by Robin Miller in Robin's Healthy Take, June 17, 2013
by Robin Miller in Robin's Healthy Take, May 7, 2012
It’s a shame calamari is relegated to the deep fryer most of the time. Also known as squid, protein-rich calamari boasts a sweet taste and firm texture when prepared properly (overcooked calamari is overly chewy calamari). One 3.5-ounce serving has just 92 calories, 1 gram of fat, 16 grams of protein, and 56% of your daily recommended intake for iron. It’s also brimming with calcium, dishing up 28% of your daily recommendation. Problem is, a typical serving of restaurant-prepared calamari, AKA breaded and fried, can have up to 900 calories, 20 grams of fat and almost 2,000 mg of sodium. That’s HALF of your recommended calories and fat and your ENTIRE sodium quota for the day.
Worry not – you can enjoy all the health benefits of calamari by preparing it yourself – pan-seared with a Thai-inspired sesame-soy peanut sauce. And don’t worry about searching for calamari in a store far, far away – if you can’t find it at the seafood counter, it’ll be in the frozen foods section in most grocery stores nationwide.
- Robin's crispy, baked calamari: packed with nutrients, but not fat and calories.
A basket of calamari is, no doubt, one of the most delicious ways to start a meal. Nutritionally speaking, calamari (Italian for squid) is crammed with copper (one 3.5-ounce serving has 90% of your RDA). Why should you care? Copper is essential for all this: proper growth of the skeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems; reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms; pigmentation of hair, skin and eyes; building connective tissue; stimulating the brain; absorbing iron; stalling aging; producing energy in the body; inhibiting bacteria such as E-Coli; reducing cholesterol and boosting immunity. Copper is the third most prevalent mineral in the body yet we can’t produce it on our own (meaning we need to get copper from food). As if that’s not enough, calamari is also rich in protein (16 grams per 3.5-ounce serving), B vitamins and vitamin C. I learned all this while researching for this blog. I might eat calamari every day now.