Benefits Of Anchovies


12 Benefits Of Anchovies

Vickie Glosson

Yes, you have heard or consumed on some occasion the anchovy fish. In the beginning, it was only consumed in Europe, although, at the moment, its consumption spread by the world, and today they are considered a delicacy. Their meat can consume in many different ways, whether in salads, fillings, sauces, among many other forms, which facilitates their consumption to take benefits of anchovies for our health.

The anchovy is a small fish, which belongs to the family Engraulidae. Anchovy fish meat has a strong aromatic flavor, is rich in proteins and good fats. It contains about 12% fat and has all the benefits of oily fish. It is also rich in carbohydrates, iron, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iodine, selenium, phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A, B, E, D, and K.

A significant differential of this small fish is related mainly by its size. Many kinds of seafood end up containing high levels of environmental toxins and mercury. However, this is not the case with anchovies, because of their small size and very short life cycle, these fish end up not absorbing these harmful substances, being an excellent option for daily consumption.

Properties of Anchovies

Firstly, we should consider that anchovy is an oily fish, so it is a food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy type of ideal fat in a balanced diet.

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It also provides proteins of high biological value (about 20% per kilogram), so that its protein content is very similar to that found in red meats or eggs.

With its content of other essential nutrients, particularly vitamins, the presence of B vitamins (B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12) are noteworthy.

Nutritional values ​​of anchovies

Here are some of the most prominent nutrients in anchovies:

  • 3,930 mg of sodium
  • 3.40 mg of zinc
  • 273 mg of calcium
  • 28.62 mg protein
  • 4.2 mg of iron
  • 230 mg of potassium
  • 18.80 mg of iodine
  • 54.80 mg of magnesium

Benefits of Anchovies

1. Improves immunity

It’s magnesium and vitamin A content makes this food an ally to enhance immunity.

2. Good combination of vitamins

Thanks to its content of fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamin A and D). It helps to improve vision health, improves resistance to infections, promotes calcium absorption and is involved in the production of sex hormones and enzymes of the liver.

3. Rich in omega-3

One of the main benefits of anchovies is undoubtedly its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. This type of healthy fat helps to prevent heart disease, prevent the formation of blood clots and clots, and reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

4. Good for heart health

In addition to omega-3, essential for cardiovascular health, calcium and magnesium also play a vital role in the smooth functioning of the heart. Calcium stimulates the muscles of the heart and blood vessels, while magnesium causes them to relax. Thus, they maintain the regulation of heart rate and blood pressure.

According to Oregon State University, niacin or vitamin B3, found in this food, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides and may reduce the likelihood of dying from a heart attack.

5. Increases muscle mass

It particularly recommended for muscle development due to its high protein content. That is why anchovies are very important for people who practice physical activities and athletes.

6. Strong bones and teeth

Vitamin D is increasingly deficient in the population. This fish is rich in this vitamin, which helps to regulate calcium levels in the blood and promotes the absorption and fixation of this mineral in bones and teeth, keeping them healthy. It also contains vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus and other nutrients that promote bone health.

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Only 20 g fillet of fresh anchovies have about 2% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, 3% calcium and 5% phosphorus. The three minerals are essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones.

7. It Helps to lose weight

The anchovy is high in protein and has low calorie, making it ideal for weight loss. Ingesting more protein produces a sense of satiety, which prevents eating out of time, in addition to providing many nutritional health benefits.

8. Prevents anemia

The anchovy is a rich source of iron. Its iron content is useful for the prevention of iron deficiency anemia.

9. Magnesium

Magnesium accelerates intestinal transit, having a mild laxative effect. It also participates in the functioning of nerves and muscles, which is essential for people who play sports and for those with mood disorders.

10. Prevents thyroid problems

Iodine is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates many metabolic functions, as well as fetal growth and brain development.

11. Ideal for pregnant women

It also provides folic acid, an essential vitamin in the diet of pregnant women, moreover, does not contain mercury and other toxic substances present in some fish.

12. Maintains youthful skin

Frequent consumption of anchovy offers the body with the nutrients needed to keep the skin young. It is due to its content of fatty acids, selenium and Vitamin A and E. The combination of these nutrients prevents the formation of wrinkles and stains in the skin.

How to choose Fresh anchovy?

  • Skin needs this damp and shiny look.
  • Meat cannot be soft with finger pressure.
  • A firm tail without bending.
  • Gills with the colors still reddish.
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Where are anchovies located?

Its highest concentration is in warm waters, lower levels found in cold or hot waters.

Where to buy anchovies?

In large fish and seafood markets, the value varies from R $ 15.00 to R $ 40.00 (real) depending on the size and weight of the fish.

What is the exact size of the Anchovy?

It varies from 1 kg to 2 kg (up to 15 kg), and measures between 25 and 40 cm.

Anchovy Recipes

1. Grilled Anchovies
  • Take a fork or knife and drill holes over the entire fish (no longer bellied).
  • With chopped ingredients parsley, lemon juice, chives, onion, coarse salt, some bay leaves and basil, pass over the fish.
  • Use aluminum foil to wrap the fish, important, close the sides well so that it does not enter or leave the air.
  • Put on a grill for 45 to 60 minutes (always turn in 15-minute intervals so that it roasted on both sides).
  • Place on a platter and remove the aluminum.
2. Fried Anchovies
  • Clean the fish.
  • Season with juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Pass the fish in the flour and fry.
  • After frying, pass on a platter and wait for the fat to drain.
3. Anchovies to the Oven
  • Season the anchovy already flattened with the ingredients Garlic, Salt, Onion, Pepper, Tomato, and Lemon.
  • Put the fish skin down on a baking sheet oiled with olive oil.
  • Wait for up to 30 minutes.
  • Drizzle the fish with the olive oil and wrap with foil.
  • Bake in medium temperature for up to 35 minutes.
  • After, remove the aluminum foil and wait for another 15 minutes until the oven has dried the liquid that formed on the fish.


Because of its high purine content, anchovy consumption is not recommending for people with gout, hyperuricemia and high uric acid.

More information

Anchovies are a very healthy food that is worth including in our diet. There are many natural and delicious recipes using this fish as the primary food for its pleasant taste.

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