Smelt FISH why is it useful

SmeltSmelt - a tasty prey fish of small size, which belongs to the family of smelt, Class ray-finned fish. It is a close relative of capelin and future - the salmon. Due to its large size, it is an important commercial fish. In the Gulf of Finland in terms of catches is second only Salak.

Smelt applies to migratory fish. This means that at different stages of their lives to carry out long fish migrate from the sea to fresh water and vice versa.


The appearance of the fish is very specific, so it is easy to recognize even an ignorant person. Her body is elongated and the back side is covered with transparent scales, so the fish is brown-green back, the belly and flanks are covered with silvery scales. Mouth of the fish big. Males than females outstanding lower jaw teeth. Smelt very gluttonous. The food is unpretentious, feeds on plankton, eggs and fry, including his own.

  • Overview
  • Chemical composition
  • Beneficial features
  • Used in medicine
  • hazardous properties
  • How to choose
  • How to cook
  • Interesting Facts
  • Conclusion

There are several species of smelt. Important commercial value are the European smelt, Asian (toothed, US) and offshore (smallmouth). These species differ mainly in size the fish body.

In Russia, the European smelt lives in river basins that flow into the Baltic, White, Barents and North Seas. There is also a small freshwater subspecies of this fish - smelt, which lives in lakes Ladoga and Onega, in Valdai. Lives up to 3 years. Its length is 9-10 cm and the weight does not exceed 8-10 g

Smelt run in large packs. They spawn when the water temperature reaches 4 ° C. For spawning fish of the sea comes in estuaries. When the water temperature exceeds 12 ° C, and terminated fish spawning returned to their place of main habitat.

Chemical composition

Smelt is a useful and low-calorie fish. 100g of raw fish contains 15-16 g of protein and 5.4 g fat. According to the fat content it refers to the average fat content of the fish. The smelt fat composition comprises phospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids. These compounds are part of the cell wall, are involved in the elaboration of steroid hormones and have protivoholesterinovoe action, so are useful for humans.

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The meat of this northern fish contains a lot of minerals. In small quantities it contains vitamins B, D, C, A and E, but the number does not reach significant for human concentrations.

NameContents in 100 g of raw fish milligrams

Caloric content of fish meat is 102 kcal / 100 g

Beneficial features

Fat metabolismLow caloric value, the presence of proteins and essential fats, large amounts of mineral substances cause a variety of useful properties possessed meat smelt:

  • improves fat metabolism;
  • It has protivoholesterinovoe action;
  • enhances the elasticity of blood vessels;
  • improves brain activity;
  • promotes restoration of damaged tissues;
  • It stimulates the formation of blood;
  • It has decongestant effect;
  • improves the functioning of the digestive system;
  • normalize hormones.

The meat of this fish protein nourishes the body, but it does not threaten the harmony of shapes. It smelt property is used in the diet, including medical, for example, diabetes or obesity.

The high content of potassium, smelt promotes the release of sodium in the urine, and accordingly, the removal of excess fluid from the body. This fish reduces blood volume, reducing the preload on the heart, what facilitates his work.

Calcium contained in meat smelt:

  • It affects the permeability of cell walls;
  • seals the vascular wall;
  • It is involved in blood clotting;
  • strengthens bones and teeth;
  • It affects neuromuscular excitability;
  • alkalizes biological environment of the organism, providing anti-inflammatory effect;
  • activates enzymes;
  • reduces sensitization;
  • improves the functioning of the parathyroid glands.

Calcium in meat smelt is complexed with proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids, which facilitates its intestinal absorption and distribution in the body. ratio of calcium to magnesium in the fish (1: 0.8) is close to the ideal - 1: 0.6. The iron content of this product is small, but its bioavailability is very high: almost all of the iron is absorbed in the intestine.

Used in medicine

UlcerSmelt is fish rich in extractive substances. This means that the consumption of food from this fish for food, stimulates appetite and improves the digestive system. It is administered in the menu under:

  • gastritis with low acidity;
  • ulcerative processes in the stomach and intestines;
  • intestinal atony;
  • biliary dyskinesia and bladder;
  • chronic pancreatitis.
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The regular presence of this fish dishes on the menu is recommended for patients with:

  • atherosclerosis and hypertension;
  • coronary heart disease;
  • arrhythmias;
  • transient ischemic attacks;
  • angiopathies (diabetic, senile);
  • diabetes;
  • gipoparatireozom;
  • chronic kidney disease;
  • edema syndrome.

It is useful to use the smelt after severe diseases, exhaustion, people with weakened immune systems, and anemia.

hazardous properties

Useful properties can be only fish caught in the clear waters. Nevsky smelt currently can not be called useful. It is noted that the number of fish in the field of sewage in the water discharge is considerably higher than the net sections of the river. This means that the smelt feeds on organic products decay. Naturally, caught in a contaminated pond fish literally saturated harmful compounds (salts of heavy metals, nitrate, sulfide, urea, arsenic). The use of such fish food may cause food poisoning acute, allergic reactions, intoxication.

PoisoningSmelt nitrogenous rich in extractive substances, which contain a lot of purine bases. In this regard, the northern fish should not be included in a diet for people suffering from gout, urolithiasis.

Allergy sufferers should eat smelt with great care and in limited quantities.

How to choose

When buying smelt should prefer not to fry the Neva, and lake or anthrax. These subtypes are found in clean waters, so the risk is minimal to poison them. It is impossible to get the fish on natural markets. In such places unauthorized trade products do not pass the veterinary and sanitary examination and are potentially dangerous.

Before purchasing fish need to examine:

  1. fishes gills should be red. If the gills are pale, it indicates its protuhanie.
  2. The surface of the fish must be smooth, elastic, without ulceration.
  3. Pimples on the body smelt indicate that the fish caught during the spawning season.
  4. The eyes of the fish should be shiny and convex.
  5. Tanned scales fish indicates that fish was frozen. The purchase of such fish should be discarded.

Another feature of the 100% fresh smelt is its odor. Fresh fish smells like cucumbers. If smelt smells of fish, which means that it is not the first freshness.

How to cook

Smelt cooked a variety of ways. It boiled, fried, stewed, salted, vyalyat, smoked. This fish has no sharp bones, so many of her lovers eat all the fish whole with the bones, removing only the inside. Traditional dishes from this northern fish - mochok and fried smelt.

Mochok of smelt

For its preparation is required: small smelt, onions, vegetable oil, salt and spices to taste. The washed and gutted fish spread firmly into the pan with vegetable oil, sprinkle with chopped onion rings, salt, pepper. Fill with water so that the fish was half filled. Stew over low heat for 5-7 minutes after boiling. Longer to extinguish not worth it, otherwise the fish will fall apart.

fried smelt

Wash the fish, gut, salt, sprinkle with spices to taste and roll in flour. Fry in a hot pan with vegetable oil or fried. You can eat with the bones.

Smelt fish average fat content is so for the preparation of soup, it is used only in conjunction with a fatty fish.

Interesting Facts

After the founding of St. Petersburg smelt it became a staple food for the population of the new town.

When the siege of Leningrad during the Second World War, this fish has saved tens of thousands of people from starvation.

In honor of this northern small fish in St. Petersburg annually in one of the days from 11 to 19 May performed "Holiday smelt." At this time, the passage of fish from the Gulf of Finland on the Neva.


Smelt - useful small fish of northern waters. It contains a lot of protein, unsaturated fatty acids and minerals. Dishes from this fish are useful for people suffering from diseases of the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, and digestive system. Regular its use in food improves blood, normalizes the metabolism of fat and calcium in the body.

However, this fish can cause harm to the body and, if it is caught from contaminated waters. To avoid food poisoning from eating fish from this pond, it must be purchased only in places authorized trade, where all products are veterinary-sanitary control. Caution should be used smelt people with disorders of purine metabolism and allergies.

The main sign of freshness smelt a smell of fresh cucumber, so the time of purchase it is necessary to smell.


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