Herring – calories, nutritional values ​​and curiosities

Baltic herring is one of the most popular marine fish species available in Poland. Baltic herring is a subspecies of herring (oceanic) herring (Latin: Clupea harengus). Herring is a small fish whose body is elongated and covered with large scales. The spine’s back is darker than the silver torso and has a gray or dark green color. This species inhabits the water from the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean to the Baltic Sea. 


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Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) is also called a salad. This fish is a highly valued fish on tables in Polish homes – it is tasty, relatively cheap, and at the same time has many valuable nutritional values. Why, then, this species of sea fish owes its popularity and what made it permanently inscribed on the list of traditional Polish dishes? 

Herring – nutritional and healing properties 

Herring is a source of wholesome protein (over 15 g / 100 g). They belong to fatty fish, and the fat content in 100 grams is over 10 g. However, the majority of fat in herring meat are health-oriented polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are responsible for the proper functioning of the circulatory system, including lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, and have antiatherosclerotic activity. The omega-3 fatty acids are also responsible for the body’s proper immunity, optimal state of cell membranes, support the nervous system and strengthen the bones and muscles. Recent studies also suggest that omega-3s slow the aging of cells. Herring is a source of vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin A corresponds to min. for correct vision, proper condition of the epidermis and proper functioning of the immune system. Vitamin D supports the proper functioning of the skeletal system, facilitates the absorption of calcium, participates in the proper functioning of the calcium-phosphate system and prevents depression. In 100 g herrings you can find a high content of vitamin D. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that has anti-atherosclerotic effects. It eliminates free radicals and prevents the polyunsaturated fatty acids from oxidation. Herring is also rich in vitamins from the group B – in vitamin B2, PP, B6 and especially in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 participates in hematopoietic processes (a deficiency of vitamin B12 increases the risk of megaloblastic anemia). Herring is a good source of macro- and micronutrients such as potassium, precious iodine, selenium, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Although herrings are classified as fatty fish, their calorific value is about 187 kcal (calories). 

Calories and nutritional values ​​- raw herring 

Ingredient Content in 100 g 

Calories (energy value) 187 kcal / 784 kJ 

Protein 16.5 g 

Total fat 13.6 g 

Carbohydrates 0 g 

Dietary fiber 0 g 

Vitamin B3 (PP) 4.35 mg 

Calcium 34 mg 

Magnesium 27 mg 

Phosphorus 200 mg 

Potassium 317 mg 

Sodium 90 mg 

Zinc 1.18 mg 

Cholesterol 58 mg 

Herring – use in the kitchen 

Herring is used and is prepared in many ways. It can be fried (this method of treatment is not recommended, as we lose valuable omega-3 acids), baked, marinated and eaten raw. Also available as smoked fish – so-called pickling (smoked in hot smoke) or kiper (smoked in cold smoke). It is used as an addition to salads, couscous, pastes and as an appetizer in the form of tartare with egg or onion. In a marinade of vinegar, oil, onion, mustard and bay leaves, it is known as Bismarck. Marinated in vinegar and salt, and then rolled with the addition of pickled (pickled) or pickled cucumbers and onion in the middle is known as rolmops. Often it is also found in combination with cream, oil or vinegar. Herring is one of the twelve obligatory dishes on the Christmas Eve table. It is served most often in the form of fillets in oil with the addition of onions and dried fruits (eg raisins, cranberries, dried plums or nuts). Herring blends well with spicy spices, mustard, black pepper, bay leaf, English herb, cloves and raisins. It also works perfectly in the form of fillets in cream and as an addition to herring salad in combination with egg, mayonnaise and pickled cucumbers. Increasingly, herring is also served in a fried form with potatoes and salad. On the market herring is available in fresh, frozen form but also in processed form, among others, as preserves (with tomato sauce, oil or cream), ready-made fish salads or herring corks. 


You can read also: Krill oil vs fish oil: which is better for you?

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