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The Nutrition of Pickled Herring

Fitday Editor
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Pickled herring is thought of as a delicacy in many parts of Europe, so much so that pickled herring has found itself as part of the cuisine of Germans, Jews, Scandinavians, Baltic people and Eastern Slavs. Even the Japanese think of this food as a delicacy, which shows the broad and wide penetration of this food even into the Far East. Pickled herring involves a two-step curing process: first, curing with salt to remove its water is performed. Then, the next step comes with removal of the aforementioned salt, which then leads to the addition of flavorings. Typical flavorings include sugar, salt and vinegar, to which raw onions and bay leaves may be added.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of pickled herring are well known with hardly any dispute about them. The big health benefit of pickled herring is the presence of Omega 3 fatty acids and also a spot of Vitamin D. Omega 3 is essential to the human body because of its central role in being involved with development and growth, heart health and circulation. On the other hand, the presence of Vitamin D in pickled herring is another plus because Vitamin D plays a prominent role in the body's absorption of both phosphorus and calcium, the formation of bones, and the upkeep of an immune system that is healthy.

Possible Health Risks

While the health benefits of pickled herring are considered to outweigh any possible health risks, it is still necessary to highlight possible health problems from pickled herring. For one, a certain way of preparing pickled herring is the culprit in stoking these beliefs of possible health risks. A compound by the name of tyramine is formed when certain protein-rich foods like pickled herring are aged. Tyramine has been associated with unpleasant conditions like headaches and even high blood pressure. The reason that foods containing tyramine may cause headaches is because of their tendency to lower seratonin levels in your brain.

Furthermore, if you happen to be taking certain kinds of medication like MAO inhibitors, avoid foods like pickled herring prepared in a certain way that may have significant levels of tyramine. The reason is because eating foods with tyramine while on such medication may lead to life-threatening circumstances brought on by intracranial bleeding, as well as blood pressure that happens to be elevated.

Ways to Eat Picked Herring

Pickled Herring can be prepared in a number of ways, usually dependent on the type of cuisine that is featuring it. For instance, cuisine from Russia has pickled herring served in such a simple way which sees it cut into small pieces and then drizzled with some sunflower oil and onions. Scandinavian and German cuisine sees pickled herring consumed along with rye bread, crispbread, potatoes and even sour cream. The serving of pickled herring in this manner is common in Scandinavia around Easter and Christmas, when it is served with some Scandinavian schnapps.

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