Mahi mahi, also known as dolphinfish or dorado, is a healthy addition to any diet. The fish is usually found in subtropical waters and is popular on many seafood menus. You can also find mahi mahi fillets and steaks, fresh or frozen, in some supermarkets. Choose mahi mahi as a source of lean protein and to provide you with multiple important nutrients.
Mahi mahi provides 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Protein is an essential macronutrient that your body needs in large quantities to support muscle function, growth and health. The protein in mahi mahi is considered complete, meaning that it provides all the essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. This serving also provides just 93 calories and 1 gram of fat, none of which is the unhealthy saturated variety. Mahi mahi is not a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids, however. Choosing mahi mahi over higher calorie and fattier protein sources such as beef, pork, lamb or dark-meat chicken can help you manage your cholesterol and your weight.
A 3-ounce serving of mahi mahi is a source of all eight B vitamins. In particular, it provides 0.6 microgram of vitamin B-12, or 10 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Vitamin B-12 helps with nerve cell function, red blood cell function, mood regulation and energy. The serving also offers 0.4 microgram of vitamin B-6, or 20 percent of the daily value. Vitamin B-6 also deals with nerve cell function, as well as brain development and hormone production. Additionally, a 3-ounce serving of mahi mahi provides you with 6.3 milligrams of niacin, or 32 percent of the daily value. Niacin helps with energy and hormone production. With 453 milligrams of potassium, mahi mahi is a very good source of this mineral that helps control fluid and minerals in your body, thus regulating blood pressure, digestion and energy levels. Mahi mahi also offers 40 micrograms of the trace mineral selenium, which acts as a free radical-fighting antioxidant.
Mercury and other toxin contamination is a concern when consuming fish, especially for pregnant or nursing women, women of child-bearing age, young children, the elderly and those with compromised immunity. The National Resources Defense Council judges mahi mahi to contain a “moderate” amount of mercury. It is therefore recommended you consume no more than six servings or less per month if you are in a vulnerable population.
Purchase fresh mahi mahi from a reputable fish monger. Look for fillets with no fishy odor and, if the whole fish is available, look for clear, bright eyes. The meat of mahi mahi should be firm to the touch and pink or light beige. Darker cuts will have a stronger flavor. If you do not plan to use fresh mahi mahi within two days of purchase, wrap and freeze the fillets to preserve freshness.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin B-3 (Niacin); June 18, 2009
- National Resource Defense Council: Mercury Contamination in Fish
- University of Florida - Sarasota County Extension; Florida Food Fare; Mary King
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin); June 1, 2009
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine); June 18, 2009
- Drugs.com: Potassium Content of Foods List
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.