Squid Nutrients: 15 Benefits and Eating Tips

by Johnny Jacks

As a globally cherished seafood, squid boasts remarkable nutritional values. Discover the 15 astonishing benefits of squid, as this delectable dish not only offers incredible taste but also serves as an outstanding solution for enhancing your health.

What are the nutritional values of squid?

Squid, recognized for its peculiar shape and numerous tentacles capable of releasing a black ink layer when threatened or in danger, has gained popularity for its chewy, crispy, and sweet flesh, making it a delicacy on dining tables worldwide.

Available in two forms – fresh squid and dried squid – this dish, regardless of its preparation, is packed with a substantial amount of impressive nutritional values. So, what exactly are the nutritional values of squid?

What nutritional components does squid contain?

What nutritional components does squid contain?

Nutrients in Fresh Squid

Based on data from the US Department of Agriculture, the distribution of nutrients in 100g of fresh squid is as follows:

Ingredient Nutritional Content
Water 78.6g
Energy 92kcal
Energy 385kJ
Protein 15.6g
Fats 1.38g
Food ash 1.41g
Carbohydrate 3.98g
Calcium 32mg
Iron, Fe 0.68mg
Magnesium (Mg) 33mg
Phosphorus (P) 221mg
Potassium (K) 246mg
Sodium (Na) 44mg
Zinc (Zn) 1.53mg
Copper (Cu) 1.89mg
Manganese (Mn) 35mg
Selenium (Se) 44.8µg
Vitamin C 4.7mg
Thiamin 0.02mg
Riboflavin 412mg
Niacin 2.18mg
Pantothenic acid 0.5mg
Vitamin B-6 56mg
Folate, total 5µg
Folate, food 5µg
Folate, DFE 5µg
Choline, total 65mg
Vitamin B-12 1.3µg
Vitamin A, RAE 10µg
Retinol 10µg
Vitamin A, IU 33IU
Vitamin E 1.2mg
Saturated fatty acids 35.8g
SFA 14:0 3.6g
SFA 16:0 26.3g
SFA 18:0 5.8g
Unsaturated Fatty Acids 10.7g
MUFA 16:1 0.8g
MUFA 18:1 4.6g
MUFA 20:1 4.4g
MUFA 22:1 0.7g
Polysaturated acid 52.4g
PUFA 18:2 2g
PUFA 18:3 4g
PUFA 18:4 6g
PUFA 20:4 9g
PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA) 146g
PUFA 22:5 n-3 (DPA) 4g
PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA) 342g
Cholesterol 233mg
Tryptophan 174g
Threonine 0.67g
Isoleucine 0.678g
Leucine 1.1g
Lysine 1.16g
Methionine 0.351g
Cystine 0.204g
Phenylalanine 0.558g
Tyrosine 0.498g
Valine 0.68g
Arginine 1.14g
Histidine 0.299g
Alanine 0.942g
Aspartic acid 1.5g
Glutamic acid 2.12g
Glycine 0.974g
Proline 0.635g
Serine 0.698g

Therefore, based on the information presented in the table above, it is evident that squid contains a diverse array of nutrients, including protein, vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin E, and magnesium. Additionally, noteworthy amounts of trace minerals and omega-3 fatty acids contribute significantly. This underscores the importance of incorporating squid regularly into our diet. Some of the key nutrients found in squid include:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: According to the US Department of Agriculture, squid ranks among the top food sources of omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. These fatty acids play a crucial role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
  • Protein: As indicated in the table, squid offers a substantial protein content to the body. Furthermore, it contains complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. This optimal protein profile is highly beneficial for the development of cells, tissues, and muscles in the body.
  • Choline: Squid stands out as a rich source of choline, second only to eggs. Choline is a vital trace nutrient crucial for the health of the brain and liver.
  • Selenium: Just 100g of fresh squid can meet approximately 65% of your daily selenium requirement. Selenium, an essential trace mineral with potent antioxidant properties, plays a role in activating various selenoproteins, enhancing immune function, and safeguarding the body against various health issues.
  • Copper: Research has identified a significant amount of copper in squid, a mineral that plays a pivotal role in the absorption, storage, and metabolism of iron in the body, as well as in the formation of red blood cells.

Nutrition in Dried Squid

Squid holds a significant place in culinary culture, serving as a central component. Dried squid, recognized not only as a light snack but also as an ingredient for unique recipes, contributes to the culinary landscape. Apart from fresh squid, dried squid emerges as an excellent nutritional source in the diet. While the vitamin and mineral content aligns closely between fresh and dried squid, there are notable differences in the primary nutrient composition.

According to USDA data, a serving of dried squid (equivalent to 2 ounces or 56.7g) provides the following nutritional content:

Ingredient Nutritional Content
Calories 204g
Total Fat 3.4g
Saturated Fat 2.3g
Cholesterol 895.9mg
Sodium (Natri) 680.4mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.5g
Protein 40.8g
Iron (Fe) 18% Daily Value (DV)
  • Protein: Each serving of dried squid contains 204 calories and is free of carbohydrates, sugars, or fiber. A single serving of dried squid offers 40.8g of protein, accounting for nearly 84% of the recommended daily intake.
  • High Cholesterol: Dried squid exhibits a higher cholesterol content compared to boiled or steamed squid, with approximately 896mg (299% of the recommended intake). According to a study conducted by the University of California, individuals with or at risk for heart disease should restrict their cholesterol intake to less than 200mg per day, while those without risk should aim for less than 300mg per day.
  • High Sodium: Dried squid also carries a notable sodium content due to the addition of salt during the drying process (680mg, equivalent to 30% of the recommended intake). Consuming dried squid with salty dipping sauces further increases sodium intake. A diet high in sodium elevates the risk of heart disease and stroke. As per the USDA’s dietary guidelines for Americans, adults should limit their consumption of high-sodium foods to less than 2,300mg per day.
  • Calcium and Iron: Dried squid contributes to 16% of the recommended daily intake for calcium and 10% for iron.

15+ Nutritional Benefits of Squid That Will Surprise You

Having examined the comprehensive nutritional chart above, you might now be familiar with “what nutrients squid possesses.” Let’s delve into 15+ nutritional benefits of squid that might still be unknown to you!

1. Cancer Prevention:

The firm and chewy texture of squid contribute to cancer prevention. Selenium, a significant component in squid according to the nutritional chart, constitutes up to 65% of the body’s requirements. With its high antioxidant properties, Selenium in squid plays a crucial role in activating selenoproteins, enhancing the immune system, and shielding the body from unstable and harmful molecules known as free radicals. Numerous studies suggest that squid can reduce tumor size and restrict the spread of cancer cells. Notably, proteins and polysaccharides from squid have shown inhibitory effects on the development of breast, lung, and prostate cancer cells.

Squid plays a role in activating selenoproteins, enhancing the immune system, and protecting the body from free radicals.

Squid plays a role in activating selenoproteins, enhancing the immune system, and protecting the body from free radicals.

2. Boosting Mental Health

Squid is a rich source of dopamine, a crucial component for a healthy nervous system. Regular consumption can enhance concentration, promote happiness, and improve memory.

3. Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels

With 2.17 mg of vitamin B3 per 100g, squid aids in reducing the risk of diabetes, making it a delicious and nutritious choice for those with diabetes.

4. Reducing the Risk of Headaches

Abundant in vitamin B2, squid consumption can effectively prevent headaches, minimizing their duration and frequency.

5. Keeping in Shape

Squid, low in carbohydrates (0.87g per 28g), is an excellent addition to diets, especially for those focused on reducing carb intake.

6. Fighting Anemia

Squid provides 90% of copper, essential for red blood cell production, contributing to a healthy immune and nervous system and aiding in the fight against anemia.

7. Maintaining Bone and Teeth Health

Rich in phosphorus, squid, when consumed in moderation, helps build a strong bone and teeth structure.

8. Building Cells

Squid, a protein-rich seafood, can contribute up to 64% of the recommended daily protein intake, essential for building bones, muscles, skin, hair, and promoting the production of hormones and enzymes.

9. Boosting Immunity

Squid’s abundance in zinc helps build and strengthen the immune system, offering protection against disease-causing agents.

10. Reducing the Risk of Stroke and Heart Disease

Potassium stabilizes heartbeat, while Vitamin E enhances cell protection against heart disease, making squid beneficial for cardiovascular health.

11. Reducing Inflammation

Squid’s anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent chronic inflammation, a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.

12. Fighting Natural Bacteria

Squid, especially its ink, contains antibacterial substances, neutralizing harmful bacteria and viruses, providing potential health benefits.

13. Promoting Child Development

Squid, with its rich nutritional profile and minimal cholesterol levels, supports optimal growth and brain development in children.

Squid encompasses all the essential components for optimal child development.

Squid encompasses all the essential components for optimal child development.

The squid is rich in vitamin B2, which plays a crucial role in converting carbohydrates and protein-rich foods into energy and fats. Additionally, it boasts an abundance of selenium, a potent antioxidant that safeguards cells from damage. Moreover, squid contributes to enhancing a child’s immune system, making it an integral component of comprehensive child development.

14. Facilitate a Healthy Pregnancy

The US Food and Drug Administration underscores the nutritional value of squid for pregnant and nursing women. The protein and iron content in squid are particularly vital for building cells, copying DNA for the fetus, and supplementing blood during pregnancy, as stated by the FDA.

15. Alleviate Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Numerous studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids found in squid can help alleviate symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Participants in these studies reported improvements in swelling and joint pain, as well as a reduction in morning stiffness.

16. Maintain Blood Pressure

The body requires a daily intake of sodium to regulate blood pressure and ensure fluid balance. However, excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and serious consequences. Squid, containing a moderate amount of sodium at 744 mg per 100g, provides a balanced approach to meeting the body’s sodium needs while reaping the scientific benefits associated with its consumption.

The Potential Adverse Effects of Consuming Squid and Individuals Who Should Exercise Caution

Squid, including varieties like the European squid, Argentine shortfin squid, Jumbo flying squid, and Japanese flying squid, is commonly harvested offshore. The Jumbo flying squid, in particular, stands out as one of the most extensively caught seafood globally, highlighting its widespread demand as a food source. While understanding the nutritional benefits of squid is essential, it’s equally crucial to be aware of potential side effects associated with its consumption.

Side Effects of Squid Consumption

While squid is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation, it’s important to be mindful of potential risks for those who consider it their favorite food.

  1. Shellfish Allergy: Squid, like other shellfish, carries the risk of triggering allergic reactions. Tropomyosin, a component found in squid, is the primary factor responsible for such reactions. Individuals with a history of seafood or shellfish allergies should avoid consuming squid. If any signs of an allergic reaction appear, immediate cessation is recommended, and consulting a specialist is advised.
  2. Mercury Poisoning: Seafood has long been associated with the risk of containing mercury. Mercury accumulation in the body poses risks such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders, stroke, and cancer. While the FDA classifies squid as one of the “best seafood choices” due to its relatively low mercury content, it’s essential to choose a reputable source for squid to minimize this risk. Opt for fresh squid, processed with care, and monitor your body’s response to ensure adaptability.

Who Should Avoid Squid?

Certain groups of individuals should exercise caution and refrain from consuming squid:

  • Individuals with Allergies: If regular consumption reveals an allergy to squid, it’s advisable to limit or completely avoid this food. Squid allergies can manifest as skin irritation, itching, or more severe allergic reactions. Continuous monitoring of the body’s reaction to squid consumption is recommended.
  • Individuals with Liver or Heart Disease: Despite being low in cholesterol compared to some seafood, squid still contains a notable amount. Individuals with conditions such as fatty liver disease, gallstones, heart disease, high blood lipid levels, or atherosclerosis should avoid squid to prevent an increase in cholesterol levels and potential exacerbation of their condition.
  • Individuals with Stomach or Liver Disease: Squid, being inherently cold in nature, can lower the body’s temperature after consumption. Those with stomach or liver diseases should limit squid intake to avoid an excess of cold energy, which may impede the healing process.
  • Individuals with Skin Diseases: Conditions like eczema, rashes, or dermatitis place individuals at risk, and they should refrain from consuming squid, as it could potentially worsen their skin disorders.

Recommended Consumption Guidelines

According to recommendations, adults should aim to include squid in their diet at least two to three times a week, with a serving size of 4 ounces (approximately 110g). For children aged 2 to 11, a recommended serving size is 1 ounce (around 29g).

Ensuring Nutritional Quality through the Preparation and Storage of Squid

Squid enjoys global popularity as a seafood delicacy, prized not only for its distinct flavor but also for its adaptability in various culinary preparations. Proper preparation and storage of squid are essential to guarantee its delectable taste and nutritional value. Here are key tips for preparing and storing squid to maximize its nutritional quality.

Fresh Squid

Sourcing and handling fresh squid from markets and supermarkets require careful consideration to ensure optimal nutritional content. Here are guidelines for selecting, preparing, and storing fresh squid:

Choosing Squid: Opt for fresh, live squid exhibiting a vibrant color, a dark brown head, and a white body with a milky cloudiness. Fresh squid should have clear eyes, no bulging, and no signs of leakage. The head and tentacles should be tightly attached, firm, and elastic. Avoid selecting weak, thin-skinned, thick-skinned, heavy, yellow, or red squid.

Storing Squid: Before preparing raw squid, clean it by puncturing the ink sac, removing tentacles and eyes, and thoroughly washing with clean water. Due to the susceptibility of squid to bacterial contamination, consume it on the day of purchase or store it at a temperature of 0-5 degrees Celsius.

Preparing Squid: Fresh squid lends itself to diverse culinary preparations, including grilling, steaming, boiling, frying, or even consuming raw as sashimi. While cutting it into small pieces, coating with flour, and frying is a popular method, caution is advised as it can elevate saturated fat and carbohydrate levels.

Dried Squid

Dried squid has gained popularity and market demand. Observe the following processing and preservation guidelines to maximize its nutritional benefits:

Choosing Dried Squid: Opt for dried squid with a thicker powder layer on the skin, indicative of delicious and chewy meat. Quality dried squid should have a fresh color, firm attachment of tentacles and head, and exhibit non-sticky and non-moist characteristics when pressed. Natural sunlight drying is preferred.

Storing Dried Squid: For extended storage, wrap dried squid in newspaper and place it in a dry, clean area exposed to sunlight or refrigerate. Short-term storage (1-3 days) in the refrigerator is acceptable, ensuring a dry and odor-free environment.

Cooking Dried Squid: Grilling dried squid on charcoal is a traditional favorite, while seasoning with salt, sweet and sour, or tamarind provides a novel and delightful option for the entire family.

Read more: What is the impact of nutrition on human health?

Guidelines for Consuming Squid

To ensure health safety and maximize nutritional benefits, it is crucial to be aware of the following notes when eating squid:

  • Avoid Raw or Undercooked Squid: While raw squid is rich in nutrients, it also contains peptides that may cause digestive disorders. When consuming squid, ensure it is cooked thoroughly at a high temperature to eliminate any health risks.
  • Limit Squid Consumption with Beer: Despite being a common practice, combining squid with beer is not recommended. This seemingly delicious pairing poses potential health risks. Squid contains significant amounts of bismuth and glucosinolates, while beer is rich in vitamin B1. This combination facilitates the breakdown and transformation of purine nucleotide and other substances in squid, potentially leading to conditions like gout, kidney stones, and widespread allergic reactions.

Squid stands out as a healthy culinary option, offering substantial health benefits. This article comprehensively outlines the proper methods for processing, preserving, and consuming dried squid in a nutritious and safe manner.

Related Posts