Mackerel Fish in Tamil: Types, Nutritional Value, and Health Benefits



Mackerel Fish in Tamil is Kanangeluthi

Mackerel fish is an oily fish that is full of omega-3 fatty acids and is consumed worldwide. It is commonly used in many Indian food cuisines and is widely known in India as the Indian mackerel or Bangada fish. This article will explore the various types of mackerel fish, their nutritional value, health benefits, availability, and even provide some delicious recipes.

Types of Mackerel Fish

The Scombridae family consists of around 30 different types of mackerel fishes. Although each species within the family has its own distinct characteristics, they all share common traits. Here are some of the most popular types of mackerel fish:

1. King Mackerel

The king mackerel is known for being a giant migratory mackerel. It can be found along the Atlantic coast, from Brazil to the Bay of Bengal. This type of mackerel fish typically grows to a length of approximately 15 feet and weighs between 1 to 2 kg. It has a streamlined body, a forked tail, and a tapering head. King mackerel fish have blue backs, steely-gray sides, and a hint of rose color. Many king mackerels also have faint yellow spots on their bellies when they are juveniles.

2. Spanish Mackerel

The Spanish mackerel has deep black dorsal fins and a teal-like color on its back. Compared to the king mackerel, the Spanish mackerel has a smaller body. It typically measures between 15 to 20 inches in length and weighs around 1 to 2 kg. The Spanish mackerel has gold-colored spots on its back, making it distinguishable from other types of mackerel fish. These spots are more visible than those found on king mackerel fish.

3. Cero Mackerel

Cero mackerel is another type of mackerel fish that can be found in tropical waters. It has an average length of 12 to 20 inches and weighs between 2 to 3 kg. Cero mackerels have iridescent silver bellies and greenish-blue backs. They also have pink streaks that are barely lighter in color than the other areas of their bodies. Cero mackerels are often mistaken for king mackerels or Spanish mackerels due to their similar appearance.

4. Atlantic Mackerel

The Atlantic mackerel is a species that can be found along the Atlantic coastline. It has an approximate length of 1 to 1.5 feet and weighs between 0.5 to 1.5 kg. The body of the Atlantic mackerel is streamlined with a forked tail and a tapered head. Above its lateral line, the body appears metallic blue, while the belly is pearly white. The back of the Atlantic mackerel is marked with black bars that resemble zebra stripes.

5. Sierra Mackerel

Sierra mackerels are surface-dwelling fish that can be found in the Pacific Ocean. They prefer warm waters and are commonly known as Mexican sierra. They grow up to 8 inches in length and weigh between 0.5 to 3 kg. Sierra mackerels have a deep greenish-bronze color along their dorsal area, with their dorsal fin being black and their ventral part resembling orange. They primarily feed on anchovies due to their sharp teeth.

6. Chub Mackerel

Chub mackerels are often mistaken for Atlantic mackerels due to their zig-zag black bars on their bodies, although these bars are less visible compared to Atlantic mackerels. They have a silvery-green back and a white-silver belly. Chub mackerels grow to be around 8 to 15 inches in length and weigh approximately 1 kg.

Nutritional Value of Mackerel Fish

King Mackerel

Mackerel fish is not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients that offer numerous health benefits. Here is a breakdown of its nutritional value per 100 grams:

  • Calories: 305 kcal
  • Protein: 18 grams
  • Total Fat: 25 grams
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 2 grams
  • Vitamin D: 200 IU
  • Vitamin B12: 10 mcg
  • Selenium: 45 mcg
  • Phosphorus: 205 mg

Mackerel fish is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining overall health.

Health Benefits of Consuming Mackerel Fish

Mackerel fish offers various health benefits, whether consumed fresh or canned. Let’s explore some of the key health benefits associated with eating mackerel fish:

1. Supports Heart Health

Mackerel fish consists of polyunsaturated fats like EPA and DHA, which are omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and save human lives. Supplements such as fish oil derived from mackerel can help decrease cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides in the body. Dieticians recommend consuming two servings of mackerel fish per week to benefit from its excellent fat content and omega-3 fatty acids, which help control blood pressure levels.

2. Controls Brain Disorders

DHA plays a significant role in brain development, and mackerel fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that contain DHA. These fatty acids help maintain the balance of the human brain and control chemical messengers that affect mood and cognitive function. Doctors often advise consuming mackerel fish to decrease the risk of mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, depression, and autism.

3. Promotes Bone Health

Mackerel fish contains various nutrients that contribute to healthy bones, including vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the metabolism of these two essential minerals necessary for bone growth and density. Sufficient levels of vitamin D reduce the risk of bone fractures and loss.

4. Decreases Cognitive Decline with Aging

Regular consumption of different types of seafood, including mackerel fish, can help control cognitive decline associated with aging. The DHA and EPA present in mackerel fish help boost cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients with mild symptoms.

5. Aids in Weight Loss Journey

Mackerel fish contains a good quantity of healthy proteins and fats that help regulate hunger hormones like ghrelin, which decreases appetite and prevents overeating compared to carbohydrates. Being a high-protein food, mackerel keeps you full for a longer time, leading to proper diet control without overeating and maintaining a healthy body weight.

6. Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

While high consumption of saturated fats from fish can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, polyunsaturated fats found in mackerel fish can help reduce this risk factor. The omega-3 fatty acids present in mackerel fish aid in preventing various diseases and maintaining overall health.

7. Helps Prevent Anemia

Mackerel fish provides good nutritional value for preventing anemia, which occurs due to nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B12, folate, and iron. These nutrients are present in abundance in this fish species.

Availability and Supply of Mackerel Fish

Mackerel fish is widely available in Indian regions, mainly Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where it is known as “Vanjaram” or “King Mackerel.” It can be found in tropical and temperate seas worldwide, including the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean. Mackerels prefer living offshore along the coastlines but can also be found in shallow waters around Melanesia, Ryuku, Samoa, Australia, the Red Sea, China, Africa, and other regions.

Mackerel fish is readily available in local markets at a reasonable price. Its popularity stems from its taste as well as its nutritional value.

Mackerel Fish Recipes

Here are a few delicious recipes that you can try using mackerel fish:

Spicy Grilled Mackerel


  • Fresh mackerel fillets
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon juice


  1. Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium-high heat.
  2. Season the fresh mackerel fillets with salt, black pepper, paprika powder, and garlic powder.
  3. Drizzle some lemon juice over the fillets.
  4. Grill the fillets for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they are cooked through.
  5. Serve hot with a side salad or your choice of accompaniments.

Mackerel Curry (South Indian Style)


  • Fresh mackerel pieces
  • Onion (finely chopped)
  • Tomato (finely chopped)
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Curry leaves
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Garam masala powder
  • Coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Oil


  1. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the chopped onions until they turn golden brown.
  2. Add ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves, and cook for a minute.
  3. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and salt.
  4. Mix well and cook for another minute.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft.
  6. Add coconut milk and bring it to a gentle simmer.
  7. Add fresh mackerel pieces to the curry and cook for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.

These recipes are just a few examples of how you can enjoy the deliciousness of mackerel fish while benefiting from its nutritional value.


Mackerel fish is not only a tasty seafood option but also offers various health benefits due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Whether you prefer grilled or curried dishes, there are numerous ways to incorporate this nutritious fish into your diet.

So next time you visit your local market or grocery store, don’t forget to pick up some fresh mackerel fish to enjoy its unique flavors while boosting your overall health!

Note: Before making any significant changes to your diet or trying new recipes, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized guidance based on your specific health condition or dietary requirements.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice or as a substitute for professional medical recommendations or treatment.

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