Fish Eggs – The Unknown Facts and Benefits

Mehak Shah

July 25, 2022

The roe of marine species, such as lumpsucker, hake, mullet, salmon, Atlantic bonito, mackerel, squid, and cuttlefish, is exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish eggs are traditionally thought of as a rare treat. However, this may alter as more individuals become familiar with the salmon roe usually found in sushi restaurants.

All types of fish roe are high in nutrients. The high content of anti-inflammatory omega-3 lipids in fish eggs is similar to that in fish oil supplements. 

Fish eggs can range in price from the more common and affordable salmon roe to the highly pricey beluga caviar.

An Introduction of Fish Eggs

These eggs come in various sizes, shapes, and colours and can be found in several fish, including the beluga, other types of sturgeons, salmon, and carp. Fish eggs, also known as roe or hard roe, are the fully ripe internal egg masses in the ovaries of fish and some marine animals such as shrimp, scallops, sea urchins, and squid.

These are discharged exterior egg masses. Roe is seafood utilised as a cooking ingredient in various cuisines and a raw ingredient in delicacies like caviar.

Fish eggs are high in omega-3 fatty acids but also high in cholesterol and typically salted, making them sodium-rich. However, fish eggs are better than supplements since they come from natural sources and are less likely to oxidise during processing.

In addition, fish roes contain a substantial amount of vitamin B12. The raw basis product for caviar is sturgeon roe or, in rare cases, other fish such as flathead grey mullet.

The commonly consumed roe is that of the hilsa (also known as Indian herring), which spans from July to October and coincides with the monsoon. However, Roe from Bengali delights such as rohu and Katla is available from May to August.

Nutritional Properties of Fish Eggs

The USDA provides the following nutrition value for one hundred grams of fish eggs.

  • Energy: 143 kcal 
  • Protein: 22.3 g
  • Fat: 6.42 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 374 mg
  • Calcium: 16 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 10 µg 
  • Phosphorus: 402 mg
  • Vitamin A: 299 IU

Nutrition Facts of Fish Eggs

Fish roe is low in carbohydrates and contains no dietary fibre or sugar. These amounts vary depending on the fish eggs you’re consuming. 

In fish eggs, there is a limited amount of 3 types of fat: saturated fat (1.46 gm), which is less nutritious because it may contribute to heart disease; polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFA (2.66 gm), which is healthier because it has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, and monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFA (1.66 gm), which is supposed to increase HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol.

Fish eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic acids and vitamin B-12. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain and heart health and reduce inflammation that can lead to chronic disease. Another nutrient that helps the body convert food into energy is vitamin B-12.

The central nervous system, a healthy heart, and DNA synthesis all benefit from vitamin B-12. Fish eggs are also a good source of fat-soluble vitamin D, which works well with omega-3 fatty acids. The choline in fish eggs also promotes the transit of good fats, cholesterol, and cognitive function. 

Fish eggs are high in protein but try not to overeat. Fish eggs provide a protein boost; however, the amount depends on the variety. Due to their high sodium and cholesterol content, you should consume fish eggs in moderation. A 1-cup serving of fish eggs has more cholesterol than the daily limit for healthy adults (300 milligrams). A diet heavy in cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease.

Fish eggs are steeped in a salt solution during processing, increasing sodium content. Consuming more sodium than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. There is 117 mg of sodium in a 1-cup serving of fish eggs.

The HealthifyMe Note

Fish eggs are high in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have anti-inflammatory properties and are essential for improving brain and heart health. However, they are also rich in sodium and cholesterol, which can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke if consumed in excess. In addition, fish eggs are high in purine. Therefore people suffering from gout must avoid them.

Health Benefits of Fish Eggs

To enjoy fish eggs, you must have developed a liking for their distinct flavour and taste. However, there are several reasons to include them in your diet. Here are some of the top fish eggs’ health benefits:

Improves Brain Health

Fish eggs contain 0.983 g of omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 1.36 g of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per serving. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary fats, meaning they are lipids your body cannot create on its own. Fish eggs contain these fatty acids, and these particular fatty acids can help with cognitive ageing as well as brain health. 

Studies have shown it reduces the risk of heart disease and depression. They cut triglyceride levels while raising HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the likelihood of an irregular cardiac rhythm. They may also improve artery compliance, minimise atherosclerosis through metabolic actions, and lower inflammatory indicators in the body.

Improves Vision

DHA and EPA are essential for a baby’s vision development and retinal function in children and adults. Diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome are all risks for people who don’t get enough omega-3 in their diet. Eating fish eggs may assist in mitigating these dangers. 

Controls High Blood Pressure

Fish eggs include potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent high blood pressure, blood clotting, and inflammation. 

Some studies have suggested that a moderate fish and fish egg intake can control or prevent hypertension. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish may help lower blood pressure by reducing inflammation and decreasing oxylipins levels, constricting blood vessels.

Boosts Heart Health

Fish eggs include omega-3 fatty acids, which may assist in lowering bad cholesterol while also improving other aspects of heart health and preventing heart disease. Furthermore, EPA and DHA may lower lipid levels, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Studies suggest that people with cardiovascular disease who eat fish eggs have a lower risk of dying abruptly of the illness.

Prevents Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is prevailing among women. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. They produce bioactive lipid mediators that aid in inflammation resolution. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components of phospholipid membranes and lipid rafts, which organise and segregate molecules and influence cell signalling, hypothesised to influence breast cancer. 

Long-chain omega-6 fatty acids’ ability to affect inflammation and other physiologic processes depends on simultaneous amounts of the pro-inflammatory omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and an individual’s lipid metabolism-controlling genetic makeup. 

Studies have confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids effectively prevent the risks of breast cancer.

Boosts Immunity

Maintaining the immune system is critical for the body to avoid getting infected by deadly microorganisms which cause illness. However, a diet that can increase fish eggs was required to improve the immune system. The nutrients in fish eggs are excellent for enhancing the immune system, which is the benefit of fish roe overcoming and preventing various illnesses. 

Healthy Bones and Teeth

Vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium are found in fish eggs and is essential for bone and tooth health. Healthy bones allow you to function without being concerned about your age. Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones because it aids in absorbing calcium and phosphorus from meals, and both of these minerals are necessary for bone health. Since teeth are also a part of our skeletal system, a lack of vitamin D3 might affect their health. 

Fish eggs and fishes contain a good amount of calcium, which is also very important for healthy bones and teeth. Some studies have suggested calcium and vitamins are good for healthy bones and teeth. And fish eggs and fish like salmon are a good source of vitamins and calcium. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Fish eggs comprise a nutrient-dense profile. It includes various nutrients that help in the prevention of blood clotting and inflammation, as well as the reduction of blood pressure, improving bone health, and other physiologic processes. Furthermore, it effectively reduces the chances of developing breast cancer. In addition, these specific fatty acids, EPA and DHA, can help with cognitive ageing and brain health.

Healthy Recipes for Fish Eggs

Fish roe, often known as fish eggs, can be prepared in various ways to create a delectable and unusual dish. It’s a delicious delicacy that goes well with several dishes, whether fried in breadcrumbs, poached in butter, or sautéed in a skillet. To season and flavour fish roe, you can use ingredients like onion, garlic, capers, shallots, and lemon to season and flavour your fish roe.

Poached Fish Roe

Serves: 2 servings

Preparation time: 20-30min


  • Shad roe sacs: ½ pounds (680 grams) 
  • Melted butter: 2 tbsp
  • Sauce to top the roe

Method of Preparation 

  • Carefully separate the roe sacs from one another to make poaching easier. 
  • Use your fingers or a spoon to pierce them.
  • Place the roe in a strainer and clean them by holding them under running water for a few seconds. Then, place them on a clean paper towel and gently blot them dry with another paper towel.
  • Spread them out in a frying pan large enough to handle all roe in one equal layer. 
  • Fill the pan with water until it reaches the middle of the roe’s sides. Drain the water and pour it into a measuring cup to separate it from the roe. 
  • You’ll need the same amount of butter in the pan as the water measurement. Pour the appropriate amount of melted butter into the pan. 
  • Remove the roe from the pan and wipe it down to ensure it is dry. Set the pan over medium heat and pour in the measured amount of melted butter. 
  • When the butter bubbles slightly, it’s time to add the roe. Place the roe in the butter and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook the roe for 2 minutes before flipping with a spatula or another kitchen tool.
  • Allow the roe to cook for another 5-8 minutes, or until fully cooked. You know it’s done when the roe changes colour and is no longer transparent.
  • Flip the roe in the pan to ensure it cooks evenly and does not stick.
  • These sauces might be a brown butter sauce, a pepper sauce, or anything else you want to serve with fish. Before serving, remove the roe from the skillet and pour your sauce over it.

Note: This recipe calls for shad roe, but you can use other fish roe instead.

Sauteed Fish Roe

Serves: 2 servings

Preparation time: 30min


  • Fish roe: 450 grams
  • Butter: 1/4 cup (55 grams)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice: 2 tsp (9.9 ml)
  • Chopped parsley: 1 tablespoon (4 grams)
  • Chopped chives: 2 teaspoons (2 grams)
  • Chopped thyme: 2 teaspoons (2 grams)

Method of Preparation

  • Place a piece or two of butter in the pan and let it melt. Use as much or as little butter as you like for the roe’s flavour, but ensure the pan’s bottom is completely covered.
  • Place the roe in the pan and spread it once the butter has melted. Season it with salt and pepper to taste, depending on how much you want to use. 
  • Allow 5 minutes for the roe to cook before flipping it with a spatula or other cooking equipment. Cook for another 5 minutes in the pan after flipping the roe.
  • While flipping the roe, be careful not to break it. Also, do not cook the roe for more than 10 minutes. 
  • If you’re unsure if the roe is cooked, pierce it with a fork to check. Then, transfer the roe to a platter with a spatula.
  • Set aside the roe dish while you finish the remainder of the ingredients. Lemon juice, parsley, chives, and thyme are all included. 
  • Place all these ingredients in the same pan where you cooked the roe and heat over medium to medium heat. To ensure that the ingredients cook up evenly, combine them in a large pan.
  • When all other ingredients are warm, pour them straight on top of the roe. Your fish roe is now ready to serve!

Potential Drawbacks of Fish Eggs

Fish eggs have a good cholesterol content and can be rich in sodium. If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol or reduce your salt intake, consult a health professional about whether you can have them occasionally. Remember that fish eggs are high in purines, which might be problematic if you have gout/high uric acid.

Managing a fish egg or fish allergy might be difficult. According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (ACAAI), you can be allergic to one variety of fish but not another. It’s also conceivable to have an allergy to finned fish but not shellfish, or vice versa. So even if you didn’t have any symptoms as a child, you could acquire a fish allergy as an adult. 

Talk to a nutritionist or doctor if you have a fish or fish egg allergy and have symptoms like hives, skin rash, headaches, stuffy nose, or nausea after eating them. They can assist you in determining the source of your symptoms.

Storage and Food Safety

An unopened container of fresh caviar can last up to 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator. However, if maintained at 30°F to 38°F, it will keep a semblance of freshness for no more than five days once opened.

You must refrigerate the roe without the container. Refrigerate roe against the rear wall to reduce temperature swings. If you don’t have access to a fridge, place the roe in a dish with ice and replenish as needed.


Roe is a species of fish that can be cooked or eaten raw in delicacies like caviar. They’re also high in fat-soluble vitamin D, which complements omega-3 fatty acids, and the vitamin assists the body in absorbing and using healthy fats. Vitamin B12, which helps metabolise meals for energy, is another component of fish roe for mental health and brain function. 

The nutritional composition of fish roe is rich in selenium, magnesium, iron, and a minor quantity of calcium. If you feel you have a fish or fish egg allergy and have symptoms like hives, skin rash, headaches, stuffy nose, or nausea after eating them, see your doctor, and they will help you know what’s causing these issues. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Are fish eggs good for you?

A. Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish eggs. Because roe is a natural supply of these lipids, it outperforms supplements in nutritional value, as the fats are less likely to oxidise during processing. They’re also high in vitamin D, B12, and protein, which is good for our health.

Q. Are fish eggs high in protein?

A. Fish eggs do contain a lot of protein. Protein is required in your diet to assist your body repair and replacing cells, and protein is also necessary for children, teenagers, and pregnant women’s growth and development.

Q. Is fish egg high in cholesterol?

A. Fish eggs contain a lot of cholesterol (100g contains 374 mg). Excessive consumption of fish eggs may elevate cholesterol levels, making you more vulnerable to heart disease. One ounce of black caviar contains more than half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg for healthy individuals.

Q. Is fish egg good for high blood pressure?

A. Fish eggs are excellent for lowering blood pressure. Fish eggs are high in omega-3 fatty acids, help reduce blood clotting and inflammation while also expanding blood vessels and help keep blood pressure in control. Overall, eating fish eggs high in fatty acids may assist hypertensive persons in lowering their systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Q. Can you eat fish eggs right out of a fish?

A. People should not consume raw eggs or eggs straight from the fish. People who eat raw or undercooked eggs can get illnesses. According to the FDA, salmonella symptoms can appear 12 to 72 hours after eating an egg. In addition, according to the CDC, pregnant women who are nursing should avoid eating raw eggs.

Q. Is fish egg keto-friendly?

A. Fish eggs are indeed keto-friendly. Caviar adds 70 calories to your diet per ounce. 7g of high-quality protein is great for low-carb and keto diets. It also has 5g of fat and only 1g of carbohydrates. They also include several vitamins and minerals. 

Q. Does fish egg make you fat? 

A. No, eating fish eggs will not make you gain weight. However, including protein-rich foods in your diet, such as fish and fish eggs, will help you stay content and avoid overeating, aiding weight loss. In addition, salmon eggs are high in critical nutrients and low in calories, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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