Tilapia commonly found in relatively warm freshwater used to be an obscure African fish but in recent times, millions of pounds of the white, flaky fish is being shipped to the United States making it one of the popular fishes in the modern world.
There are a lot of things to love about tilapia, here are the top 7 reasons:
1. Tilapia Nutrition: Tilapia a Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals
While many are saying that tilapia is much like bacon, one has to note that the white fish deemed as the Fish of the 21st Century is an excellent source of minerals like niacin, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. Tilapia is also a good source of vitamin B12 among other nutrients that are important for the human body.
2. High Protein Content, Almost Like Chicken
Studies show that fish in general contains six times more protein as compared to milk. Tilapia, also known as aquatic chicken because it’s the easiest seafood source to farm, contains 23 to 24 grams of protein in a 3 ounce fillet. Chicken, on the other hand, contains 25 grams of protein per two drumsticks. This means eating tilapia is a lighter alternative as compared to eating chicken.
3. Tilapia is extremely versatile
Because of its white, flaky meat when cooked and because it’s generally considered bland as compared to other seafood, tilapia is very versatile making it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike. You can broil it, grill it, pan fry it until it’s crisp or cook it in coconut milk –the list of recipes is endless.
4. A piece of 100 gram tilapia has 10 mg Calcium
Calcium is good for the body. While you can easily get calcium by taking supplements, getting it the natural way will also benefit your muscles and your bones. It is interesting to note that tilapia has as much calcium as that contained in tuna per 100 mg.
5. Tilapia has 0.7 mg Iron per 100 mg
Although this particular fish does not stand out when it comes to its iron content, it is still a decent source of the mineral. In fact, 3.5 ounces of tilapia will cover 4 percent of the iron needed for women from 20 to 50. Tilapia contains what is called heme iron — an iron form that can be easily absorbed by the body. The fish is also an effective iron enhancer which helps the body get more iron from vegetables and other iron sources.
Iron deficiency is a common condition in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. The nutrient is needed by the body and is a component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is contained I red blood cells which the human body needs in acquiring oxygen.
6. They’re good for the environment!
For places like Thailand and the Philippines, tilapia serves as a way of controlling aquatic plant problems since this type of fish practically eats all types of submerged plants.
In the mainland United States, tilapia is used for purifying the water supply going to places like Phoenix, AZ. Because it get rids of undesirable plant species and detritus, tilapia has helped lower purification costs in the state of Arizona.
In Arkansas, public ponds are stocked with this particular fish to help in vegetation control while in places like Kenya, the fish helps in controlling the spread of malaria by consuming mosquito larvae.
7. They are cheap!
Because it is produced by the tones each year, the tilapia industry has prospered by providing a cheaper seafood source to the American public. Farming tilapia is one good way to produce as many of this food source as needed making it a good solution for hunger in other parts of the world.