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What Are the Health Benefits of Barramundi?

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on June 07, 2022

Barramundi is a sea bass filled with high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. You may have also heard of this fish as Asian sea bass, sustainable sea bass, or giant perch. Barramundi has half the amount of calories per ounce as salmon.

The barramundi is native to Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. The name is derived from the aboriginal word for “large-scaled silver fish,” and this large fish is a great sustainable seafood option. 

Where Is Barramundi Found?

Sustainable barramundi is farmed in land-based tanks and ponds. There are smaller amounts of fish bred in sea cages in the ocean. Australia is the primary producer of barramundi. The native Australian fish are farmed with minimal environmental impacts in both production methods.

Though barramundi is native to Australia, it's also farmed in other locations like the United States. Farmed barramundi has become more prominent in the United States as the fish becomes a staple in the country and makes its way outside of Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

Is Barramundi Healthy?

Barramundi is a healthy type of fish to start including in your diet. It's nutritious sea bass with great texture, taste, and nutrition. 

Barramundi is low in fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great source of essential nutrients. Some consider barramundi one of the healthiest seafoods. This fish is great for your cardiovascular system. 

‌Including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is an excellent start to a healthier lifestyle. 

Barramundi Health Benefits and Nutrition

Barramundi is highly nutritious and easy to cook. Most of the benefits of this fish and most fish come from the omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for your heart health. Adding fish to your diet is excellent for your overall well-being and can reduce future cardiac risks. 

Barramundi is high in omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of these fatty acids include the following: 

Getting at least 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day could help reduce your risk of sudden cardiac death by 35%. 

Other benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids include reducing arthritis, depression, and memory loss. 

Doctors recommend eating fish like barramundi if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The omega-3 fats in fish could help improve cognitive development in babies

Another benefit to farmed barramundi is the minimal traces of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are contaminants that can affect a baby's nervous system development. 

You should talk to your doctor if you're adding fish to your diet after becoming pregnant. They'll be able to give you the right precautions to take and help you find the best nutrition plan for you and your baby. There is a risk of consuming mercury with certain fish. Avoid eating raw fish while pregnant. Cooked fish will give you and your baby the same benefits. 

Barramundi Taste

Barramundi is sea bass with moist flesh and large flakes. It has a sweet taste that makes it easily adaptable for most recipes. Barramundi complements most flavors and recipes. You can cook it in most ways except for poaching. The barramundi is a versatile fish and is a good alternative to salmon due to its nutrition and sustainability. 

The taste will depend on how you cook the fish and what spices you include. Since it's a very versatile fish, you can turn it into any dish you want. Make sure that you're cooking it thoroughly without overcooking it. 

It's a buttery-smooth flavored fish and will take on the spices and seasonings you cook it with. If you don't like the taste of wild-caught or farmed salmon, you should try barramundi.

How to Cook Barramundi

You can cook the versatile barramundi in many different ways. The white-fleshed fish can be cut into fillets or portions. You can bake, barbecue, or fry them. If you're oven-roasting or barbecuing, give each side 8 to 10 minutes to cook. You can steam the fish to keep a moist and tender texture for a healthier option. 

If you want to add barramundi to a curry or soup, you can dice it up and add it to the pot 5 minutes before serving. This helps keep you from overcooking the fish.

Barramundi has a buttery-smooth taste that complements a variety of flavors. You could cook it with ingredients like fennel, tomatoes, oranges, olives, soy sauce, ginger, Thai basil, or sriracha. The options are endless, and it’s a great type of fish to keep on hand. You can buy it fresh or frozen. Barramundi also has a lower cost compared to other fish.  

Is Barramundi a Sustainable Seafood Option?

The Barramundi is a very sustainable seafood option. These fish have a primarily vegetarian diet, and they eat low on the food chain. They also don't need to be taken out of the ocean to farm raise them, which reduces their overall environmental impact. 

When proper farm management is in place, ocean pens don't become overcrowded and put farms at risk for disease. Where barramundi is farmed on sandy, muddy bottoms, no mangroves are negatively affected by the farms.

Despite being primarily vegetarians, barramundi are technically omnivores. Farmed barramundi rely on fish meal and fish oil in the feed that comes from wild-caught fish. But more feed manufacturers are using less wild-caught fish. Farmed barramundi has a better "wild fish in to farmed fish out" ratio than rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon

Barramundi is an excellent option if you're looking for healthy fish to add to your diet. There are many benefits to this sustainably farmed fish. While salmon and trout are also healthy options, barramundi is a great affordable option to add to your diet. 

Barramundi is versatile and can be cooked to any taste you're craving. Whether it's barbecue, Thai, Mediterranean, or any other dish, it will complement the flavors you choose well. 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

Food & Nutrition: “Savor: Barramundi.”

GoodFish: “Barramundi.”

Nutrients: “Omega-3 Index and Sudden Cardiac Death.”

Ocean Wise: “In search of “The Better Fish”: Barramundi.”

Singapore Agro-Food Enterprises Federation: “Top Health Benefits of 5 Types of Singapore-Farmed Fish.”

The Seafood Training Academy: “Barramundi.”

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