What Does Cod Have in Store for Your Health?

When someone mentions ‘cod’, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of the traditional English dish ‘fish and chips’, or maybe your mind wanders to the popular video game ‘Call of Duty’. Regardless of how you first heard of it, cod is one of the healthiest fish you can consume. It’s packed with nutrients that can benefit your body in various ways.

Cod Nutrient Profile

Cod is a low-calorie, high-protein fish that contains various vitamins and minerals. The table below explains its nutrient composition:

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Calories 82
Protein 18.1g
Fat 0.7g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.2g
Vitamin B12 12% of the RDI
Vitamin B6 12% of the RDI
Niacin 10% of the RDI
Phosphorus 12% of the RDI
Selenium 33% of the RDI
Choline 10% of the RDI

Protein Content

As you can see from the table above, cod is an excellent source of protein. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps your body repair and grow after a workout. If you’re trying to lose weight, protein can also help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Cod contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to function correctly.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Cod is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your body’s overall health. Your body cannot produce omega-3s, so it’s essential to get them from your diet. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation in your body, lower your risk of heart disease, and even improve your cognitive function.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient for your health, involved in red blood cell formation, brain function, and DNA synthesis. A deficiency in this nutrient can result in anemia and neurological symptoms. Cod is an excellent source of vitamin B12, making it a great food choice for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.


Selenium is an essential mineral that helps boost your immune system and protect your cells from damage. It also regulates thyroid function and plays a role in reproduction. Cod is an excellent source of selenium, making it a great food choice for those who don’t consume enough selenium-rich foods like nuts, seeds, or mushrooms.

Health Benefits of Eating Cod

Improves Heart Health

The omega-3 fatty acids found in cod help reduce inflammation in your blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty fish like cod each week to improve heart health.

May Improve Brain Function

The omega-3 fatty acids in cod may improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Studies have shown that people who consume more omega-3s have better memory and cognitive function than those who consume low levels of the nutrient.

May Reduce Inflammation

Cod contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce inflammation throughout your body. Long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

May Improve Mood

The omega-3 fatty acids in cod can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that people who consume more omega-3s have lower rates of depression than those who consume low levels of the nutrient.

Weight Loss

Cod is low in calories and high in protein, making it an excellent food choice for people trying to lose weight. It can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce overall calorie intake.

How to Cook Cod

Cod is a versatile fish that you can cook in various ways, including baking, broiling, grilling, or sautéing. Here are some recipe ideas:

Garlic Butter Cod

  • 4 6-ounce cod fillets
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the cod fillets in a baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, and paprika. Pour the mixture over the cod fillets, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Cod Chowder

  • 1/2 pound salt pork, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, cook the salt pork over medium heat until it’s crispy. Remove the pork and set it aside. Add the onions and potatoes to the pot, and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken stock and water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the cod fillets, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with the crispy salt pork.

Most Common Questions About Cod and Their Answers

  • Q. Is cod safe to eat during pregnancy?
  • A. Yes, cod is a safe food choice during pregnancy. It’s low in mercury and high in essential nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Q. How should I store cod?
  • A. Store cod in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower for up to two days. You can also freeze it for up to six months.
  • Q. Is cod gluten-free?
  • A. Yes, cod is naturally gluten-free. However, be cautious when consuming battered or breaded cod, as these preparations may contain gluten.
  • Q. What does cod taste like?
  • A. Cod has a mild, sweet taste that’s often described as similar to halibut or haddock.


Cod is a healthy fish that’s packed with nutrients that can benefit your body in various ways. It’s an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, selenium, and more. Eating cod can improve your heart and brain health, reduce inflammation, and boost your mood. It’s also a low-calorie, high-protein food choice that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals.


  • Nutrition Facts – Cod, Pacific
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Health Professional Fact Sheet
  • Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium
  • Vitamin B12 – Health Professional Fact Sheet
  • Depression and Omega-3s – NCBI
  • American Heart Association – Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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