Is Swordfish Healthy?—Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits

cover image representing health quotient of swordfish

What makes swordfish a popular seafood choice? Its firm texture, mild flavor, versatility in the kitchen, culinary adaptability, global availability, and nutritional profile. The answer is all.  All these characteristics of swordfish make swordfish a popular seafood choice. It stays and protects all seafood lover’s hearts with its mild flavor and nutrition. 

Nutritional Composition of Swordfish

Swordfish contributes to the maintenance of all health as it is composed of a variety of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients and Their Health Benefits—

Protein

Swordfish is protein-enriched seafood that repairs and builds muscles. It enhances your immune system and keeps your overall body fit.

Fats

Swordfish contains saturated fat in low amounts. Predominant fats in swordfish particularly, omega-3 fatty acids prevent the heart from potential risks.

Calories

Swordfish is a moderate source of calories which makes it nutrient-dense seafood.

Micronutrients & Their Health Benefits—

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Swordfish is a fatty fish with omega-3, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA improve your blood vessels’ function and elasticity as it lowers your blood pressure and decreases your heart rate. It keeps your heart protected. DHA keeps you away from neurodegenerative diseases by supporting cognitive function. Swordfish with inflammatory properties, prevent chronic diseases. 

Vitamins

Vitamin B12: It supports nerve function and produces red blood cells.

Vitamin B3(Niacin): It keeps your skin healthy. Also, it is essential for energy metabolism.

Vitamin B6: It is beneficial for the metabolism of proteins. It helps in the formation of neurotransmitters.

Vitamin D: It may lower blood pressure and risk of heart attack. Also, it protects against cancer and strengthens bone health.

Minerals

Selenium: It is crucial for bone development and heart health.

Phosphorus: It aids in energy metabolism. Also, it keeps your bones healthy.

Magnesium: It supports muscle and nerve function. It offers benefits related to bone health.

image representing a swordfish platter

Mercury Content in Swordfish

Mercury, a hazardous content for unborn babies, infants, pregnant women, and kids present in swordfish in high amounts. High mercury intake by pregnant women harms the developing brain of the unborn baby. High intake of mercury by children affects the neurological development process and causes learning disabilities, attention deficits, and memory impairment. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid consuming fish containing high mercury as mercury transfers through breast milk and affect the cognitive function of infants. Individuals who are already going through some health issues should avoid intake of high mercury as It may deteriorate their health.

Sustainable Fishing Practices

Due to the high demand for swordfish and technological advancement, people are following overfishing which is depleting the population of swordfish.

Why is Sustainable Fishing Important for Swordfish?

Sustainable fishing allows us to enjoy swordfish and ensure that the swordfish population is growing and rebuilding in marine and freshwater habitats. It maintains a balance in predator-prey relationships and takes care of the overall health and biodiversity of the oceans. It minimizes the unintentional capture of non-target species by employing a sustainable fishing method, involving using selective gear and avoiding areas with high bycatch rates. In short, it protects marine life. 

Considerations for Pregnant Women and Children

Due to the high mercury content in swordfish, Infants and children are at increased risk from swordfish. It is important to understand its negative impact on unborn babies and children.

Swordfish and Pregnant Women

Swordfish is a rich source of mercury which affects the developing brain of an unborn baby. Pregnant women should be cautious about their intake of swordfish or it is better to opt for some other fish containing low amounts of mercury. Swordfish is a rich source of mercury which affects the developing brain of an unborn baby.

Swordfish and Children

Just like unborn babies, children are also at increased risk from mercury content present in swordfish. It affects their developing nervous system and cognitive functions. Intake of swordfish by children may lead to learning disabilities, attention deficits, and memory impairment. Parents should serve small portions of swordfish or they should add fish with low mercury to their diet.

image representing a swrod fish platter along with some veggies

Cooking Methods and Culinary Tips

To enhance the flavor and nutrition of swordfish, you can opt for different cooking methods and culinary tips. 

Healthy Cooking Methods

Baking: Baking involves seasoning the fish with spices, herbs, and a light pour of olive oil and placing it seasoned fish in the oven. This method enhances the flavor without loss of nutritional value.

Grilling: To give a smoky flavor to fish, marinate the swordfish with herbs, lemon, and olive oil and grill it on a well-oiled grill. 

Steaming: Add flavourful herbs and lemon while steaming the swordfish. It retains the natural moisture of swordfish and does not add any fat.

Broiling: Cook swordfish under high heat. It is a quick method to give a crispy flavor to swordfish.

Poaching: Poaching involves simmering swordfish in a broth with herbs, vegetables, and a hint of white wine. 

Pan-Searing: To maintain the fish’s moisture and nutrition, Take a small amount of healthy oil in the pan and sear the swordfish.

Culinary Tips

Use heart-healthy oils for cooking and marinating. Brighten the flavor of swordfish with herbs, spices, and citrus fruits. Combine it with vegetables, whole grains, or refreshing salad and make it healthier.

image representing a pair of swordfish platters

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Swordfish Healthy?

Swordfish is a healthy option when consumed in moderation as it lowers blood pressure and improves your immune system due to the presence of a variety of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Also, It offers Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart.

Can children eat swordfish?

Swordfish is a rich source of mercury that affects the developing brains of infants and children. It is better to not offer swordfish to children.

Why should pregnant women not eat swordfish?

Swordfish harms the developing fetus due to its high mercury content. Therefore pregnant women should not eat it.

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