can you eat jellyfish?- Jellyfish are bell-shaped marine organisms found in all waters around the world. They are well-known for their gelatinous bodies and lengthy tentacles, which contain specialized stinging cells that can shoot out quickly, injecting venom into predators and prey.
Some jellyfish species are poisonous to humans, whereas others are not. In truth, jellyfish is widely consumed in Southeast Asia since it is thought to have several health advantages.
This article discusses when it is safe to consume jellyfish, as well as its potential health advantages and hazards.
can you eat jellyfish?
Sustainability is a crucial aspect in global food consumption today, particularly with reference to stocks of a diverse range of fish in our seas and oceans. While many species have endured or continue to risk extinction as a result of human overfishing, jellyfish are the polar opposite. They are so numerous that one expert recently proposed that they would someday become so numerous that they will endanger the existence of all other organisms in the seas and oceans. This implies that environmentalists may not only eat jellyfish without guilt, but we can all be doing our planet a favor in the long run by including this wonderful sea critter on our meals. Could jellyfish potentially be a feasible answer to the world’s food scarcity crisis? Surely, the concept is worth investigating…
Where Can I Purchase Jellyfish?
Of course, the availability of edible jellyfish varies greatly depending on geographical area, but a good place to seek is in a Chinese or general Asian supermarket or grocery shop. The jellyfish in the photos above have been prepared in a variety of ways, from whole to coarsely chopped and portioned, to thin strips suited primarily for use in raw salads. You might also look online for the availability of things that can be ordered by mail. If you’re sampling this marine creature for the first time, buy the smallest piece you can find to save money and maybe waste. This little foil pack of brined strips is ideal for this purpose.
What Does Jellyfish Taste Like?
It’s safe to assume that jellyfish doesn’t taste much of anything other than salty sea saltwater. However, like with many other novel cuisines, it is good testing it in its original form before augmenting it with other components. Aside from eating it on its own, a fantastic way to accomplish this is to add a little amount to some hot buttered toast.
There’s no denying that flavor enhancers are necessary if jellyfish is to be savored at its finest. Different types of oils and vinegars are beneficial, as are herbs, spices, garlic, and a variety of other solid components.
Eating jellyfish safely:
Before eating jellyfish, it’s critical to understand how to do it safely.
At least 11 jellyfish species have been recognized as edible for humans, including Rhopilema esculentum, which is popular in Southeastern Asia. Because jellyfish deteriorate fast at room temperature, it is critical to clean and treat it as soon as possible after capture.
Jellyfish is traditionally preserved by dehydrating the flesh with an alum-salt combination. Alum is a brining component that serves as an antibacterial, lowering the pH while keeping the texture hard. As a result, it is critical to ingest only jellyfish items that have been fully cleaned and processed properly.
The color of the product is also a significant consideration for safety.
Freshly processed jellyfish is normally creamy white in appearance, gradually becoming yellow as it aged. While yellow-colored food are still okay to eat, brown-colored things are deemed rotten and hazardous to consume.
Eating jellyfish is connected with a number of health advantages in numerous Asian nations, including aiding in the treatment of high blood pressure, arthritis, bone pain, ulcers, and digestive difficulties.
While most of these claims have not been validated by research, eating jellyfish may have certain health advantages.
Rich in a variety of nutrients
Several jellyfish species are edible. While their nutritional composition varies, they have all been proved to be low in calories while providing an excellent amount of protein, antioxidants, and numerous vital minerals.
One cup (58 g) dried jellyfish contains approximately:
- 21 calories
- 3 gram protein
- 1 gram of fat
- 45 percent of the Daily Value for Selenium (DV)
- Choline: 10% of the daily value
- 7 percent of the DV for iron
While low in fat, studies have indicated that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, make up almost half of the fat in jellyfish.
PUFAs, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, particularly when consumed in place of saturated fat.
Finally, studies have revealed that certain edible jellyfish species have significant quantities of polyphenols, which are naturally occurring chemicals that have been demonstrated to have powerful antioxidant properties.
Consuming polyphenol-rich foods on a regular basis is considered to improve brain function and protect against a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Excellent source of selenium
Jellyfish is a good source of selenium, a vital element that is involved in a number of key bodily functions.
It possesses antioxidant qualities, which protect your cells from oxidative stress.
As a result, adequate selenium intake has been associated to a lower risk of a variety of ailments, including heart disease, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, selenium is necessary for metabolism and thyroid function.
While jellyfish is high in this vital mineral, additional study on the advantages of eating this marine critter in particular is needed.
High in choline
Choline is an important vitamin that many Americans are deficient in.
- 1 cup (58 grams) of dried jellyfish has 10% of the DV for choline, making it a healthy source.
- Choline performs several vital tasks in the body, including DNA synthesis, nervous system support, fat formation for cell membranes, and fat transport and metabolism.
- It has also been related to improved brain functioning, such as improved memory and processing. It may even aid in the reduction of anxiety symptoms. More research, however, is required.
- Despite the benefits of eating more choline-rich foods, additional study on the impacts of eating jellyfish is required.
Excellent source of collagen
- The high collagen content of jellyfish is considered to be responsible for many of its suggested medicinal effects.
- Collagen is a protein that is crucial in the construction of tissues such as tendons, skin, and bone.
- Consuming collagen has also been linked to a number of possible health advantages, including increased skin elasticity and decreased joint discomfort.
- Collagen from jellyfish, in particular, has been studied for its possible function in blood pressure reduction.
- In one test-tube investigation, collagen peptides from ribbon jellyfish were discovered to have strong antioxidant and blood-pressure-lowering properties.
- Similarly, in a 1-month trial of rats with elevated blood pressure, daily consumption of jellyfish collagen considerably decreased blood pressure levels. Although intriguing, these benefits have yet to be investigated in people.
- Jellyfish collagen has also been shown in animal experiments to protect skin cells from UV exposure, promote wound healing, and cure arthritis. These effects, however, have not been explored in people.
Jellyfish is cleaned and processed as soon as it is caught, generally by dehydrating it in a brining solution.
Before eating jellyfish, it is sometimes advised to desalt it and rehydrate it by soaking it in water overnight to enhance texture and minimize the salty taste .
The texture of cooked jellyfish is unexpectedly gritty, despite its name. It can, however, be slightly chewy depending on how it is made.
It has a subtle flavor that absorbs the tastes of whatever it is cooked with. Even so, it may be rather salty if not desalted.
Potential health risks:
Only a few jellyfish species have been found to be safe for human eating.
While most individuals are safe, some people have developed sensitivities to the animal after having an anaphylactic response after eating fried jellyfish.
Furthermore, adequate washing and processing are critical for lowering the risk of food borne disease caused by bacteria or other potentially dangerous organisms.
There is also worry that the process of preserving jellyfish may expose the jellyfish to excessive quantities of aluminum.
The presence of aluminum in jellyfish products
Alum brining solution is used in one traditional method of processing jellyfish.
Alum is a chemical substance, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate, that is occasionally used as a food preservation agent.
While the FDA has designated it as a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredient, there are worries about the quantity of aluminum retained in jellyfish goods as a result of alum use.
High dietary aluminum levels have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, it is unknown how much, if any, influence metal has on these disorders.
One Hong Kong investigation on dietary aluminum intake discovered significant aluminum levels in ready-to-eat jellyfish items.
While typical adult aluminum exposure was not shown to be harmful, the study did raise concerns that regular consumption of high aluminum items such as jellyfish might expose individuals to potentially hazardous quantities of this element.
Certain jellyfish species are not only safe to consume, but also high in protein, antioxidants, and minerals such as selenium and choline.
Jellyfish collagen may potentially contribute to health advantages such as lower blood pressure. Nonetheless, human research is still inadequate.
While there are some worries about the use of alum in jellyfish processing, infrequent or moderate consumption is unlikely to result in excessive dietary aluminum exposure.
Overall, jellyfish, when purchased from a reliable supplier, may be a low calorie yet nutritious method to add a distinctive crunchy texture to your food.