11 Health Benefits Of Anchovies

Anchovies are tiny, foraging fish that spread across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are saltwater fish and consist of over 100 species.

Anchovies taste are relatively unpleasant. However, people consume them due to their numerous health benefits. They are often canned or tinned for sale and often used in pizzas, tomato sauces, or sandwiches.

Anchovies Nutritional Facts

Anchovies contain good fats and cholesterol. They are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the minerals it contains include; iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and phosphorus. Some of the vitamins it contains include; niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, B6, A, E, and K.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per 100 grams
Calories 131
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.8g
Saturated Fat 1.3g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 60mg
Sodium 104mg
Total Carbohydrates 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 20g
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 14%
Iron 18%

Below are various health benefits of anchovies;

1. Weight Loss

Anchovies are rich in proteins and contain low amounts of calories. This is very advantageous for people losing weight. The high amounts of proteins provide energy for the body while reducing calorie intake. This helps inhibit cravings for food, thus, helping in weight loss.

2. Aids In Cell And Tissue Repair

Proteins in anchovies are essential in complex body reactions that lead to the healing of cells and tissue injuries. When one gets an injury, proteins are used by the body to form a connective layer over other cells thus preventing loss of blood. Anchovies decrease the time for healing wounds. Patients who have undergone surgery should include high amounts of anchovies in their diet for recovery.

3. Skin Health

Anchovies are remarkable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and Selenium. Consuming these elements can greatly reduce skin inflammatory conditions like acne and psoriasis. This helps promote smooth and younger-looking skin. Vitamin D is also abundant in anchovies which is beneficial in maintaining good skin. The main source of vitamin D to the body is the sun. Lack of vitamin D in babies who are not exposed to sunlight can lead to malformations. Anchovies stand in as a good source in case exposure to sunlight is not possible.

4. Bone Health

Presence of calcium and magnesium elements, in anchovies, makes it able to play a pivotal role in skeletal health. These elements are required by the body to maintain strong bones and teeth. Dental health is greatly boosted with the inclusion of higher amounts of anchovies in one’s diet. Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis. Elderly people who are likely to suffer from osteoporosis are encouraged to include anchovies in their diet to keep their bones strong.

5. For Pregnancy

Pregnant mothers are advised to include several ounces of anchovies in the diet. Study has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, among other components in anchovies, can greatly reduce the risk of premature birth. Anchovies would also help the fetus to have strong bones and would greatly improve the immunity of the body. This would also increase the chances of survival after birth. Malformations before birth are also minimized with a higher intake of anchovies.

6. Heart Health

Apart from forming bones, calcium also helps in stimulation of contraction of heart muscles while magnesium makes them relax. Patients who have just had heart surgery should find anchovies very helpful to their hearts in recovering to normal function. The essential fatty acids in anchovies are long known to fight heart diseases.

7. Eye Health

Anchovies are also a source of vitamin A which is known to prevent night blindness. Adding a small amount of anchovies in your diet would help you to fight cataracts. Reduced eye degradation has been evident in people who consume anchovies regularly. Protect your vision with an anchovies-rich diet.

8. Body Immunity

Anchovies are a rich source of healthy minerals and vitamins which are required by the body in the fight against infection-causing organisms. Your body would heal itself relatively faster if you eat anchovies regularly. The vitamins, present in anchovies, act as antioxidants to the body. These antioxidants help inhibit the effects of harmful free radicals.

9. Body Growth

The constituents contained in anchovies stimulate the production of growth hormone by the body. Due to the high amounts of proteins in anchovies, it is considered one of the best bodybuilding foods.

10. Treatment And Prevention Of Anemia

Iron is an element that is required by the body to manufacture hemoglobin which is the red pigment in the blood cells. Lack of adequate amounts of iron in one’s diet puts one at risk of anemia. Anchovies contain iron. This would help protect one against anemia.

11. Healthier Seafood

Several kinds of seafood contain high amounts of mercury. Mercury poisoning can be very harmful to the body; leading to emotional changes, insomnia, and muscle atrophy among other effects. Smaller fish tend to have fewer toxins primarily due to their shorter lifespan. Anchovies are small and tend to contain less quantity of mercury. This makes them a better choice for consuming compared to other fish.


Side Effects Of Consuming Anchovies

  • Increased Blood Pressure: Canned anchovies may contain high levels of sodium which could increase one’s blood pressure leading to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Neurotoxin: Domoic acid, a dangerous neurotoxin, could accumulate in the gut of anchovies. Thus, consuming whole anchovies may lead to amnesic shellfish poisoning.
  • Anisakiasis: This is a parasitic disease, that could be caused by raw anchovies, which can invade the stomach wall or intestine of humans. Symptoms of this disease include; vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.