There are many different types of seafood to be found around the world, and one of the most commonly eaten that’s not a fish is the squid. In the mollusk department, squid can be used in a multitude of ways, depending on what region you’re in. In certain parts of Asia, squid is typically eaten raw and or grilled. Here in the United States, squid is usually fried and served as a dish called calamari.
Of course, the middle ground is to grill or broil your squid to make sure that you’re both eating safely and getting all of the nutrition without extra fat or potential pests. If you do this, squid can be a great part of your diet, even if you’re not a big fan of traditional seafood. To show you why squid can be your go-to seafood choice, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value and the great health benefits you get from eating more squid in your diet.
Nutrition of Squid
Of course, we don’t want to look at the nutritional value of fried squid, as it contains a lot of unwanted calories and saturated fat. Raw squid provides a better look at this mollusk’s full nutritional value, starting with just 78 calories per three ounce serving. That serving delivers a tremendous amount of protein at 13.2 grams, which is just over a quarter of your daily recommended value. There’s a surprising amount of vitamins in squid, with more than 20 percent of your recommended riboflavin intake and nearly 20 percent of your vitamin B12 needs.
Other vitamins found in smaller amounts around five to 10 percent daily value include vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin and pantothenic acid, with small amounts of vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folate. Squid is a huge source of copper at nearly a full day’s worth and more than 50 percent of your recommended selenium intake. Squid also adds about 20 percent of your recommended phosphorus, with between five to 10 percent of your recommended calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. You get all of that for just 1.2 grams of fat, which includes 422 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Swimming and Slimming
Many of the world’s squid are eaten in the Mediterranean region, making it a big part of the popular Mediterranean Diet. This particular diet has been consistently ranked among the best because of its effectiveness in weight loss and overall health. It’s not hard to see why squid is great for weight loss, as a three ounce serving has just 78 calories, making it a big part of a low calorie meal that you can fit into your weight loss budget.
Not only that, but there’s very little fat in squid with just 1.2 grams (and only 0.3 grams of saturated fat). A huge factor, though, is the high protein content. With more than 13 grams in each serving, you’ll be able to build muscle more efficiently. Adding more muscle to your body allows you to burn more calories, which in turn melts fat. There’s a reason that doctors love adding seafood to weight loss plans, especially squid.
Good For the Heart
Upon first glance at the nutritional content for squid, one thing that might stand out for a lot of people is the cholesterol content. With just under 100 milligrams of cholesterol per serving (and 66 percent of your daily maximum suggestion), some might think that squid is an awful food to eat for your heart. It’s actually the opposite, as squid is incredibly low in saturated fat, which is what you really need to be watching.
Combine the low saturated fat content with the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, and you’ll actually be increasing your HDL cholesterol level, which is good. Non-fried squid doesn’t contain too much sodium, either, while containing heart healthy minerals that include potassium that get rid of excess sodium and balance your blood pressure. So just remember that even if something’s high in cholesterol, it might not always be bad.
Calcium, of course, is the building block of the bones, but one serving of squid contains just three percent of your recommended value. So why are we talking about the benefit of squid for your bones? Because without other minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium, your body won’t be able to use calcium efficiently to make your bones stronger. These minerals allow for better absorption, reducing your chances of osteoporosis down the road.
When you’re helping your bones overall, you’re also helping out your teeth by making them stronger and avoiding tooth decay as you age. Another sign of aging is pain around the joints, which is an inflammation known as arthritis. The high amount of copper found within squid is the best way to avoid these types of pains, especially if you have a glass of water to go along with squid.
An Underrated Vitamin
We hear about the usual suspects in terms of vitamins such as vitamin A or C, but one that doesn’t get much attention is riboflavin. This one can be hard to come across in a lot of foods, but squid contains nearly a quarter of your daily recommended value. Riboflavin helps in a lot of different ways, especially protecting your body at a cellular level.
Getting more riboflavin in your diet creates more red blood cells so that oxygen is being carried to all of the organs in your body, while providing an energy boost. That will help your metabolism in turn, and the ability for riboflavin to help your thyroid function more efficiently furthers that. Lastly, riboflavin makes sure that all of your healthy cells are growing and reproducing at a healthy rate while aiding in the fight against disease causing free radicals that could be ravaging your body.
Many doctors have said that if you want to improve your brain’s health, you should look toward moving your diet to the oceans. Squid is one of the many seafoods that’s incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids, with more than 400 milligrams per serving. Omega-3 fatty acid has been found to increase the efficiency of your brain; improving cognition and memory while helping you avoid neurological diseases at an older age. Combined with selenium, eating more squid drastically reduces your chances of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, two neurological diseases that are far too common.
Summing it Up
For the most part, the ability to collect seafood and make it safe for human consumption has improved on a yearly basis. Many people have a concern about the amount of mercury contained within their seafood, and squid is obviously no exception. Squid doesn’t tend to have a high amount when compared to other similar types of seafood, but you should always make sure that you’re getting your seafood from a very reputable source.
There are also going to be those people that are allergic to mollusks, which is one of the more common types of food allergies. You also have to make sure that squid is prepared properly by being cooked all the way through. While that usually means that people are frying squid, finding a healthier alternative is going to be the best way to enjoy this food. When the preparation is just right, squid is one of the better foods that you can eat because of its low calorie content and amount of minerals that you might not otherwise be getting. Add in the fact that it tastes delicious, and squid makes for a perfect meal!