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MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Anchovies
A “poor fish” rich in goodness
Loaded with omega-3, they strengthen the immune system. They contain iron and calcium and are an excellent substitute for meat by Novella Pranzo
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Anchovies. Photo by Dario Ersetti

Maritati with fresh breadcrumbs

 

   4 servings:

 

- 400 g of maritati

- 6 salted anchovies

- 1/2 glass of extra-virgin olive oil

- 2 handfuls of crumbs from fresh grated bread

- 1 clove of garlic

- salt

- pepper

 

 

 

 

   Nutrition facts per serving:

 

- energy 490 Kcal

- protein 12,50 g

- lipids 13,50 g

- glucides 85,5 g

- fiber 5,5 gr

 

Alici or acciughe (two different Italian words for anchovies)? What’s the difference? Absolutely nothing, they are simply synonyms. Some people think alici are fresh and acciughe are salted, but this is not true, so let’s dispel this myth! They are the same fish.

Anchovies belong to the category known as “blue fish” (mackerel, sardines and anchovies) found all over the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic and the Baltic. They are very rich in omega-3 fats, the main characteristic of this group of fish.

Omega-3 are essential fatty acids, not produced by our organism but needing to be introduced via our diet. They are very important because, along with omega-6, they help prevent and treat cardiovascular pathologies, immune and inflammatory disorders (asthma and rheumatoid arthritis) and type-2 diabetes and also have an anti-thrombosis effect: by lowering blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels they prevent the accumulation of the latter on artery walls thus blocking the hardening of the blood vessels.

Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, help against psoriasis and other skin disorders and strengthen the skin’s defenses. A lack of these acids in fact leads to weakness, dry skin and hair and immune deficiency.

Anchovies also have a high calcium, iron, protein, riboflavin, selenium and phosphorous content. They are a good meat substitute, an ideal food during childhood and pregnancy and, in an anti-osteoporosis diet, a natural calcium supplement.

The iron in anchovies is very easily assimilated, like that in red meat, with the advantage of not being associated with high levels of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. They are excellent in iron deficiency anemia, in pregnancy and for women suffering from menorrhagia (heavy periods).

Called a “poor fish” due to its low price, it is actually very rich in nutrition, more so than any other fish.

Watch out for the risk of Anisakis: this parasite is not neutralized simply by marinating, but the fish needs to be frozen (for at least two days) before it is eaten raw, or cooked.

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