Health Benefits and facts of Catfish

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Health Benefits and facts of Catfish

Catfish Quick Facts
Name: Catfish
Scientific Name: Siluriformes
Colors Silver, grey, white, tan, green or yellow colored, depending on the species.
Shapes About 1.2–1.6 m (3.9–5.2 ft.), and fish more than 2 meters (6.6 ft) are rare. Most have a cylindrical body with a flattened ventrum
Taste Sweet, mild
Calories 206 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin B-12 (165.83%)
Lysine (71.71%)
Tryptophan (71.59%)
Isoleucine (70.16%)
Threonine (67.67%)
Health benefits Great for your heart, Clearing the vessels, Joint benefits, Beneficial for eyes, Essential nutrients, Protect Lungs, Helps Lose Weight, Fights Depressions, Good for skin Health, Good for Nervous System, Digestive health, Boost your brainpower, Good For The formation of bone and teeth
More facts about Catfish
Catfish scientifically known as Siluriformes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. There are more than 3000 species of catfish that can be found on all continents except on the Antarctica. Catfish inhabits freshwater ecosystems such as rivers and streams but some species of catfish are adapted to the life in salt waters and caves. Catfish are one of the most farmed types of fish (their meat is consumed as delicacy around the world). Some types of catfish (such as Mekong catfish) are critically endangered due to overfishing and pollution of the water.

Catfish have distinctive characteristics with his slick, slightly flattened and elongated mustache similar mimiliki long, sticking out around the mouth. Catfish have no scales; their bodies are often naked. In some species, the mucus-covered skin is used in cutaneous respiration, where the fish breathes through its skin. In some catfish, the skin is covered in bony plates called scutes; some form of body armor appears in various ways within the order. Catfish are most easily recognized by their flattened broad heads and the long whisker-like barbels that protrude from the mouth of the catfish.

Catfish are predominately freshwater fish, but saltwater varieties, known as hogfish, also exist. Catfish get their name from the long, whisker-like feelers that decorate their snouts. Catfish are mild, firm and low-fat fish with an inedible skin that must be removed before cooking. Suggested cooking methods for catfish include steaming, poaching, baking and frying. Seafood stews can also benefit from the addition of catfish.

Physical characteristics

Unlike most fish, catfish do not have scales. They usually have an adipose fin, and often spine-like rays present at the front of the dorsal and pectoral fins. The dorsal fin of most catfish species exactly has two spines, the first one very short. As noted, the catfish body may be naked or covered with bony plates. Normally, there are up to four pairs of barbels on the head, with two on the chin, one nasal, and one maxillary, but the nasal and chin barbels may be absent. With the exception of the Diplomystidae, the maxilla is toothless.

Nutritional value

Apart from their sweet, mild taste, catfish is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 143 gram of butterfish offers 3.98 µg of Vitamin B-12, 26.37 g of Protein, 353 mg of Phosphorus, 10.28 g of Total Fat, 14.2 µg of Selenium, 1.16 mg of Vitamin B5, 3.644 mg of Vitamin B3, 112.5 mg of Choline, 0.253 mg of Vitamin B6, 170 mg of Sodium. Moreover many Amino acids 0.315 g of Tryptophan, 1.191 g of Threonine, 1.173 g of Isoleucine, 1.996 g of Leucine, 2.398 g of Lysine, 0.771 g of Methionine, 0.28 g of Cystine are also found in 143 gram of catfish.

Types of Catfish

1. Blue Catfish

Blue CatfishBlue catfish tend to be light bluish gray bordering on white. They are larger on average (max. over 100 lbs.). They have straight edged anal fins. Anal fin has 30-36 spines or rays in the anal fin. Upper jaw of a blue catfish sticks out well beyond the lower jaw. Blue catfish have a forked tail. Blue catfish tends to have a hump behind its head.

2. Channel Catfish

Channel CatfishChannel catfish tend to be varying shades of brown or yellow, (Young channels have light spots). Channel Catfish max out at about 40 lbs. The anal fins of Channel Catfish have rounded edges. They have 24-29 spines or rays on the anal fin. The jaws of the Channel Catfish tend to be even with each other. The Channel Catfish has a forked tail.

3. Flathead Catfish

Flathead CatfishFlatheads catfish are dark in color, but usually more yellowish than channel catfish. The max size of a flathead catfish is over 100 pounds. The anal fin of flathead catfish are rounded on the edge, but shorter in proportional length than a channel catfish. Baby flathead catfish have a separated edge on the front of their pectoral spines. The anal fin of a flathead catfish contains less than 30 rays. The lower jaws of flathead catfish stick out farther than the upper jaw. The heads of flatheads are flat and wide with a large dimple at the base of the skull like the back side of a round shovel. Flatheads have rounded tails not forked tails.

4. White Catfish

White CatfishWhite Catfish are light bluish gray or creamy in color. They are small, a record White Catfish is 20lb. White catfish have a rounded anal fin. Their anal fin has 19-23 rays. The tail of a white catfish is a forked but less than blue catfish. Body of a white catfish is short and stubby like a bullhead.

5. Black Bullheads

Black BullheadsBlack Bullhead Catfish is small, a max of 6 pounds. The bullhead has a slightly humped back and large head for its stumpy body. Black bull heads have rounded anal fin with 17-21 rays. The anal fins base is light grey. Tail is squared rather than forked or rounded. The tail of the black bullhead has a light bar along the base.

6. Brown Bullheads

Brown BullheadsBrown Bullhead Catfish is small, a max of 6 pounds. The bullhead has a slightly humped back. Brown bull heads have rounded anal fin with 21-24 rays. The tail is squared rather than forked or rounded. The bullhead catfish’s jaws are even (no protruding upper or lower jaw) the pectoral fins’ spines are serrated.

7. Yellow Bullheads

Yellow BullheadsYellow Bullhead Catfish is one of the smallest of the catfish species, usually less than 5 pounds. The bullhead has a slightly humped back. Yellow bull heads have rounded anal fin with 23-27 rays. The tail is rounded rather than forked or square. The color of the yellow bullhead is…yellowish brown. The whiskers of the yellow bullhead are white.

8. Wels Catfish

Wels CatfishWels catfish have a long and slender body with a massively long anal fin. Wels catfish are some of the largest in the world. The world record currently about 297 lbs. from the Po River in Italy. Wels catfish are found in Europe and the UK. The largest specimens are found in Spain, Italy and Southern France. Wels catfish have long eel like bodies with an anal fin that runs most the length of their tail and body.

9. Pictus Catfish

Pictus CatfishThe Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus) is a very active catfish species that gets to around 4 inches (11 cm). Even though they are on the smaller side they still need at least a 55 gallon tank or larger to allow for satisfactory swimming room. You can keep them with other pictus cats or similar sized fish species. They may eat smaller tetras.

Health benefits of Catfish

Many people enjoy the flavor and taste of catfish, but it offers a variety of health benefits as well. Including the nutritious fish in your diet helps you meet your protein needs and boosts your intake of vitamins and healthy fats and fatty acids. Consider catfish regularly in your meal planning, it’s tasty, can be used for a variety of dishes and the best party – it’s healthy. Here are some great reasons to introduce a little more seafood into your diet.

1. Great for your heart

It’s no coincidence that fish-eating Inuit populations in the Arctic have low levels of heart disease; seafood is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3, which can both protect the heart from disease and lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. One study has even suggested that an extra portion of fish every week can cut risk of heart disease in half.

2. Clearing the vessels

Eating fish can improve your circulation and reduce the risk of thrombosis. The EPA and DHA – omega-3 oils – found in seafood help to save your body from having to produce eicosanoids, a hormone-like substance which can make you more likely to suffer from blood clots and inflammation.

3. Joint benefits

Eating fish as a regular part of a balanced diet has been shown to ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition which causes the joins to swell up. Recent research has also found a link between omega-3 fats and osteoarthritis, suggesting that eating more seafood could help to prevent the disease.

4. Beneficial for eyes

Eating oil-rich fish frequently can help to keep the eyes bright and healthy. A recent research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids help to protect the eyesight of those suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition which causes the retina to degenerate and the eyesight to become blurred. Fish and shellfish also contain retinol, a form of vitamin A which boosts night vision.

5. Essential nutrients

Seafood provides the body with many essential nutrients which keep us running effortlessly, including iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium. Iodine is important for the thyroid gland, and selenium makes enzymes which can help to protect us from cancer. Fish and shellfish are also excellent sources of many vitamins, including vitamins A and D.

6. Protect Lungs

Researches have shown that fish and shellfish may help to protect our lungs. Not only can seafood relieve the symptoms of asthma in children, but it has shown signs of preventing it. Consuming a lot of fish can keep your lungs stronger and healthier as you age in comparison to those who don’t eat a lot of fish.

7. Helps Lose Weight

Everyone would want a body with an ideal body weight. Various methods are used to achieve the ideal weight and one of them with diet. The catfish is the food that you need not avoid when undergoing diet weight loss because it contains carbohydrates and very little fat catfish. Catfish fat content is much less than other animal side dishes such as beef and chicken. Protein is high on catfish can also be a source of energy and the formation of muscle tissue.

8. Fights Depressions

 Seafood plays an important role in preventing depression; research has highlighted links between low omega-3 levels and a higher risk of depression. Seafood could also help us to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and post-natal depression.

9. Good for skin Health

Not only does omega-3 help to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the UV damage, but eating lots of fish can also help with the symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Fish is also a great source of protein, which is an important ingredient of collagen, a substance which keeps the skin firm and flexible.

10. Good for Nervous System

One of the tasks of the nervous system in our body is to receive information in the form of stimulation. If our nervous system will arise disrupted health disorders usually categorized by headaches that often. You can help maintain the health of our nervous to take a vitamin B12 as needed. Catfish meat is a good source of vitamin B12 for healthy neurological or nervous system in the body.

11. Digestive health

Evidence suggests that a diet rich in fish oils can help to protect us against serious inflammatory bowel diseases (BD) including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There is also evidence to suggest that omega-3 could help to slow the progression of inflammatory bowel disease in some sufferers.

12. Boost your brainpower

The human brain is almost 60% fat, with much of this being omega-3 fat. Probably for this reason, research has shown that people who eat plenty of seafood are less likely to suffer dementia and memory problems in later life. DHA, omega-3 fat found in seafood, has also been linked to improvements in children’s concentration, reading skills, behavior, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

13. Good For The formation of bone and teeth

Mineral phosphorus is contained in Catfish, a mineral which is essential for the body. Mineral phosphorus plays an active role in the formation of bones and teeth. Phosphorus deficiency may result in bone loss that can eventually cause paralysis. So include it in your normal diet to fulfill the phosphorus requirement.

How to Eat

  • In Central Europe, catfish are often observed as a delicacy to be enjoyed on feast days and holidays.
  • In Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is popularly crumbed with cornmeal and fried.
  • Catfish is usually served fried or grilled in street stalls called warung and eaten with vegetables and sambal; the dish is called pecel lele or pecak lele in Indonesia.
  • Catfish, called “ikan keli”, is fried with spices or grilled and eaten with tamarind and Thai chilies gravy and also is often eaten with steamed rice in Malaysia.
  • In Bangladesh and the Indian states of Odisha, West Bengal and Assam catfish is eaten as a favored delicacy during the monsoons.
  • Catfish, locally known as thedu or etta in Malayalam, is popular in the Indian state Kerala.
  • In Hungary Catfish is often cooked in paprika sauce typical of Hungarian cuisine. It is traditionally served with pasta smothered with curd cheese.
  • Catfish is usually used in Mohinga, a traditional noodle fish soup cooked with lemon grass, ginger, garlic, pepper, banana steam, onions, and other local ingredients in Myanmar.
  • In Nigeria, catfish is often cooked in a variety of stews. It is particularly cooked in a delicacy popularly known as “Catfish Pepper Soup” which is enjoyed throughout the nation.

Other Facts

  • In July 2009, a catfish weighing 88 kilograms (194 lb.) was caught in the River Ebro, Spain, by an 11-year-old British schoolgirl.
  • Smallest species of catfish (banjo catfish) is only 0.39 inches long.
  • Largest species (Mekong catfish) can reach nearly 9 feet in length and 646 pounds of weight.
  • Catfish has about 100,000 taste buds, and entire bodies are covered with them to help detect chemicals present in the water and also to respond to touch.
  • They produce sounds by rubbing together body parts or by inducing vibration of the swim bladder.
  • Catfish are carnivores (meat-eaters). Their diet is based mostly on fish, insects, worms, frogs and newts.
  • Catfish can survive from 8 to 20 years in the wild, depending on the species.
  • The largest Mekong catfish ever found measured nearly 3 meters in length.

Disadvantages of Catfish

In Nigeria, catfish is one of the most extensively loved and enjoyed fish. It is consumed in various delicacies, particularly at social gatherings. The fact that it is affordable when compared to other varieties of fish in the market makes it more popular. However, research has shown that consumption of catfish is not so healthy.

According to expert recommendation, the omega 6 fatty acids in catfish can increase your risk of getting blood clots, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and some cancers? In fact, nutritionists say that catfish is loaded with bad fat and high cholesterol that encourage clotting of the blood, a condition whereby blood flow is impeded.

This may lead to cardiac arrest, thrombosis and, in some cases, heart attacks. A cardiologist, Dr. Jane Anisulowo, who talked to The Punch recently said that farmed or home-grown catfish is the worst example in this regard, as it contains more fatty hormones than the ones harvested from natural water.

“Fish is better than meat, no doubt. It digests easily and it contains proteins. However, catfish is not really a good option, especially the ones they sell these days, which are cultivated with hormonal feeds that are filled with steroids and other fattening chemicals just to make them profitable. These chemicals are cancerous in nature.

“Also, they contain so much oil that you can almost taste it. Fish, generally, contains oil, but catfish has oil in its skin. That is what makes it so oily and unhealthy. It also contains a lot of poly unsaturated fat that does not only make you fat but also settles in the blood stream. That is very dangerous because when blood fails to get to an organ, it fails and suffers paralysis.”

“If you can get the one from the river, which is rare in most cities, then you may eat it twice a month. But if the only one you can get is the one that is being reared by farmers, you don’t have to eat at all, or just eat it when it is partially smoked. In that way, some of the fats would have been lost in the process. Better still, there are some other species of fish that are oily but they contain good fats and are more nutritious.”






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