Food of the month: OCTOPUS
A FOOD BOTH DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS
The octopus is a boneless sea animal known as the chameleon of the ocean due to its ability to change shape and colour. It has long been considered a mysterious and legendary creature, whose special kind of anatomy is sometimes linked to great size that has terrified sailors into telling horrific tales about gigantic specimens capable of engulfing entire ships, merchandise, passengers and all, holding them by meter long tentacles.
Yet this prodigious cephalopod has also proven to be a very healthy food source, as it is made up of lean protein. Other advantages are its low caloric content, hardly any carbohydrates or fat, and its abundance in amino acids and crucial micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements, which also distinguishes the octopus from other animals, as the percentages of those foods in its meat are extraordinary. Suffice it to say that a quantity as small as 100 grams of cooked octopus (boiled or steamed) has approximately:
- 165 calories
- 4.5 grams of carbohydrates
- 29 grams of protein
- 2.5 grams of fat
- 0 grams of fibre
- Almost twice the Daily Need of Vitamin B12 and Selenium
- Your daily need of Copper, almost
- Very substantial amounts of Iron, Zinc and Vitamin B6
- Remarkable percentages of Niacin, Phosphorus and Sodium
THE OCTOPUS, ONE OF THE NATURAL FOODS WITH THE HIGHEST PROTEIN CONTENT AND ABUNDANT VITAMINS AND MINERALS
The texture and flavour of the octopus will depend on the method of preparing it. The octopus can be combined with almost any other food -legumes, vegetables, other sea-foods- but it will always remain an appetizing and nutritious meal, as well as maintain the final value that distinguishes it as one of the healthiest and most effective foods in the animal kingdom. However, you should avoid frying octopus or expose it for a long time to very high temperatures by using poor quality trans fatty oils.
You should also take into account that dried octopus can contain up to three times more salt than the same amount of fresh cooked octopus. Never forget that canned octopus is usually accompanied by oil, which increases the amount of calories. Try to always choose cooked, boiled or grilled octopus instead of fried.
The very high percentage of selenium and vitamin B12, which are fundamental micronutrients for general health, vitality, good sexual functioning and muscle development, make octopus an essential food for the formation of red blood cells, fight against free radicals and DNA synthesis. The kind of nutrients we find in octopus may prove to be a very suitable natural way to combat inflammation and protect against diseases and ailments of the cardiac system. Don’t forget to regularly consume this food, as few can match it in terms of healthy properties.
RISKS OF CONSUMING OCTOPUS
You already know that octopus is an excellent option to get top quality protein and all kinds of micronutrients. However, people with certain medical problems should take into account that 100 grams of octopus contains slightly more than a quarter of the daily requirement of cholesterol, essential to build healthy cells, but dangerous for heart health if consumed in excess.