Anchovy – ‘dilis’ or ‘bolinao’ as it is both known in the Philippines is not only available in fresh, salted and fermented form but also in dried form.
It is a good source of protein for poor families who cannot afford expensive protein sources like dairy products, meat and classy fish varieties.
‘Dilis’ is caught in sea water of the Philippine archipelago with some of the catch sold fresh in wet markets, while a major portion is sun dried or salted and fermented into ‘bagoong’ or ‘ginamos’ and ‘patis’ (fish sauce) for domestic consumption and for export.
Anchovies like sardines, are high in polysaturated fatty acids so it can help lower cholesterol level and reduce the risk of heart disease.
‘Dilis’ is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are among the most beneficial types of the polyunsaturated fats found in fish.
Omega 3 fatty acids are good for the eyesight, fish is the major source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Anchovies are excellent sources of omega 3 oils which are good for a beautiful looking skin.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating two servings (3.5 ounces) servings of fish weekly. Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids are generally found in fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and anchovies.
Small fish like anchovies and sardines have a shorter life cycle so are better than larger fish because they contain less heavy metal such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and other environmental toxins. The smaller the fish, the shorter the lifespan and therefore the less accumulation of toxicity.
The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has released a report by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) that shows a 100 grams of fresh dilis (anchovy) contains 752 mg. of calcium almost double (340.55 mg.) found in a cup of milk.
Dilis is full of nutrients and rich in healthy protein that is valuable for both children and adults. It is also a good source of vitamins (E & D) and minerals (calcium & selenium).
Fish oil has shown to restore and maintain brain health with more consistent results in the research. Its best sources of fish oil are anchovies, sardines and mackerel.