Things You May Not Know About Mackerel

Adding mackerel to your diet may well be the best way to improving your health. Its health benefits are amazing and include:

Blood pressure regulation: Eating mackerel on a daily basis helps regulate your blood pressure. This is because it is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium also reduces your risk of developing heart-related medical conditions.

Heart disease prevention: Consuming a diet that contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids is an effective way to prevent heart diseases. And, adding mackerel to your diet can give your body the omega-3 fatty acids it needs to keep your heart healthy. Besides that, mackerel is low in saturated fats, helping reduce your risk of heart-related medical conditions, such as atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, heart attacks, and stroke.

Reduced risk of diabetes: The reason for this is that mackerel contains excellent amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which are healthy fats that are essential for the prevention and control of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Regular consumption of mackerel also helps reduce visceral fat, consequently reducing your risk of diabetes.

Besides these important health benefits, there are certain things you may now know about this type of fish. And, some of these things can indeed be interesting.

To start with, mackerel is a common name give to a number of various species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, those from the family Scombridae. They are typically found in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. While they can be found in deep waters in the autumn and winter, they stay close to the shore in the spring, when mating begins. They can grow 12 to 22 inches long and reach 4 to 10 pounds in weight. Their slender body is cylindrical in shape, and they have two widely separated dorsal fins and several small fins (finlets) on a dorsal and lateral side of their body. And, their tail is somewhat fork-shaped.

Now, here are more interesting mackerel facts. Did you know that:

  • 20 to 30 dark wavy stripes cover the upper part of their body. These wavy stripes function as “schooling mark”, allowing each fish in the group to align itself with the rest of the school and adjust its swimming speed.
  • their scales are very small that you can only visualise them after close examination.
  • they are carnivores or feed on meat. Their diet includes small fish, shrimps, and squids.
  • they are diurnal animals, which means they are active during the day.
  • they can swim at the speed of 5.5 metres per second.
  • they swim in big schools that can stretch up to 20 miles long.
  • female mackerels release 200,000 to 400,000 eggs in the water. These eggs will then merge with the sperms released by the males. Eggs float in the water because they have oily drops.
  • they have several natural enemies. These enemies include whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, tortoises, and pelicans.
  • They can survive up to 25 years in the wild.  They have a long lifespan, indeed.