Jellyfish is a popular dish among many people due to its refreshing, crunchy texture and distinct sweetness. However, you may not know that jellyfish is not only delicious but also surprisingly nutritious. So, what nutrients does jellyfish contain? Here are 12+ health benefits that jellyfish provides and some notes on how to eat it.
What nutrients do jellyfish have?
Jellyfish is the oldest multicellular creature known, dating back more than 500 million years. They swim freely in the sea with a translucent body that resembles a small umbrella. Most people are always skeptical about what nutrients jellyfish have and what benefits they can provide with 95% of their body being water.
Take a look at the nutritional chart for 100g of jellyfish below, and you will regret not paying attention to this food source sooner!
Data from US Department of Agriculture
From the above chart, we can see that jellyfish contains very few calories and provides a vast array of essential nutrients for the body. In addition to being a rich source of protein, calcium, iron, iodine, vitamin C, and various trace minerals (phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, etc.), the most prominent components that a serving of about 58g of jellyfish offers are:
Selenium: 45% of the recommended daily intake
Choline: 10% of the recommended daily intake
Iron: 7% of the recommended daily intake
Jellyfish also contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs): Although jellyfish has very little fat, studies have shown that half of the fat in jellyfish comes from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential in a healthy diet.
PUFAs, especially omega-3 fatty acids found in jellyfish, are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, particularly when used as a replacement for saturated fat.
Polyphenols: Finally, studies have found that some species of jellyfish contain high levels of polyphenols. These natural compounds have been shown to have powerful antioxidant effects.
9+ benefits from the nutrients in jellyfish
After answering the question of what nutrients jellyfish has, in this section, let’s explore 9+ benefits from the nutrients found in jellyfish.
With low calorie content and a significant presence of carbohydrates, jellyfish is an excellent food option for dieting. In fact, jellyfish provides an excellent source of protein to maintain good cell function and help build strong muscles during the weight loss process.
Choline is an essential nutrient for the body, but in reality, few people reach the recommended levels. Choline is known for its many important functions in the body, such as DNA synthesis, support for nervous system function, production of fat for cell membranes, and transport and metabolism of fats. Choline has also been shown to improve brain function, support memory, and help you process information better, and it can even reduce symptoms of anxiety.
The amount of choline found in 58g of dried jellyfish accounts for 10% of the daily nutritional value needed by the body. Therefore, jellyfish is a noteworthy source of abundant choline for those who want to supplement this nutrient.
Reduced risk of brain-related diseases
Jellyfish is an extremely beneficial seafood for the brain, helping you to prevent brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and cognitive decline in the elderly. What is the nutritional value of jellyfish that brings such great benefits? This is due to the protein that binds with calcium. This protein is produced by the brain itself, but will gradually decrease as you age, and you can receive this protein immediately by eating jellyfish.
The nervous system in the brain needs to be protected and maintained. Eating enough jellyfish will optimize the process of cell regeneration in the brain, including your nervous system.
Collagen is an extremely important protein for the body, with its main function being in the structure of skin, tendons, and bones. It’s fantastic that jellyfish contains an abundant amount of collagen with many health benefits, including improving skin elasticity and reducing joint pain. With this amount of collagen, you no longer need to supplement vitamin C to produce collagen because it is already present in jellyfish.
Collagen in jellyfish also has the ability to protect skin cells from the harmful effects of sunlight, promote wound healing, and treat inflammation in joints.
Good for Skin Health
Collagen always has a positive effect on skin health. Collagen in jellyfish helps maintain skin elasticity, supports skin cell regeneration, and keeps skin firm and youthful even as you age. With the ability to transform older cells into younger ones in jellyfish, you should not hesitate to add this collagen-rich food to your daily diet.
In the cosmetics industry, jellyfish has been used as a primary ingredient in cosmetics due to its excellent collagen content.
Good for Heart Health
Jellyfish contains very few calories and carbohydrates but is high in protein and amino acids, making it one of the good foods for heart health. Unlike other seafood, you can still use jellyfish in your diet even if you have heart problems.
In addition, jellyfish is rich in selenium – an essential mineral in several important processes in the body. Providing adequate selenium to the body daily can help reduce the risk of developing certain cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and some forms of cancer. It is also an important substance in metabolism and thyroid function. This delicious seafood is proven to have antioxidant properties that protect healthy cells in the body.
Moreover, the fat content in jellyfish is mainly unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 – essential fatty acids for the human body. These have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
In China, jellyfish has been used as a home remedy to help manage cholesterol levels. Are you surprised to know that jellyfish is one of the effective foods that lower cholesterol levels?
Reducing High Blood Pressure
A laboratory study on collagen has concluded that the hydrolyzed collagen in ribbon jellyfish has antioxidant and blood pressure-lowering effects. Similarly, a prolonged study in mice also showed that supplementing with collagen from jellyfish in their daily diet can effectively reduce blood pressure.
So, another great benefit of jellyfish is its ability to reduce symptoms of high blood pressure, prevent stroke and heart attack.
Maintaining blood vessels
Jellyfish’s ability to regulate ideal blood pressure means it helps keep your blood vessels functioning smoothly. Jellyfish helps prevent hardening of the arteries and maintains the health of blood vessels in the body.
How to add jellyfish to your daily diet
After learning about the nutrients and incredible benefits of jellyfish, you may want to add this food to your family’s next meal. So how do you incorporate jellyfish into your diet?
Jellyfish is a food item that is processed in various ways and widely used in Southeast Asian countries. It can be dried, used in sushi, salads, main dishes and noodles, sweet and sour jellyfish salad, chilled jellyfish salad, rolls or crispy vermicelli noodles in Thailand… Here are some delicious and popular jellyfish dishes.
Onion and Jellyfish Salad
Start your meal with onion and jellyfish salad, which is visually appealing and has a refreshing flavor that stimulates your taste buds. Fresh and delicious jellyfish, with a crunchy and sweet taste, is mixed with onions and fresh vegetables, and infused with a sweet, spicy, and sour sauce that is mouth-watering.
Ingredients: Prepared and steamed jellyfish, sliced onion, garlic, chili, ginger, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro.
Instructions: First, mix together minced garlic, chili, ginger with a bit of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Remove the sliced onion from vinegar water and squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix the onion and jellyfish with the prepared seasoning. Add chopped cilantro and peanuts and sprinkle a bit of sugar and pepper.
Similarly, jellyfish can be used in refreshing and tasty salads such as green mango jellyfish salad, sesame jellyfish salad, or jellyfish salad with herbs.
Jellyfish stir-fry with celery
The combination of crunchy sweet celery and tender, non-rubbery jellyfish in this stir-fry is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Ingredients: Pre-prepared jellyfish, celery, purple onion, ginger, cooking oil, and seasoning.
Instructions: Start by frying the purple onion in a pan with cooking oil. Once the onion turns fragrant and golden, add the celery and stir-fry until it’s nearly cooked, seasoning to taste. Then add the jellyfish and stir quickly for around 2 more minutes, seasoning once again before turning off the heat. Garnish with some fresh herbs such as cilantro to make the dish even more appealing.
Similarly, jellyfish can also be used in other delicious and nutritious stir-fry dishes such as pineapple and jellyfish stir-fry, seafood and jellyfish stir-fry, and beef and jellyfish stir-fry.
Tips for eating jellyfish and some side effects you should know
Jellyfish from the sea is a source of many essential nutrients for the body and an ingredient in many delicious dishes. However, when eating jellyfish, you also need to know some important tips and unintended side effects of this food below.
Risks and precautions when eating jellyfish
When eating jellyfish, you need to be careful as there are some potential health risks to be aware of, including:
Allergies: Jellyfish are generally safe for most people to eat, but in some cases, individuals may experience an allergic reaction after consuming cooked jellyfish, with symptoms such as hives, tingling or itching, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Bacteria: If not properly cleaned and prepared, jellyfish can still contain dangerous bacteria or pathogens that can have negative effects on your health.
High aluminum content: During the processing of jellyfish, a chemical compound called alum is used as a food preservative. A study conducted in Hong Kong concluded that ready-to-eat jellyfish contains high levels of aluminum. Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed this substance safe for consumption.
Some precautions to take when eating jellyfish
You can enjoy the great benefits of jellyfish, but first, make sure to prepare and use it properly! Here are some precautions to take when eating jellyfish after you understand its nutritional content.
Avoid using fresh jellyfish in your diet: Jellyfish will decompose within a few hours and become toxic. Therefore, experts always encourage the use of jellyfish in dried or soaked form.
How to choose jellyfish: The color of jellyfish is an important factor when buying to ensure safety when eating sea jellyfish. Freshly processed jellyfish is usually milk white, and it will slowly turn pale yellow after a while. When the jellyfish turns brown, it means it is spoiled and unsafe for consumption.
Preparation and preservation: You should only eat jellyfish when it has been thoroughly cleaned and stored properly. Then, jellyfish will have little or no signs of dangerous bacterial infection or other harmful pathogens.
For fresh jellyfish, you should clean it and soak it in saltwater with vinegar. During the soaking process, you should change the water 3 times, adding the same amount of salt and vinegar each time. When the jellyfish meat turns red or light yellow, you need to remove the jellyfish and soak it in cold water for about 2 hours. Don’t forget to rinse it again with water, drain it, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces.
For dried jellyfish, you can prepare it by soaking it in water with lime juice for 4-5 hours or overnight. You don’t need to soak the jellyfish for too long as it will cause the jellyfish meat to lose a lot of water, shrink, and become dry when eaten.
Who should limit eating jellyfish?
Although jellyfish contains many nutrients that are beneficial to health, if you belong to one of the following groups, you should limit your consumption of jellyfish to ensure absolute safety.
- Children under 8 years old: Children should not eat jellyfish, even processed jellyfish, because it is very easy to cause food poisoning.
- Individuals with seafood allergies or a history of food poisoning: People with a history of seafood allergies or food poisoning should not eat jellyfish, as jellyfish is also part of this food group. If there are signs of allergies, stop eating jellyfish immediately and seek medical attention for timely treatment.
- Recently ill or weakened individuals: This is also a group that should not eat jellyfish because their immune system is still weak, and eating jellyfish can easily cause allergies or food poisoning.
Although jellyfish is a delicious food with high nutritional value, you should only eat jellyfish that has been carefully cleaned with a reasonable frequency and avoid eating too much. In addition, combine jellyfish with other nutrient-rich foods to provide essential nutrients for the body.
Therefore, this article has helped us answer the question “what nutrients does jellyfish have” and more than 9 amazing benefits that jellyfish brings to human health. The effects of jellyfish are extremely diverse and can help you maintain comprehensive health. However, this delicious food still poses many risks if you do not know how to choose, prepare, and store it properly. Hopefully, this article will help you in choosing nutritious food for your family.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.