11 Incredible Benefits Of Cod Fish

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Cod fish is one of the most popular varieties of fish in the world, and besides being widely available, it is also packed with essential nutrients that can boost your health.

What is Cod Fish?

Cod fish is the broad name for a specific genus of fish, Gadus, although there are more than a dozen other species of fish that are called cod in their common names. The two most common types of cod are Atlantic and Pacific Cod, which are what most people have eaten in seafood restaurants. Cod is generally considered a healthy fish, based on its nutrient profile, and the oil from this fish is particularly sought after. Cod liver oil provides an extremely concentrated dose of omega-3 fatty acids and is often sold in supplement form. [1]

Cod typically grow to an average of 12-20 pounds, and they are very hardy fish that reproduce in vast numbers. The light texture of the fish and the ease with which it can be cooked have also made it one of the most popular types of fish in the sea.

Four cod fishes on a wooden table with lemon and herbs

Cod is a hugely popular fish and has been part of the European diet since the Stone Age. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Fish, cod, Pacific, cooked
Serving Size :
Water [g]78.37
Energy 84
Energy [kJ]351
Protein [g]20.42
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.25
Ash [g]1.33
Calcium, Ca [mg]17
Iron, Fe [mg]0.16
Magnesium, Mg [mg]35
Phosphorus, P [mg]205
Potassium, K [mg]372
Sodium, Na [mg]134
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.43
Copper, Cu [mg]0.02
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.01
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.05
14:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.04
18:0 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.06
16:1 [g]0
16:1 c [g]0
18:1 [g]0.02
18:1 c [g]0.02
20:1 [g]0
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.11
18:2 [g]0.01
18:2 n-6 c,c [g]0.01
20:3 [g]0
20:3 n-6 [g]0
20:4 [g]0.01
20:5 n-3 (EPA) [g]0.02
22:5 n-3 (DPA) [g]0
22:6 n-3 (DHA) [g]0.06
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic [g]0
18:1 t [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]61
Sources include : USDA [2]

Cod Fish Nutrition

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cod is particularly rich in protein, and phosphorus. Just a single 100-gram filet provides more than 35% of the protein you require each day, as well as roughly 85 calories and very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. This fish is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B12, among others. [3]

Types of Cod Fish

While there are much other fish that have adopted the name “cod”, some of the main types of true cod fish include the following.

  • Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)
  • Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus)
  • Greenland Cod (Gadus ogac)
  • Haddock

Health Benefits of Cod Fish

The top benefits of eating codfish include its ability to protect skin health, prevent diabetes, boost immunity and improve heart health, among many others.

Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to thin the blood and also reduce inflammation, both of which can help to boost cardiovascular health. [4]


Intake of codfish may help prevent coronary atherosclerosis, which occurs due to the narrowing of arteries as a result of a buildup of plaque on the artery walls. The fatty acids present in the fish act as potent antioxidants and prevent blood clots. [5]

Skin Health

Selenium and vitamin E can work wonders on your skin, and help prevent premature aging. [6]

Hair Health

Cod contains B vitamins which are essential for keeping your skin and hair healthy. Selenium, in the fish, helps boost hair growth and prevent hair fall by killing free radicals.


Various nutrients in this fish can boost bone health and help reduce inflammation, including the symptoms of arthritis, gout, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). [7]


As a low-fat fish with no carbohydrates, this is an ideal meal for people with diabetes or at risk for this condition. According to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cod liver oil possibly reduces the risk of type 1 diabetes.  [8]

Mood Improvement

Research has shown that these fatty acids are able to balance hormonal levels and improve mood, while also improving the health of the nervous system. [9]

High Blood Pressure

People who eat cod fish regularly have greater amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and as a result, lower blood pressure than those who consume less. This is according to data analyzed by the International Study of Macro-/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure. [10]

Muscle Health

Cod fish is known for its ability to increase and improve muscle mass and is usually included in diets for bodybuilders. The fish is an excellent source of protein, which promotes growth and recovery of muscles. It also contains amino acids, zinc, and selenium, all of which help build muscle. [11]

Immunity Levels

Omega 3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish like cod, help improve immunity levels and increase blood circulation.


Cod is an excellent source of niacin, another B vitamin, that is often used to lower high cholesterol levels. [12]

Macular Degeneration

A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish, gives protection against both, early and late, age-related macular degeneration. [13]


Selenium, in cod fish, has the ability to prevent asthma attacks by producing antioxidants. These powerful antioxidants help reduce free radical scavenging activity and in turn, severe asthma attacks. Studies also show that children who eat fish 2-3 times a week are at a much lower risk of developing asthma that children who don’t consume fish. [14]

How to Store Cod Fish

  • If you buy fresh cod from the store, be sure to leave it in the original packaging until you are ready to use it, as this will extend its shelf life.
  • In most cases, you can store fresh cod in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, but it is always best to cook it when it is relatively fresh.
  • If you want to keep the cod for later, you can store it in the freezer for 6-8 months.

Side Effects

There are very few side effects to consuming cod, and these include:

  • Mercury toxicity: You always want to know the source of this fish, as mercury toxicity is always a concern in seafood, and cod usually has a moderate level.
  • Pregnancy women: If you are pregnant, it is generally best to avoid cod for mercury toxicity reasons.
  • Sodium content: This fish is also quite high in sodium, so moderation is always recommended.
DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.7 out of 5.0 based on 33 user(s).