within your calorie goals. There’s very little fat in catfish, and doesn’t have the drawbacks that some other low calorie foods have with high saturated fat contents.

Catfish is also packed with protein that’s able to help you efficiently build and repair muscle, which in turn burns more calories and fat. Catfish is among those foods that people who hit the gym often are eating. When you use the carbohydrates in your body, you start to use protein as an energy source, so those on low carb diets should be aware that they won’t be building as much muscle, but can still lose weight overall.

Bone Deep

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As we get older, our bones tend to start losing density and can lead to problems such as osteoporosis. To prevent that from happening, most people are told that they need to get as much calcium as possible. However, it won’t matter how much calcium you’re getting if you’re not adding vitamin D and phosphorus. Thankfully, catfish has plenty of both of those, especially in the vitamin D department with more than 100 percent daily value.

When you get enough vitamin D and phosphorus, your body is able to absorb the calcium you take, using it to build your bone strength. Studies have shown that people who get enough vitamin D in their diets reduce their chances of fractures by around 30 percent, while also reducing their chances of osteoporosis. Some research has even shown that vitamin D can help repair broken bones if you’ve suffered an injury.

Good For the Heart

Like a lot of other seafoods, catfish is packed with helpful omega-3 fatty acids that studies say will tremendously improve your heart health. For starters, omega-3 has been shown to have an effect on your cholesterol by lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood to reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke. The high amount of vitamin D also contributes to better heart health.

Several studies showed that people who get enough vitamin D tend to have more normal blood pressure and half the chances of heart disease compared to those that didn’t get enough of this nutrient. Other minerals contribute to the better health of your heart by relieving the stress on your vessels to lower blood pressure, ensuring that you have a much healthier and longer life.

Brain Food

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Doctors have been praising seafood for years now because of the benefits it can have on your brain. Catfish is packed with both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, which contribute to both short term and long term brain health. Research has shown that getting a proper amount of omega-3 in your diet drastically reduces your chances of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, while also helping you build memory and cognitive capabilities.

Both of these ingredients within catfish contribute to other brain benefits that include lowering signs of depression and even stress levels. When your neurotransmitters are working on all levels, it will be easier to get through your day while making your quality of life better as you age. For those that have trouble falling and staying asleep at night will also find a benefit, which might be the biggest boost to your quality of life.

Looking Good

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If you want your skin to be looking its best, eating seafood such as catfish can go a long way making it happen. With small amounts of vitamin A and C, you can fight off the free radicals that can attack your skin and cause signs of aging, while also producing collagen to promote elasticity. Add in omega-3 and vitamin B12 that reproduce your skin and hair cells, and catfish becomes its own beauty product when you get enough in your diet. It’s not one of those things that makes for a desirable ingredient in lotion, but thankfully you don’t have to do that.

Summing it Up

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About a decade ago, there were some concerns that the high level of omega-6 fatty acids made catfish an “unhealthy” food. However, studies over the past years have shown that omega-6 isn’t all that bad, and that the amount of omega-3 creates benefits that far outweigh negatives that it could have. Of course, with seafood, there’s always a concern with mercury levels, but catfish tends to be lower in mercury levels than other seafoods.

Most of the sources that have said that catfish is bad for your heart health haven’t actually conducted major studies, so you have to take these criticisms with a grain of salt. The health benefits that we provided have been proven through multiple studies, meaning that catfish is a perfect addition to just about any diet, especially when you consider the price point. With all of that in mind, firing up the oven (instead of the fryer) for a catfish dinner might make for a perfectly healthy night!

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