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7 wonderful health benefits of squid or calamari

Here are 7 yummy and nutritious reasons why you should eat squid.

Calamari dishes like batter-fried squid rings become a staple in most restaurants these days. This yummy mollusc has been routinely making its appearance in bisques, soups, pasta, risottos and other continental fares. A familiar fixture in Indian coastal cuisines, squid is called koonthal, kanawa or kadamba locally and is eaten fried or simmered in a gravy. Read: Healthiest non-veg food guide.

Squid meat has a pale, translucent white colour, a chewy texture and an umami taste. Yummy yes, but does it have any health benefits? Loads, say dietician Geeta Shenoy. For the uninitiated, here is a nutritional upshot of squid.

  • A nutritious meal- Squid is a mollusc belonging to the shellfish family, and they come in four varieties: black, white, hard shell and red. It is high in protein, minerals and low in calories. This makes squid or calamari a highly nutritious meal, says Geeta.
  • Low in calories- Squid is great for those who want to up their protein intake without compromising on their calorific goals. A 100gm serving of squid only has 75kcal - 85kcl of calories, says the dietician.But fans of batter-fried calamari rings don t be fooled; the calorific value might go up if you deep fry it.
  • A good source of protein- A 100gm serving of squid also has a good amount, approximately 15.5gm 16. 1gm, of protein, adds Geeta.
  • No carbs!- How great is that? All you carb-fearing protein junkies and those on a keto diet can include squid in your diet because it has no carbohydrates.
  • Good source of vitamin B 12 and B6 - Your body needs B 12 for neural health and blood health and vitamin B6 for protecting your heart from strokes. This gives you a good reason to eat squid since it abounds in both these nutrients.
  • Selenium and Vitamin E Squid has good amounts of selenium and Vitamin E. Selenium, which is present in a minute quantity in the body, works with vitamin E in the promotion of normal body growth and fertility. As an anti-oxidant it is believed to play a role in the fight against cancer and can help to inhibit the growth of tumours, says Geeta.
  • No cholesterol worries As most shellfish, squid also has high amounts of dietary cholesterol. But that shouldn t keep you from eating it.It is very low in fat, and the cholesterol is poorly absorbed from it. Moreover, several studies have shown that eating shellfish tends to lower, not raise, blood cholesterol levels, she says.

But follow caution

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To avoid nasty episodes of food poisoning associated with eating spoilt seafood, Geeta Shenoy lists down these essential do s and don'ts.

  • Eat them fresh- Like all shellfish, squid is highly perishable and prone to bacterial contamination. One has to either eat them fresh (same day catch) or store them correctly between at 0-5 degree Celsius.
  • Buy from a reliable source Be it a supermarket or a fishmonger, be sure that your source is reliable and doesn t deal in spoilt fish.
  • Clean it properly- Pull the head off, remove the innards and the ink sac of the squid, separate the tentacles, and scrub them thoroughly with clean water before use. The body tube and the tentacles of the squid are edible.

Also read: Types of seafood that can cause nausea, diarrhoea and food poisoning.

Image source: Shutterstock

Read this in Hindi.

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