15 Health Benefits Of Tilapia

Tilapia refers to a large range of more than 100 species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia represents the fifth most consumed type of fish in America. They are native to North Africa and the Nile but are also farmed in Asia.

Some countries consider tilapia to be ecologically invasive as they tend to disrupt fragile ecosystems if they are inadvertently introduced to such an ecosystem.

They are highly nutritious as food but could be considered controversial due to the fact that they are natural scavengers of toxic materials in water. This is beneficial for ecological reasons but such tilapia could be considered unsafe for consumption. As such, it is important to purchase your tilapia from reputable vendors.

Tilapia are common in numerous culinary cuisines and can be eaten boiled, smoked, or barbecued.

Tilapia (Cooked) Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving (100g Per Serving)
Calories 129
% Daily Value
Total Fat 2.7g
4%
Saturated Fat 0.9g
4%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 57mg
19%
Sodium 56mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 0g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 26g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1%
Iron 3%

Below are various health benefits of tilapia;

1. Helps The Development Of Muscle Mass


Tilapia is a fish rich in amino acids. Amino acids are compounds composed of an amino group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group (-COOH). These are the basis of proteins, which are essential for the development of muscles in the human body.

2. Develops Brain Cells


The other great advantage of the high concentration of amino acids in this fish that lives and develops in fresh water is that it contributes to the development of neurons, and especially to our brain cells. The best part is that they are thermo-stable compounds, that is, they are not destroyed even though they are subjected to high temperatures. No matter how much heat we cook our tilapia, they will always be there.

3. Maintains A Healthy Eyesight


This fish has high concentrations of Vitamin A. The concentration ratio of the aforementioned vitamin is about 20 IU per ounce. This level within our body would help maintain healthy eyesight.

4. Contains Elements Of Vitamin B-Complex


This group of vitamins, mainly B1, B2, B6, B9 and B12 (all present in tilapia) are vital compounds for every human being. This vitamin group is essential for the metabolism of the body since it is a key piece in the processing of sugars and favors the absorption of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is also a key piece for the bone marrow, the nervous system, the digestive system and for red blood cells. The lack of vitamin B-Complex in our body could lead to gastric and liver disorders, and other problems for the skin and metabolism.

5. It’s An Excellent Resource For Dieting


When we want to lose weight, or simply eat healthy and feel better, tilapia can become a great ally. In general, the caloric content of fish meat is about 200 calories per 100 grams. In the case of tilapia, it barely has a caloric count of 90 calories per 100 grams of meat. This property makes it an excellent choice when selecting a lean meat fish. Besides, tilapia has another important micronutrient which is Selenium. This element, on one hand, helps the thyroids and, on the other, participates actively in keeping a proper metabolism.

6. Helps In The Development Of Teeth And Bones


Initially, we mentioned that this fish is beneficial for the development of soft tissues of the body, such as muscle mass. However, it also contributes to the development of harder body structures such as teeth and bones. The reason for this is that tilapia contains high levels of phosphorus, an element that together with calcium, is the basis for the growth of the strongest structures in our bodies such as our teeth and bones.
(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025619611632618)

7. Prevents Coronary Problems


There is another side benefit of the prolonged consumption of this fish, and it is the prevention of heart attacks and other coronary afflictions (such as obstruction of the arteries). The reason for this is that tilapia meat contains only 10 grams of fat per kilogram. Remember that saturated fats are mainly responsible for accumulations within the circulatory pathways, and therefore of coronary disorders. In addition, this fish has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular diseases, since it significantly increases the time of blood clotting.
(https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2362.2005.01570.x)

8. Helps Mother During Pregnancy


The consumption of tilapia during a period of gestation can considerably help the mother in the development of her baby. On one hand, there is the presence of omega-3 fatty acid, which has been shown to be beneficial during a pregnancy period. Tilapia is also rich in folic acid (vitamin B9, which we discussed earlier). Folic acid deficiency in the mother during the pregnancy could result in malformations in the fetus.

9. Prevents Brain Diseases


Another component that is present in tilapia is Selenium. This element has highly beneficial qualities for our brains. First, it helps correct cerebral oxygenation, allowing the correct flow of oxygen throughout the brain. This helps us think clearly and maintain optimal alertness. Selenium also prevents diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and epilepsy from developing.

10. Helps Prevent Cancer


The other potential benefit of the presence of Selenium in tilapia meat is that, together with antioxidants, they help prevent and inhibit the development of cancer. These two components not only help inhibit the activities of harmful radicals, but they also prevent the transformation of healthy cells into malignant or cancerous cells.

11. Combats Aging


Antioxidants are not the only things that this fish provides as benefits to our skin. In addition to selenium and antioxidants, tilapia contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These constituents keep the skin cells active and young and makes your skin radiant. Vitamin E is also fat-soluble and is a key element in the body’s lipid processes. It also prevents the aging of the body’s cells and helps us grow our hair.
(https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11160-005-7846-4)

12. Regulates Thyroid Function


The thyroid is a gland that is associated with the body regulation and body growth. The thyroid gland’s good functioning guarantees an excellent growth and a stable immune system. Additionally, another of the main functions of this gland, located in our throats, is the regulation of metabolism. Disorders in their functioning have always been linked to problems of weight gain. The high levels of Selenium, in tilapia, help us to have a properly functioning thyroid gland.
(http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/y91-243#.XHfZH_l7nIU)

13. Helps Our Growth And Development


Tilapia meat has a high protein content. One ounce of tilapia contains 73 grams of protein. This fish can provide us with 15% of our daily protein needs. Remember that proteins are a vital part of our development. Proteins not only contribute to the formation of muscle mass but in the development and formation of cells, membranes, and organs. Tilapia is a good idea for bodybuilders, because it’s full of protein, low in fat, and has no carbohydrate at all.

14. Prevents Diseases


The high levels of phosphorus and vitamin C within the tilapia, constitute valuable support for our immune systems. Sustained consumption of vitamin C helps improve the immune system and this prevents diseases such as influenza or common cold. The consumption of this fish is recommended in diseases such as Dengue, in which the defensive system of the body is severely attacked.

15. It Is Antiviral And Anti-Inflammatory

Within the group of amino acids present in tilapia, there is one, in particular, that has special characteristics; hepcidin 1-5. We can also find hepcidin 1-5 in certain cephalopods, such as shrimps. Hepcidin 1-5 is an antimicrobial peptide, a small cysteine-rich molecule, which plays a fundamental role in inhibiting pathogenic infections, and attacks of certain viral species. In addition, this peptide has anti-inflammatory properties, which have allowed it to be even suggested in novel schemes for the treatment of cancer.

 

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