You may encounter black kingfish, Pacific kingfish and yellowtail kingfish, but they're not related to plain kingfish. Kingfish, which is more commonly called king mackerel, thrives in the Atlantic Ocean along the American coast.
Even though it's low in total fat, kingfish is a rich source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It's also packed with protein, vitamin B12 and selenium, but be aware that it has high levels of mercury.
Kingfish is more than just a lean protein. It easily meets the standard for an extra-lean protein, according to requirements established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Omega-3s for Your Heart
The omega-3 fatty acids fill a number of essential roles, from regulating inflammation to supporting the structure and function of cells, but they're best known for their potential to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
B Vitamins for Energy
Kingfish contains a significant amount of all three vitamins. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, a 3-ounce serving provides 44 percent of your daily value of niacin and 22 percent of vitamin B-6. The same portion also supplies 255 percent of your daily value for vitamin B-12.
Rich Source of Selenium
Your thyroid gland can't produce hormones that regulate your metabolism if you don't get enough selenium in your diet. Selenium also strengthens your immune system and helps produce antioxidants that protect cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals.
Kingfish, or king mackerel, is on the list of fish to avoid due to its high levels of mercury. The Environmental Defense Fund states that adult men should eat less than one serving of kingfish a month.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that women who might become pregnant, anyone who is pregnant or nursing, and young children should not eat king mackerel.
- NutritionValue.org: Fish, Dry Heat, Cooked, King, Mackerel
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: A Guide to Federal Food Labeling Requirements for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products
- Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Combination
- National Academies: Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Niacin
- Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin B6
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin B12
- Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium
- Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector: Mackerel
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know