The Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) has recommended anchovy as an alternative to milk especially for those who hate drinking milk because of its taste or their intolerance to lactose.
But there is a far more vital reason why the FNRI recommended anchovy as an alternative to milk. A study conducted by the FNRI showed that anchovy is a richer source of calcium than milk.
A hundred grams of anchovy contains 752 mg. of calcium, more than double what a cup of milk gives which is 340.55 milligrams (mg) of calcium. This is more than enough to meet the body’s daily requirement of 700-800 mg. of calcium to keep bones and teeth strong.
The FNRI explained that 99 percent of the calcium is stored in the bones and teeth while 1 percent is in the blood and other tissues and since the body has no capacity to produce this essential mineral, it is necessary to meet the daily requirement for calcium.
Another study showed that most children aged 6-9 do not comply with the daily requirement for calcium which is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
The research institute attributed the prevalence of osteoporosis in the country to the low intake of calcium among kids.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by decrease in bone mass, causing bones to become brittle and break easily.
A Swiss-based International Foundation for osteoporosis has predicted that hip fractures due to this disease would climb to 6.25 million in 2050. It is estimated that 52% of hip fractures would be in Asia.
Anchovy is also a rich source of Vitamin A. One serving of anchovies can provide the body with about 50,000 international units sof Vitamin A. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements says Vitamin A is important in vision, bone growth, reproduction and cell division. It also helps regulate the immune system by promoting healthy surface linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts.
Anchovy can also provide the body with approximately 383 mg. of potassium per serving. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a vital role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction for normal digestive and muscular function.
Anchovy contains a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are heart friendly because they help lower the cholesterol level in blood, thereby reducing the risk of heart ailments.#