HORSE MACKEREL (THOMSON FISH)
Horse Mackerel, also called “saurel”, “caringue” or Thomson Fish, is a fish approximately the same size as other species of the jack family but is distinguishable by a bluish gray body with white silvery flanks, a slightly prominent jaw, and a thorny lateral line of thin spines.
The horse mackerel lives in the Atlantic on a large territory extending from the Norwegian coast to South Africa, migrating through the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean. The horse mackerel looks like mackerel because its body is just as slender and fusiform. Its caudal peduncle – the posterior part of its body – is very thin.
Horse mackerel is rich in vitamin D, which helps increase the absorption of calcium necessary to build and strengthen bones. It prevents muscle weakness, osteoporosis and fractures. It strengthens the immune system and improves the health of the nervous system. Vitamin D helps regulate the heart and prevents certain forms of cancer. It is also a source of vitamin B12 essential to the nervous system; vitamin PP necessary for the formation of two essential enzymes for the assimilation of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids; and vitamin A, key for good vision.
Horse mackerel is rich in phosphorus, an essential constituent of bone cells and potassium, which contributes to the acid-base balance and prevents the risks of hypertension. Horse mackerel is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is one of the polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a positive impact on depression, arthritis, the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and possibly of Alzheimer’s disease.
A fish widely consumed in Africa, where it is appreciated for its high protein content, horse mackerel “hides” in another type of food. A substantial part of the catch is dedicated to aquaculture or pig feeding. As a fodder fish, 5 kg of horse mackerel are necessary to obtain 1 kg of farmed salmon.
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