The Nutritional Value and Benefits of Mackerel

If you like oily fish, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to include mackerel in your diet. It's a high-quality food that provides omega 3.
The Nutritional Value and Benefits of Mackerel
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 16 September, 2022

Mackerel is a high-quality oily fish that should be included in the context of a varied diet to improve health. It has several benefits derived from its nutrient content, such as omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, being a small fish, it doesn’t tend to accumulate heavy metals, which will prevent changes in your central nervous system.

Before starting, it’s important to highlight that at least a couple of servings of fish should be consumed every week. There’s increasing evidence that this routine would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even death from any cause.

Even though there are some species that aren’t recommended at all, mackerel is not among them. Below, we’re going to show you all its positive effects on our health.

Nutritional value of mackerel

Let’s start by talking about the nutritional value of mackerel. Every 10o grams (4 oz) of the product has about 175 calories. It provides 17 grams (0.7 oz) of proteins of high biological value and almost 10 grams of fats. Among fish, it’s one of the most energy-dense, although this isn’t a reason not to include it in a low-calorie diet with the objective of weight loss.

Some mackerel.
Mackerel is a source of omega 3, vitamins and proteins of high biological value.

It’s important to highlight that a good part of the lipids found inside the mackerel belong to the omega 3 series. These elements help modulate the levels of internal inflammation, which will help prevent many chronic and complex pathologies. According to research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, a sufficient intake of these elements would help reduce the incidence of cardiovascular accidents.

As for micronutrients, the presence of vitamin B3, B12, and A in mackerel is particularly noteworthy. It’s also able to provide a good amount of essential minerals, such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Potassium has been shown to have an antagonistic effect to sodium in terms of blood pressure control. Therefore, it’s essential to include it in the diet on a regular basis.

Benefits of mackerel

The frequent inclusion of mackerel in the diet brings a series of health benefits. For example, due to its calcium content it can be an excellent food to help prevent osteoporosis. This pathology causes a progressive reduction in bone mineral density, which could lead to an increase in the incidence of fractures from advanced adulthood onwards.

To help to prevent this problem, it’s necessary to optimize calcium intake and, at the same time, maintain vitamin D in an optimal range. A study published in the journal Menopause corroborates this. However, it’s important to maintain other good habits, such as the practice of strength exercise during adolescence. In this way, maximum bone mineral density is increased, which will prevent problems in the future.

Some mackerel.

We shouldn’t underestimate the effects of omega-3 fatty acids. We have already mentioned that they’re cardioprotective and help control internal inflammation levels. They’re also essential for achieving a good recovery at a muscular level and to protect lean mass from catabolism. They generate an inhibiting effect on muscle protein degradation even in the context of a hypocaloric diet.

As if this weren’t enough, it’s especially positive to consume enough omega-3 during childhood. This improves cognitive development and helps to prevent many autoimmune pathologies. In fact, nowadays many baby formula milks are supplemented with these nutrients in order to achieve a higher intake.

You may also be interested in: The Effects of Mercury in Fish

Mackerel, a high-quality fish to include in your diet

As you’ve seen, the inclusion of mackerel in the diet is considered very beneficial for good health in the medium term. It’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that will help to improve the lipid profile of the body. In addition, it provides proteins of high biological value with all the essential amino acids, which will ensure good muscle function over time.

It should also be noted that mackerel is quite versatile in the kitchen. It has a strong flavor, but it can be prepared in several different ways. Baked or in sauce, it has great organoleptic characteristics, and it will satisfy almost all tastes. It can even be canned, making it a nutritionally dense food that can be eaten anywhere and at any time.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Innes JK, Calder PC. Marine Omega-3 (N-3) Fatty Acids for Cardiovascular Health: An Update for 2020. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(4):1362. Published 2020 Feb 18. doi:10.3390/ijms21041362
  • Filippini T, Naska A, Kasdagli MI, et al. Potassium Intake and Blood Pressure: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020;9(12):e015719. doi:10.1161/JAHA.119.015719
  • Management of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women: The 2021 Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society’’ Editorial Panel. Management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: the 2021 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2021;28(9):973-997. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001831

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.