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The Ocean's Superfood: The Little-Known Health Benefits of Caviar

“Is Caviar good for me?”

If you’re a caviar fan, you may have wondered if this delicacy is just an indulgent treat or if it actually has health benefits. What are caviar’s health facts and how much is healthy to eat? This article will explain exactly how healthy caviar really is and how often you can eat it. 

Caviar Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits

Caviar is fish eggs that come from the sturgeon family of fish. While fish are known for their healthy fats and oils, caviar is similarly known for having some impressive nutritional benefits. 

While nutritional facts vary slightly between different varieties, caviar nutritional benefits include healthy fats, multiple vitamins, iron, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of caviar provides:

  • Calories: 75
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Vitamin B12: 236% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Selenium: 34% of the DV
  • Iron: 19% of the DV
  • Sodium: 18% of the DV
  • Vitamin D: 29% of the DV

Source: USDA

So, when eaten regularly and in healthy doses, caviar is a positive addition to a healthy diet.

How much is a serving of caviar?

How much caviar you choose to eat likely depends on the occasion. If you’re sitting down to enjoy caviar on your own or as part of a meal, it’s safe to assume you’ll consume 1-2 ounces per person. However, if you’re serving caviar on appetizers, you’ll probably need just .5 ounce per person.

You can adjust this amount depending on what else you’re serving or whether your guests are seasoned caviar eaters. If most people at your party already enjoy caviar, you may need a little more than if they are all trying it for the first time. 

You can eat caviar in small amounts each day, or once a week or so in 1 ounce or larger quantities.

Will eating caviar make me gain weight?

There’s a common idea that a delicacy as indulgent as caviar must be bad for you, or at least, must be full of fat and calories that can make you gain weight. But the truth is, caviar itself, when consumed in healthy amounts, is very unlikely to make you gain weight. The truth is, it’s more probable that the food you serve with your caviar is what’s most likely to result in adding an inch or two to the waistline.

Caviar is usually served with bread, crackers, lox, cream cheese, creme fraiche, and other rich, carb-heavy, or dairy products. These products, if consumed in large quantities, can lead to weight gain, making it appear that caviar is the culprit.

Is caviar safe to eat while pregnant?

The answer is yes... and no. While many women swear by eating caviar every day while they are trying to conceive a baby and all through their time of pregnancy and breastfeeding, others say there’s a risk that’s too high to take.

The risk of eating caviar while pregnant? Listeria.

Fresh, raw caviar (like other raw fish or shellfish products) has been known to occasionally be contaminated with listeria. But that doesn’t mean pregnant or breastfeeding women can’t have caviar. You just need to make sure it’s pasteurized first.

Pasteurization is when foods are heating quickly and for a very short time to kill any bacteria that might be present in the food. Almost all foods we buy in cans and jars are pasteurized, including caviar that comes in a tin, or in a jar with a lid that’s been safety sealed.

If you open your jar of caviar and you hear the lid pop, or if your caviar comes in a sealed tin or can, you can feel confident that your product has been pasteurized. Always keep your caviar covered and in the refrigerator to make sure it stays fresh and bacteria-free until you’ve enjoyed every drop.

Caviar Health Benefits

You might be surprised about all the ways caviar is good for you.

Here are our favorite five ways eating caviar can be beneficial to your health.

    1. Caviar Makes You Happier
      It’s not just because it’s delicious! Caviar is rich in Vitamin D, one of the primary vitamins for boosting your mood and helping you feel happier during the rainy or winter seasons. We normally produce Vitamin D from spending time in the sun. But when we don’t get enough sun because the weather isn’t cooperating, we need to get our Vitamin D from food. Just one ounce of caviar provides you with more than 29% of your daily recommended intake.

    2. Caviar Might Help Support a Healthy Immune System
      The more we learn about omega-3 fatty acids, the more benefits we discover about these special little molecules. What we’ve learned in the last few years is that it’s likely omega-3s help strengthen our immune response. They help fight inflammation contributing to better gut health. It also appears as though omega-3s help repair damaged white blood cells which are responsible for fighting disease and healing wounds.

    3. Caviar Can Help Fight Free Radicals
      You may hear about free radicals, but you might not know how badly they can damage your body, especially your skin. You have to learn a lot about biology and chemistry to fully comprehend how free radicals take form, but these ‘unpaired electrons’ float around in your body, looking for electrons to pair up with. Electrons like to be in pairs, so they will do whatever they need to do to find a match, even destroy other healthy cells. This process can cause significant damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. (Learn more here) Selenium, which is found in abundance in caviar, can be combined with Vitamin E to help protect the body from free radicals, contributing to a better overall healthy body and younger-looking skin.

    4. Caviar Can Help You Have Radiant Skin
      Speaking of skin, if you’re a fan of eating well to keep your skin looking radiant, you’ll want to add caviar into your diet! Not surprisingly, this is especially true of red roe from salmon. We’ve known for years that salmon oils are great for the skin. But now, we know that carotene (what gives salmon and salmon roe their beautiful reddish-orange color) can help us fight sun damage, one of the leading causes of premature aging. According to Skin Cancer Foundation, photoaging is a direct result of cumulative sun damage we’ve been exposed to throughout our lives and is responsible for 90% of all visible changes to our skin.

    5. Caviar Might Help Improve Male Fertility
      While more human study is needed to definitively conclude that caviar can help with male fertility, the early studies show it’s likely. Male sperm is high in DHA, a special type of fatty acid that is abundant in caviar. It’s proven that infertile males often have remarkably low levels of DHA, linking the two together. Eating caviar can improve blood levels of DHA, likely improving fertility as well. Meanwhile, according to PubMed.gov, these fatty acids can also improve semen quality as well, which helps sperm bind more readily to eggs, showing a marked improvement in fertility rates.

There are so many excellent caviar health facts.

Is there anything bad about eating caviar?

We always recommend eating caviar in healthy doses. While caviar is exceptionally healthy for you, just like all foods, too much of anything can be bad for you. To get the healthiest caviar experience:

  • Don’t consume more than 1-2 ounces per day.
  • Be careful about what you serve it with if you eat it quite regularly to avoid unwanted caloric intake.
  • If you’re sensitive to sodium, remember that caviar does have a high salt content.
  • Caviar can be high in cholesterol, so if you are watching your fat intake, you may want to regulate your caviar intake as well.
  • If you have fish allergies, speak to your doctor before you eat caviar.

Are some varieties of caviar better for you than others?

For the most part, all caviar from sturgeon and salmon roe have fairly similar health benefits and nutritional content. While different caviar types have essentially the same nutritional value, they come in many different price points. Caviar is priced based on its rarity, where it is harvested and prepared, how far it travels in shipping, its color and size, etc. But all of these things are simply your preferences. From a health perspective, roe of any price point is very healthy for you.

In Conclusion

Caviar’s health benefits give you plenty more reasons to give caviar a try or continue incorporating it into your diet. Caviar is a beautiful delicacy. When properly harvested, packaged, and served, it will be easy as well as beneficial to enjoy this fine delicacy and to make it part of your regular diet.