If you seek a low-fat fish to make a healthful addition to your diet, reach for mahi-mahi, also called dolphinfish. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services lists mahi-mahi as low in mercury, which makes it a healthier alternative to similar-tasting but mercury-laden fish, such as swordfish. Adding mahi-mahi to your diet also boosts your nutrient intake, because it contains beneficial minerals, vitamins and protein needed for good health.
Protein and Fat
Each serving of mahi-mahi contains 134 calories, with the majority of the calories coming from protein. Six ounces of fish offers 31.5 grams of protein, which is 53 percent of the daily protein intake requirements for the average 150-pound person. This protein provides all the amino acids you need to make enzymes essential for cellular metabolism, produce hemoglobin required for oxygen transport and support healthy muscle tissue. Mahi-mahi also contains a scant 1.2 grams of fat per 6-ounce serving, making it a very lean source of protein.
Vitamins B-5 and B-6
Add mahi-mahi to your diet to boost your vitamin intake, particularly vitamins B-5 and B-6. Both nutrients help your cells function properly by supporting cellular metabolism. Vitamin B-6 plays an integral role in brain function by helping you make neurotransmitters, a family of chemicals that control your mood, internal body clock and other neurological processes. For its part, vitamin B-5 helps you produce hormones. A 6-ounce serving of mahi-mahi contains 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-5 and 0.7 milligram of vitamin B-6. That's roughly one-quarter of your daily B-5 intake requirements, as well as 54 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-6.
Potassium and Selenium
Mahi-mahi boosts your intake of minerals, especially potassium and selenium. A 6-ounce portion contains 62 micrograms of selenium, more than your entire recommended daily intake, along with 707 milligrams of potassium, which is 15 percent of the recommended daily intake. Both selenium and potassium help your body deal with disease. Selenium boosts immune function so that your body can fight infectious illnesses, while potassium lowers blood pressure to combat heart disease. Potassium also supports heart and muscle function, while selenium keeps your thyroid gland functional.
Mahi-mahi's naturally sweet taste makes it an ideal pairing for fresh fruit and herb salsas, which add nutritional value to your meal without boosting your fat and sodium intake. Dice cantaloupe and papaya, then combine with seeded jalapeno and chopped cilantro for a tropical fruit salsa, or mix chopped pitted cherries and fresh mint for a flavorful, colorful option. Practice healthful cooking methods when making mahi-mahi -- opt to grill or broil it, instead of frying it in oil.
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services: Mercury
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Fish, Dolphinfish, Raw
- Iowa State University Extension: Protein
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Selenium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)