Swordfish: nutrition, benefits and recommendations

Swordfish is a species that lives in the oceans and seas. It can weigh up to 500 kilos and its characteristic feature is that its mouth is similar to a sword. Discover the benefits of its consumption.

Last update: September 10, 2021

Swordfish is one of the most frequently consumed species in different parts of the world. It is a type of fatty fish that lives in the seas, whose characteristic feature is that has a mouth that resembles a sword.

This species can reach a large size, since some specimens weigh around 500 kilos and are up to 6 meters long. So, another different aspect is that it has a dark blue back, almost black, the belly is silver and the rest of the body has bronze reflections.

Now, beyond the peculiar aspect it presents, swordfish stands out for having an exceptional nutritional profile, which is worth knowing. If you want to discover more about the benefits and recommendations of its consumption, keep reading this article.

Where do you live?

This fish is typical of temperate and tropical waters. So that, can be found in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea. Although its sword is unmistakable, there are certain regions where it is often confused with emperor fish, because in these places swordfish is marketed under this name.

Although this animal lives in the depths, it approaches the coasts in summer in search of food. It can even rise to the surface. It can also swim at high speeds, around 100 kilometers per hour, thanks to the shape of its fin. It is an aggressive and voracious species.

Nutritional profile of swordfish

In addition to the distinctive visual characteristics of this species, swordfish have an exceptional nutrient profile. In relation to this, the Spanish Food Book details which are the nutritional principles in which it stands out for every 100 grams of food:

  • 17 grams of protein.
  • 0.884 grams of omega 3 fatty acids.
  • 48.1 micrograms of selenium.
  • 506 milligrams phosphorus.
  • 57 milligrams of magnesium.
  • 342 milligrams of potassium.
  • 0.51 milligrams of vitamin B6.
  • 5 micrograms of vitamin B12.
  • 9 milligrams of niacin or vitamin B3.
  • 500 micrograms of vitamin A.
  • 7.2 micrograms of vitamin D.
Swordfish is within the category of blue fish, rich in healthy fats.

Benefits of eating swordfish

Although it provides other minerals and vitamins, those mentioned above are the most remarkable. Consuming them can benefit the body in different ways.

Protects against heart and brain diseases

This fish provides a significant amount of healthy omega 3 type fat, although it also contains omega 6. Both are essential; that is, the body cannot produce them and for this reason it is essential that they be consumed through food. Some examples that contain them are sea fish or certain types of seeds, such as chia and flax.

Indeed, this type of fat is capable of protecting against heart and inflammatory diseases. Its effects on the body cause blood pressure to drop by lowering the heart rate and improve the function and elasticity of blood vessels.

They also preserve brain health and with it can help prevent mental and degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. Different scientific articles delve into the effects they exert in greater detail.

Supports bone and tooth health

Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for the correct absorption of calcium at the intestinal level. It also plays an important role in the formation of bones and teeth and its deficit is related to the risk of fractures.

On the other hand, selenium also has a positive influence on bone metabolism, as it keeps the cells that release calcium into the bloodstream in balance. Added to this, a 150-gram ration of swordfish covers 100% of the phosphorus needs.

Helps maintain immunity

Different nutrients collaborate in this task. Thus, the selenium it contains helps the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and immunity in general. In addition, 150 grams of food covers 25% of the required daily magnesium and 14% of the recommended potassium, minerals necessary for proper cell function.

Recommendations to consider against swordfish

Beyond the fact that swordfish contains nutrients that are essential for the body, there are certain aspects that must be considered if this food is ingested. For instance, one of the main dangers is that it can accumulate mercury.

This element is a reactive heavy metal that comes from burning waste and coal. Like most waste products, mercury accumulates in lakes and oceans.

From there, organisms absorb it and throughout the food chain, larger predators absorb it in quantity. For this reason, as the fish gets older and larger, the chances of it containing high levels of this metal are increased.

In summary, the risks of ingesting mercury refer to the toxic effect on the brain. Thus, those who eat large amounts of fish like this (approximately 5 servings per week) are at risk.

In addition, different articles have shown that mercury is dangerous for the development of the central nervous system of babies. This element is capable of crossing the placenta, as well as breast milk, representing a potential danger. The recommendations are that pregnant women and lactating women avoid eating swordfish.

Mercury contamination of fish increases as animals live longer.

What to remember about eating swordfish?

The intake of this oily fish can bring different benefits to your health, thanks to the fact that it provides quality proteins, vitamins and minerals of various types. So, if you eat it in moderation within a balanced diet, it is a food with disease-preventive effects.

However, something that is important for you to know is that if you abuse its consumption, the mercury it contains can cause toxic effects. Therefore, it is advisable that you avoid excesses.

Remember that you can eat it calmly occasionally. Women pregnant women and pregnant women should not include it in their diet.