Cod have been commercially fished and traded since at least Viking times. They were an important export of the New England colonies from the time Europeans began to settle there, so this Atlantic fish has long played a role in European and Mediterranean diets. Taxes and limitations on the export of cod were among the grievances that sparked the American Revolution.
As a result of its long commercial history, the name “cod” has been applied to a number of fish, most of them white-fleshed and relatively light in taste. The name is now technically applied only to Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, and Greenland cod, related fishes that are in danger of overfishing, in part because their health Benefits have long been apparent.
Cod are an excellent source of niacin, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin B12, and they also provide significant magnesium, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin E.
A good source of omega-3 fatty acids—three ounces of cooked cod provides 0.1 gram—cod appear to greatly benefit the cardiovascular system, as they are linked to lower blood pressure. Cod liver oil was at one time recommended to provide vitamins A and D. It’s now believed that the health Benefits of the oil are probably related to the omega-3 fatty acids.Nutritional Facts
Three ounces of Pacific cod cooked by dry heat provides 89 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 19.5 g protein, 0.7 g fat, 0 g dietary fiber, 40 mg cholesterol, 27 IU vitamin A, 3 mg vitamin C, 2.1 mg niacin, 7 mcg folic acid, 440 mg potassium, 77 mg sodium, 190 mg phosphorus, 8 mg calcium, and 26 mg magnesium.