Among the more popular types of seafood in regions located on the Pacific rim or Atlantic coast, mahi mahi is one of the easier fish to catch because of its large numbers, bigger sizes and its habit of swimming near the water’s surface. Mahi mahi is also an incredibly colorful fish that was once thought of as a dolphin because of its distinguishable fin. Though mahi mahi isn’t as common outside of North America, it is enjoyed in parts of Asia and has seen a growth in popularity in other regions.
One of the reasons that mahi mahi has exploded in popularity is because of its taste. We don’t see this particular fish get fried as often as others, with many opting to pan cook mahi mahi at a dry heat. This has also led to mahi mahi being considered one of the healthier seafood options around, and for good reason. There are a lot of fish in the sea, but mahi mahi is among the best that you can eat, and here’s a breakdown of the nutritional value and some of the proven health benefits to show you why it’s such a good option.
Nutrition of Mahi Mahi
When it comes to lean meats, there might not be one quite as lean as mahi mahi. Each three ounce serving (cooked at dry heat) adds just 92 calories to your daily total, with an incredible 40 percent of your daily recommendation of protein at over 20 grams. As an added bonus, there are zero carbohydrates in mahi mahi, with under one gram of fat (just 0.2 saturated fat grams) and more than 130 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Mahi mahi also contains a fair amount of vitamins, with 32 percent of your daily recommendation for niacin, 20 percent of your needed vitamin B6 and 10 percent of your vitamin B12. Other vitamins in smaller amounts include vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, folate and pantothenic acid. In terms of minerals, selenium really stands out with more than half of your daily suggested intake. Phosphorus and potassium both come in at more than 10 percent while others that fall between the five to 10 percent daily value mark include iron, magnesium and zinc.
Slimming In The Sea
Because of the low calorie content alone, mahi mahi is a tremendous food to eat as part of a weight loss plan. With under 100 calories per three ounce serving, you can even add other healthy and low calorie options with mahi mahi to make a nice well rounded meal. With almost no fat per serving, these are lean calories that are going to accelerate your weight loss. Another big part of getting lean is by adding more protein.
Since mahi mahi contains over 20 grams of protein, you’ll be able to build more muscle while working out and repair muscles afterward. When you add more lean muscle to your body, you’re burning more calories even while at rest, which burns more fat. Adding mahi mahi to a meal that’s high in fiber is a great way of making sure that you stay full while also fueling your muscles, two key aspects of losing weight.
Good For The Heart
There are certain nutrients that you should be getting to improve your heart health, and mahi mahi contains plenty of them. Starting with omega-3 fatty acids, these compounds have been shown to clear out plaque from your bloodstream, lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising your HDL (good) levels. A high amount of potassium in mahi mahi also helps by improving your blood pressure, removing sodium and relaxing the heart vessels.
Another key aspect of mahi mahi that increases heart health is selenium, and each serving has more than half a day’s worth. Selenium furthers the benefit that potassium has for your blood pressure, reducing your chances of coronary heart disease. With less stress on your heart, you’ll be feeling much better and increasing your longevity.
One of the key nutrients that also helps your heart is niacin, and you’ll get plenty in mahi mahi. Niacin also plays a role in your brain’s health, improving function by releasing certain chemicals to make you feel more alert and less drowsy. If you lack niacin, you might be feeling a bit of “brain fog,” according to researchers. An increase in niacin is even linked to a reduction in chances of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in mahi mahi play a part in preventing these types of diseases, as well. With the nutrients found in mahi mahi, you’re able to improve cognition and increase the efficiency of neurotransmitters, which sustains brain health throughout your life. Some studies have even found a small link between mahi mahi and a prevention in the development of schizophrenia, but more research needs to be done for a full conclusion.
You’ll only find two percent of your daily recommended amount of calcium in each serving of mahi mahi, but there’s something else that’s just important. With nearly 20 percent of your recommended phosphorus, you can build stronger bones as your body becomes more effective at absorbing calcium. This reduces your chances of osteoporosis and general bone loss as you age, especially when you add in helpful magnesium found in mahi mahi.
Studies also show that you can treat arthritis pain naturally by eating more mahi mahi thanks to niacin, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. For those that have arthritis, you know how swollen and painful your joints can become. With protein to help your muscles refuel, you might not experience much pain at all anymore!
Many studies have found that getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet has a strong link to skin health. Adding more omega-3 can improve your complexion, working as an antioxidant to get rid of free radicals that can damage your skin and make you look older by developing wrinkles. The high amount of niacin in mahi mahi further improves your skin by protecting you from harmful UV rays, with some studies saying that you can even prevent certain forms of skin cancer. If you add mahi mahi to a diet high in vitamin A and vitamin C, your hair and skin will be looking its best.
Summing it Up
Plainly said, mahi mahi is one of the healthiest options that you can find not only in terms of seafood, but in meat overall. Of course, when it comes to seafood there are plenty of people that worry about contaminants they might have. Thankfully, mahi mahi is usually classified as one of the safer fish to eat, with some research groups putting it into the safest category, while at worst it was in the second safest category (according to Natural Resources Defense Council).
Mahi mahi won’t be for everybody since some are allergic to particular types of seafood, which could cause life threatening symptoms. Most won’t have to worry about this being an issue, though, making mahi mahi a fine choice for those looking to add more seafood to their diet. With a great taste, very few side effects and an ability to easily find it in countries like the United States, mahi mahi has shown why it’s become so popular in recent years.