Caviar: Nutrition and the Immune System

Before ovulation, a mature sturgeon or other fish naturally nourishes each of its unfertilized eggs with enough vitamins and minerals to create a life-support system for potential offspring. Thus, caviar as a delicacy is so heavily packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential fats that a person with unlimited funds might believe they can live off of it alone. Even though caviar is delicious and nutritious, it shouldn't be the only thing in your diet (sorry Jackie O), and eating in moderation is always advised. In order to really weigh out the good and the bad, we will look deeper into the nutritional values of common caviar and the effects it has on your health and immune system. 


The Good

Eating caviar can have numerous benefits to your health. One serving of caviar is packed full of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, B44, C, and D. Caviar is also known to contain a variety of essential amino acids such as lysine, arginine, isoleucine, methionine and histidine. 

One tablespoon (15g) of caviar contains at least a gram of Omega-3 fatty acids along with large amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are known to support nervous system, immune system and circulatory system health. Due to these high amounts of Omega-3’s, caviar consumption can be associated with preventing heart disease or reducing the risk of cardiac death, and has also been linked to alleviating symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. There is also evidence that regular consumption of fish products by pregnant women and women who may become pregnant plays a role in normal fetal brain and eye development. 


The Vitamins

Most people think of Vitamin C when they are feeling under the weather and need a boost. Yet, Vitamin A and Vitamin E both boost the immune system as well. "Vitamin A plays a role in the growth of all cells, and Vitamin E helps your body produce the cells that create antibodies, and prevents cell membrane degradation that leaves them vulnerable to viruses. An ounce of black caviar -- about a tablespoon -- provides 257 IU of vitamin A and about half a milligram of vitamin E." 

 Amounts per 1 tbsp (16g)
Caviar Nutritional Information

The Minerals

Good daily-value percentages of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc are found in caviar. Zinc is more well-known as the mineral that boosts the immune system, often added to cough drops and cold remedies. "It helps your body make more white blood cells when needed, and helps them release the necessary amount of antibodies when a "bad germ" is detected. An ounce of black caviar contains about 0.27 milligrams of the 15 milligrams of zinc you need daily. Black caviar also contains 18.6 micro-grams of selenium and 3.37 milligrams of iron per ounce, both of which work to boost blood cell production to help fight off invading viruses and bacteria."

Amounts per 1 tbsp. (16g)
Caviar Nutritional Information

The Essential Fats

"Omega-3 fatty acids are known to benefit the immune system by producing a group of chemicals called eicosanoids, which act as messengers between cells during an immune response. They also help regulate the body's inflammatory response to an irritant." Omega-3 fatty acids lower elevated levels of triglyceride to help fight heart disease, even curbing stiffness and joint pain. 

  Amounts per 1 tbsp (16g)
Caviar Nutritional Information

The Bad

Despite the high levels of vitamins, minerals and essential fats, caviar has a relatively high calorie content as well as high levels of cholesterol and sodium. Therefore, eating fewer servings, or about 30 to 50 grams per person, is recommended. We love caviar but you shouldn't try to use it daily as a dietary supplement. "A balanced diet that includes lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables will provide a far greater benefit in terms of vitamin and mineral content." There are great benefits of including caviar into your diet, but just remember, moderation is a virtue.


Domestic and Imported Caviar


 Sources: LiveStrongSELFNutritionData