Salted fish is a type of fish that is quite popular and favored by Indonesian people. Not only does it have a unique taste, salted fish also has a variety of nutritional content that is beneficial for the body as long as it is not consumed excessively.
Nutritional content of salted fish
In Europe, salted fish has various shapes and types of fish. You could say, salted fish is one of the mainstays of favorite foods that can increase appetite.
Salted fish made from anchovy turns out to be rich in omega 3, vitamins and minerals.
In publication US Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of anchovies contain the following nutrients:
- Calories: 320 kcal
- Protein: 70 gr
- Lemak total: 3 gr
- Kalsium: 2.200 mg
- Iron: 18 mg
- Natrium: 560 mg
- Saturated fat: 1.4 gr
Apart from that, salted fish is also known to be rich in vitamin B3, vitamin B12 and the mineral selenium which the body needs.
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List of the health benefits of salted fish
The nutritional content of salted fish is what makes this food have many health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of salted fish that you wouldn’t want to miss.
1. Maintain heart health
Who would have thought that consuming salted fish would be beneficial maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. This benefit comes from the high content of omega-3 and selenium in salted fish.
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that can have a positive impact on the cardiovascular system, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood vessel function, blood flow, and inflammation. This contributes to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Meanwhile, the antioxidant content in the mineral selenium can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
2. Maintain brain health
Again, because of the high omega-3 content in it, salted fish also has benefits for maintaining brain health.
Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid that is needed in the formation of brain cells and carrying out their functions. Many studies link omega-3 deficiency to the incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
3. Helps weight loss
Like other types of fish, salted fish is also a good source of protein for the body. The protein content in 100 grams of salted fish is quite high. This is what makes salted fish a supporting alternative diet to lose weight.
Protein-rich foods are known to be the right foods to help with weight loss. A high-protein diet can help maintain lean body mass and help you feel full longer.
4. Fight cancer
The high omega-3 and selenium content in salted fish makes this small fish have the potential to fight cancer.
Omega-3 is a type of fatty acid that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Meanwhile, selenium is a mineral that has antioxidant properties. These two properties are able to fight oxidative stress and fight cancer cells, as well as inhibit tumor growth.
The dangers of eating too much salted fish
Not only does it provide benefits for the body, consumption of salted fish can also have a bad impact on health if consumed excessively. In fact, you may have heard of it or limited its consumption due to the health risks that may arise.
Content High levels of sodium or sodium in salted fish can trigger various health problems, including:
- Increase blood pressure or hypertension
- Wrist swollen feet due to hypertension causing fluid retention (accumulation of fluid in the body)
- Hard to breathe
- The emergence of fluid around the heart and lungs
- Increases the risk of stomach cancer
Apart from that, some salted fish producers sometimes add chemicals in the production process. This content also contributes to the formation of cancer cells, such as nasopharyngeal and colorectal cancer.
So, even though there are indeed health benefits of salted fish, you need to be wise in consuming it. That way, the dangers of salted fish can be avoided.
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Can pregnant women eat salted fish?
Pregnant women can eat salted fish, but you need to pay attention to the high salt content in this food. Consuming too much salt (sodium) during pregnancy can increase the risk of high blood pressure which is dangerous for pregnant women and the fetus in the womb.
When the sodium content in the blood is very high, the kidneys will be unable to absorb the content and cause the body to retain more water to help thin the blood.
As a result, the fluid balance in the body will be disturbed. The entry of fluid into the cells will reduce the diameter of the heart arteries. As a result, the heart has to pump blood more strongly which can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure during pregnancy, also known as gestational hypertension, can increase the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women. This pregnancy complication is characterized by high blood pressure.
If not treated immediately, this disease can cause complications including premature birth and cardiovascular disease later in life.
Tips for safely eating salted fish
So that you can still enjoy salted fish without fear of the risk of health problems, you can apply the following tips at home:
- Make sure you wash or rinse the salted fish before processing it. This method can reduce the sodium content in it and eliminate other parasites
- Make sure you process salted fish thoroughly to avoid parasite infections
- Consume salted fish along with vegetables and other complex carbohydrates to meet the body’s balanced nutritional needs
- Don’t eat too much salted fish
- Don’t add table salt or other practical spices to salted fish
The nutritional content in salted fish provides health benefits if consumed properly. Excessive consumption is not recommended because it can trigger various health problems, including high blood pressure.
For some people with certain health conditions, eating salted fish may be prohibited.