A dietitian explores the well being advantages, downsides, and dietary worth of consuming octopus.

The octopus is a sort of cephalopod that lives within the ocean.

It’s well-known for having eight legs and being one of the clever creatures within the sea (1, 2).

Octopus can be a culinary delicacy in coastal areas of the world. It’s a beloved meals of many individuals in Asia-Pacific international locations like Japan and the Koreas in addition to within the Mediterranean, comparable to Italy and Spain.

In case you’ve eaten octopus earlier than or puzzled what it may be like, however you’re not sure about how wholesome the seafood truly is, this text is for you.

Right here, we’ll take a deeper dive into the dietary profile of octopus, together with its advantages, downsides, and extra.

Like many forms of seafood, octopus is flexible. The commonest types of octopus used for meals are:

Octopus might be eaten uncooked or cooked.

The commonest methods to prepare dinner octopus are:

  • grilling
  • baking
  • steaming
  • boiling
  • poaching
  • stewing
  • frying

Relying on the kind of octopus you’re cooking with, and the way you resolve to prepare dinner it, octopus can tackle fully totally different taste and texture profiles.

For instance, some individuals have a tough time consuming octopus due to its chewy texture.

To realize a less-rubbery texture, many cooks swear by utilizing frozen octopus or by slow-poaching contemporary octopus in a flavorful liquid at a low temperature for no less than 90 minutes.

Dried octopus normally requires the same period of time for rehydrating and cooking, however chances are you’ll not all the time have time for such a prolonged course of.

In that case, canned octopus can simply be eaten immediately and served plain — or you’ll be able to rapidly spice it up with garlic, herbs and spices, citrus juices, and related seasonings.


Recent octopus is usually utilized in meals, however frozen, dried, and canned varieties are additionally accessible. There are lots of other ways to prepare dinner octopus, and a few individuals choose to eat it uncooked.

Total, octopus is a wholesome supply of lean protein that’s low in energy, fats, and carbohydrates however excessive in amino acids (and thus protein), hint minerals, and micronutrients like nutritional vitamins (2, 3).

Right here is the diet profile for 3 ounces (85 grams) of octopus cooked utilizing a moist-heat cooking technique like boiling, braising, or stewing (4):

  • Energy: 139
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Fats: 2 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 1,275% of the Each day Worth (DV)
  • Selenium: 139% of the DV
  • Copper: 70% of the DV
  • Iron: 45% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 32% of the DV
  • Zinc: 26% of the DV
  • Niacin: 20% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 19% of the DV
  • Sodium: 17% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 15% of the DV
  • Choline: 13% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV

Simply because the preparation technique you select for octopus can alter the style and texture of the ultimate dish, it may additionally affect the meals’s last dietary worth (3).

For instance, a 3-ounce (45-gram) serving of dried octopus may comprise as a lot as 1,114 mg of salt — 289% greater than contemporary cooked octopus (5).

What’s extra, canned octopus is normally packed in oil and due to this fact greater in fats (6).

If octopus has been deep-fried, it’s going to even be greater in fats and energy than when the seafood is roasted, grilled, poached, or stewed.

Nonetheless, octopus ready any approach is an extremely wealthy supply of many vitamins, comparable to vitamin B12 and selenium, that are essential for bodily features like forming crimson blood cells, synthesizing DNA, and combating dangerous oxidation (7, 8).

Although it’s not fairly as wealthy in unsaturated fat as fatty fish like salmon and tuna, octopus remains to be excessive within the omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (2, 4, 9, 10).

They’re thought-about heart-healthy vitamins as a result of they might assist scale back irritation and defend in opposition to coronary heart illness (2, 4, 9, 10).


Octopus is an extremely nutritious lean supply of protein. The seafood is low in energy and fats, but it’s filled with nutritional vitamins B6 and B12, selenium, copper, iron, zinc, and extra.

Octopus performs an important position in lots of cultural and culinary traditions.

Not solely does the seafood make for a scrumptious meal to many, however octopus can undoubtedly be part of a nutritious and well-balanced weight loss program.

Listed here are just a few of probably the most spectacular well being advantages of octopus.

It’s a lean protein

“Lean” proteins are good sources of protein that stay comparatively low in energy, fats, and ldl cholesterol.

Packing greater than 25 grams of protein per serving for slightly below 140 energy, octopus positively matches the outline of a lean protein.

Although octopus does comprise an honest quantity of ldl cholesterol — about 82 mg per serving — it nonetheless accommodates lower than squid and shrimp (4, 11, 12).

Plus, analysis on dietary ldl cholesterol and coronary heart illness has begun to shift. Opposite to what was as soon as believed, it appears consuming nutritious sources of ldl cholesterol like eggs and seafood is much less more likely to increase blood levels of cholesterol than consuming meals like crimson meat which are excessive in saturated fats (13, 14).

In seems {that a} weight loss program excessive in lean seafood — even when it accommodates some ldl cholesterol — may very well enhance coronary heart well being reasonably than hurt it (15, 16, 17, 18).

A wealthy supply of wholesome unsaturated fat

The wholesome unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in octopus could assist stop coronary heart illness, however their advantages don’t cease there (9, 19, 20).

A weight loss program wealthy in sources of omega-3s — like octopus and different forms of fish — has additionally been linked with a decrease danger for some cancers, safety of cognitive perform, and a wholesome gut microbiome (21, 22, 23, 24).

The intestine microbiome refers back to the teams of wholesome micro organism that stay in our intestines. The microbiome performs an important position in immunity, irritation, and illness prevention.

Might have antidepressant properties

One other fascinating property of the omega-3s in octopus and seafood: consuming extra of them could reduce symptoms of major depressive disorder.

In sure populations, analysis exhibits those that eat reasonable — however not essentially excessive — quantities of seafood have a tendency to attain decrease on measures of melancholy. What’s extra, it seems the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids within the blood can be an element (25, 26, 27).

Although a weight loss program wealthy in omega-3s from seafood has been linked with diminished melancholy, there may be not but sufficient proof to conclude that omega-3 dietary supplements successfully deal with individuals already dwelling with melancholy (28).

Curiously sufficient, it’s not simply the omega-3s in octopus that account for its potential antidepressant properties.

One examine analyzed meals and their concentrations of 12 totally different antidepressant vitamins, together with omega-3s in addition to vitamin B12, selenium, iron, zinc, and extra. Octopus ranked sixth on the checklist of prime antidepressant meals (29).


Octopus is a lean supply of seafood that’s low in energy and fats however wealthy in protein and different vitamins which will assist help coronary heart well being, psychological well being, the intestine microbiome, and extra.

It’s evident that octopus is a nutrient-dense supply of protein that has been an integral a part of nutritious diets for ages.

Nonetheless, some individuals have to keep away from octopus on account of allergy symptoms. In truth, shellfish are one of many most common allergenic foods (30, 31, 32, 33).

Different individuals select to keep away from consuming octopus for ethical reasons. Some are involved with the sustainability of how octopus is caught or farmed, whereas others fear in regards to the ethics of killing and consuming octopus — particularly because it’s believed to be an extremely clever animal.

Except for these essential conversations, there are additionally a few well being concerns to remember should you eat octopus usually.

Octopus is excessive in salt

One serving of octopus may comprise as a lot as 25% of the DV for salt, and that’s with out including any further salt throughout the cooking course of (3).

For some individuals, this might not be a lot to fret about. Nonetheless, for individuals who are salt-sensitive, it may adversely have an effect on your blood strain and raise your risk of heart disease (34).

Fried variations could contribute to hypertension, coronary heart illness, and extra

One widespread technique to put together octopus is to deep-fry it.

Although many benefit from the style and texture, fried foods are linked with destructive well being outcomes, together with hypertension, coronary heart illness, melancholy, diabetes, and extra (35, 36, 37, 38).

There’s a danger of mercury publicity

Like most forms of seafood, there’s an opportunity octopus could possibly be contaminated with heavy metals like mercury and arsenic (39, 40, 41).

Some analysis means that the metals usually focus within the digestive glands of the ocean creature, so avoiding these tissues is one technique to attempt to restrict your publicity when consuming octopus (42).

Researchers have additionally noticed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — a category of carcinogenic pollution — in octopus, although to various levels relying on the place the octopuses lived (43).

Those that are notably in danger to the consequences of mercury publicity, comparable to pregnant and breastfeeding individuals, young children, and individuals who eat numerous seafood, could wish to use further warning and discover sources of octopus much less more likely to be contaminated (44, 45).

You’ll be able to be taught extra about selecting extra sustainable meat here.


Total, octopus is a nutritious meals. Nonetheless, it’s greater in salt than many different proteins, and there’s a likelihood it could possibly be contaminated with heavy metals. To get probably the most diet from the seafood, search sustainable sources and keep away from deep-fried varieties.

Octopus is a wholesome meals that’s extraordinarily wealthy in lots of vitamins recognized to help optimum human well being.

In case you resolve to include octopus into your weight loss program regularly, needless to say it’s greater in salt than many different forms of animal protein.

Plus, it carries a danger of being contaminated with heavy metals from air pollution within the ocean.

Nonetheless, when consumed sparsely utilizing nutritious cooking strategies and as a part of a well-rounded weight loss program, octopus could have advantages like lowering the chance of coronary heart illness and signs of melancholy.

Source link

Previous article5 Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes To Shed Those Extra Kilos
Next articleEasy Easter Dinner Ideas That Are Totally Celebration-Worthy


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here