Being a die hard non vegetarian, and a fish lover of the first order, I thought it is only fair for me to research and share the benefits of a delicacy that is rejoiced by only a few lucky ones, known as ‘Bombay Duck’.
A warm welcome to all my readers. I am Akshaya Kawle, and the article you are about to read is going to make you want to have Bombay ducks like never before. Because I am about to share with you the benefits of eating the fish!
Bombay Ducks are lizard fishes. Their scientific name is Harpadon nehereus, but they have been called Bombay Ducks since the British colonial rule over India. This fish is commonly found in the Arabian Sea, between Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) in the state of Maharashtra, and Kutch in Gujarat. They are also found to a small extent in the Bay of Bengal, but are caught in great number in the China Sea. Thus the fish is a delicacy to very few people, only those who stay in the vicinity of the areas it is found in.
Bombay ducks are prepared and enjoyed in various forms. It may be fried, as a fresh fish, or may be consumed when dried and salted. However, the dried fish has a very strong smell, which might not go too well with people not accustomed to it.
Like all other fish, Bombay ducks too, in which ever form they are prepared and consumed, offer varied health benefits. In most parts of the coastline of Maharashtra, it makes for the staple diet of the people. Some of the health benefits it offers are:
1. Build and repair body tissues: Bombay ducks are high on protein. And, when they are dried, the protein content increases. Proteins play an important role in building and repairing the tissues in our body.
2. Effective functioning of the body: The proteins in Bombay Ducks may be used in making hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals for the effective function of our body.
3. Reduced risks of heart strokes: Consuming proper amounts of the fish can help reduce the risks of heart strokes. This is due to the substantial level of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (commonly known as PUFA) in Bombay Ducks. They help prevent the buildup of cholesterol that can clog the arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes.
4. Prevents excessive blood clotting: The Omega 3 fatty acids help keeps blood platelets from becoming sticky and clumping together to form blood clots. Thus eating Bombay ducks frequently can help in preventing excessive blood clotting which is injurious for the heart
5. Helps decrease triglycerides: Bombay duck consumption can help in decreasing the blood triglyceride levels. This again calls for a healthy heart!
6. Aids improved blood circulation: One can benefit from improved blood circulation, if the fish is included as a part of a well balanced diet. This too is because of the Omega 3 fatty acids that the fish supplies to our body.
7. Helps building cartilage: Bombay duck contains chondroitin sulphate, which helps in building cartilage. It is a stiff and inflexible connective tissue found in many areas in the body. This proves to be a blessing for arthritis patients.
8. Pain killers: Fish oil present in Bombay ducks proves to be excellent pain killers. It can prove beneficial people suffering from swelling, tenderness, or stiffness of joints, etc.
9. Controls blood pressure: Dried Bombay ducks are excellent source of calcium. Bombay ducks help in maintaining the blood pressure levels. The high calcium content in the fish is responsible for controlled blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that the blood pressure levels among people who do not consume Bombay ducks, were comparatively higher than those who consume the fish, especially in its dried form.
10. Reduced risks of cancer: They also help protect against colon cancer. Adequate intake of the fish may reduce your overall risk of colon cancer and suppress the growth of polyps that can lead to cancer.
11. Reduced risks of hypertension: Bombay ducks are also responsible for the reduced risks of hypertension, due to its calcium’s giving’s.
12. Eased symptoms of PMS: Bombay ducks have shown to help women in improving premenstrual moods. The high content of calcium in the fish helps ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
13. Reduced risks of anemia: The fish in its dried form is known to provide abundant quantity of iron to our body. It reduces the risks of anemia. This also greatly helps people suffering from anemia, as anemia is mainly a result of iron deficiency in the body.
14. Formation of hemoglobin: A frequent serving of the fish helps in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood, due to its high iron content. Sufficient quantities of iron in the blood gives a dark red shade to the blood and aids in transporting oxygen to the body cells.
15. Improved muscle function: The fish improves our muscle function. Iron in Bombay ducks help supply proper oxygen to the muscle tissues to ensure the required contraction of the muscles.
16. Improved brain function: Development of the brain function is also one of the many benefits consumption of Bombay ducks has to offer. The iron content in the fish is directly related to a healthy brain and its efficient functioning.
17. Regulates body temperature: Bombay duck consumption helps in regulating our body temperature because of its iron content.
18. Stronger immune system: Bombay ducks contain various minerals and vitamins. These help in making our immune system stronger. These minerals and vitamins, mainly iron, and Vitamin A, make the body proficient enough to fight against a number of diseases and infections, keeping us strong and healthy.
19. Cure for insomnia: Traditionally, dried form of many fish was used to cure insomnia, owing to their iron content. One of them is Bombay duck.
20. Healthy bones and teeth: Bombay ducks are a good source of phosphorous supply to our body. This contributes to healthy bones and their formation, with association with the high calcium content in the fish, making the bones strong to withstand the normal wear and tear of human life. It also helps in achieving healthy gums and tooth enamel. It helps in relieving serious problems like loss of bones, also known as osteoporosis. Phosphorous in the fish lays the foundation of a strong skeletal structure to ensure healthy living.
21. Helps reduce fatigue and weakness: Studies have shown that on account of the high iron and phosphorous content in Bombay ducks, they help in eradicating the different causes of fatigue and weakness, keeping us energetic and revitalized. Eating the fish regularly may also help improving our concentration levels. It helps in increasing our energy metabolism as well.
22. Helps in blood cell formation: Bombay ducks may also be useful in blood cell formation, and cell repair and maintenance in the body because of the iron and phosphorous it provides us. Consuming the fish frequently helps ensure that the body cells are developed properly and remain active for admirable health conditions.
23. Helps in healing wounds: Bombay ducks provide sufficient quantities of zinc to our body. This is an important mineral for wound healing.
24. Improved digestion: Eating the fish can facilitate us with a healthy digestive system. Bombay ducks, on account of their phosphorous content fuels the digestion of riboflavin and niacin in a proficient manner. This calls for effective digestion.
25. Healthy kidney functions: Bombay ducks help in keeping our kidneys in normal conditions because of the phosphorous. This keeps our kidneys healthy. It also helps ensuring proper release of wastes from kidneys by the process of excretion.
26. Healthy eyes and vision: Bombay ducks also provide a very good amount of vitamin A to our body. This makes us have healthy vision. It aids us in reducing the risks of eye infections, and ailments.
27. Aids sexual health: The zinc content in Bombay ducks aids in the normal sexual function of the body. The phosphorous, on the other hand helps curing sexual weakness in the body.
28. Aids optimal thyroid functioning: Bombay ducks can also help in the optimal thyroid functioning, making the gland healthier. The fish is a good source of iodine, which is one of the most important elements for the thyroid gland.
29. Helps chemical reactions in the body: As Bombay ducks are full of various minerals and vitamins, they help in the proper utilization of all the nutrients entering in our body. This is because, minerals like phosphorous act as a participant to a number of chemical reactions that take place inside our body.
30. Improves hormonal balance: Since Bombay ducks are high on iron and phosphorous content, they provide for hormonal balance in the body. It provides sufficient quantities of minerals required to the body which are vital for regulating the balance of hormones in human body. It ensures that the hormones, especially those required for good reproductive health, are always present in balanced form.
31. Healthy memory: Bombay ducks are a very good source of B complex vitamins. This accounts for a healthy memory. Deficiency of these vitamins in the body, mainly B12 can cause memory loss and confusion.
32. Healthy skin and lips: The dose of vitamin A that our body gets from the fish helps in toning our skin, making it firmer. Similarly, the fish provides us with the vitamin B3, namely niacin, which is responsible for a healthy looking skin by providing for proper metabolism of food. The other B complex vitamins it provides, helps us have healthier and softer lips. People suffering from perennially chapped lips could use this tasty delight as a remedy.
33. Beautiful hair: Other beauty benefits it provides, is that since it is high on proteins, it makes our mane healthier and more lustrous. Protein is the main element which takes care of healthy hair. It is effective for problems like hair fall, hair breakage, and damaged hair.
34. Stronger nails: Proteins and calcium in Bombay ducks also aid in healthy nails. People who suffer from weak or brittle nails, and break their nails often due to the weakness, should add Bombay ducks to their diets.
35. And finally it makes for a great fish. Apart from all of its nutritional value, it is a very tasty fish which satisfies our taste buds!
These are the various beauty and health benefits that Bombay ducks provide us. But like all good things come with a flip side, the fish too, should be consumed in proper quantities, or it will cancel out its benefits. 2 to 3 portions of the fish can be consumed twice or thrice a week. I guess that would be enough for most, unless gluttony strikes you, which is quite a possibility owing to the great taste the fish provides. So keep a healthy tab on the intake.
It is sad however, that very few people are accessible to these benefits the fish has to provide, due to its lack of availability in various other parts of the world.
So those who are able to lay their hands on Bombay Ducks, consider you to be one of the blessed ones, and do not miss the opportunity to reap all the benefits of the delicacy.
Have it dried, or freshly fried, it is bound to pave a way for a healthy lifestyle for you!
Authors Brief Bio: Akshaya Kawle is a Bachelor of Arts with Political Science Majors, is currently pursuing her MBA (HR), and is a professional swimmer, and dancer. A keen learner, she is also pursuing a course on Counseling and Graphology. When not working on her various hobbies like driving, interacting with people, and spending time with family and her pets, she volunteers for an NGO for stray animals.