By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 24. Sep. 2020

Herring might not be the most common fish in the U.S., but its rich flavor and impressive nutritional profile definitely make this heart-healthy fish worth a try.

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  • ...supports cardiovascular health.
    Herring is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect against vasoconstriction and reduce high cholesterol levels.
  • ...helps keep skin beautiful.
    Herring is rich in vitamin A, which helps keep the skin looking smooth and healthy.
  • ...is brain-food.
    The polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in herring have been proven to promote concentration and improve memory.
  • ...is a rich source of protein.
    Herring is packed with protein, which helps keep the brain and body energized and perform well, and also helps the body build muscle.
  • ...is packed with B vitamins.
    Herring contains several vitamins from the B group, especially B12. 100 g of herring contains more than 3 times your daily requirement of B12, which plays an important role in blood formation.
  • ...keeps bones strong.
    Herring is rich in vitamin D, which keeps the bones strong and healthy and can help prevent osteoporosis. 100 g of herring contains about 2.5 times your daily requirement of this essential vitamin.
  • ...shouldn't be consumed if you have gout.
    Herring is packed with uric acid, which can exacerbate gout symptoms. Just 100 g of herring already contains about two thirds of the maximum daily amount of uric acid you should eat if you suffer from gout. Therefore, doctors generally advise against eating herring if you have gout.
  • ...is endangered.
    Environmentalists and animal welfare activists classify herring as an endangered species. The World Wildlife Foundation therefore advises to only buy sustainably-source herring.

What You Should Know About Herring

Herring is an incredibely healthy white fish which is particularly popular in Nordic cooking. Its oily, mild-flavored flesh is packed with nutrients and flavor, with a taste reminiscent of mahi-mahi or mackeral.

Find all our herring recipes here.

How Healthy is Herring?

Herring is one of the most healthy ingredients around, packed with tons of versatile nutrients. Herring is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep the cardiovascular system healthy, as well as vitamin A for skin health, vitamin B12 for blood formation, and vitamin D, which helps keep bones strong. It also contains more selenium than virtually any other fish, a powerful mineral which helps protect the body from cell damage and may protect against heart disease and certain types of cancers. Herring is also a great source of flourine, which helps keep bones and teeth healthy.

HERRING NUTRITIONAL INFO (1 fillet - 143 g)  
Calories 290
Protein 33 g
Fat 17 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Fiber 0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips


Unfortunately herring has been overfished, and is currently classified as an endangered species. As a result, it's best to purchase sustainably-farmed herring if possible. Do some research on the brand of herring you're buying before you head to the store, and check labels on the fish for indications it comes from a company practicing sustainable fishing. 


Like all fish, herring tastes best and is most nutritious the sooner it is eaten after being caught. If you need to store your herring, however, wrap it in cling wrap and keep it in the refrigerator, where it should stay fresh for up to 2 days.

What to Make With Herring

Herring's high fat and oil contents yields delicious flavor cooked in a variety of ways. It's delicious fried, boiled or grilled, and its naturally tasty flesh means it requires minimal prep or marinades before it needs to cook. 

In Nordic countries, pickled herring is an incredibely popular dish. While it might sound odd to American palates, this delicacy is definitely worth a try. Not only is pickled herring easy to make and packed with nutrients, but its tangy, rich flavor makes for an easy any-time snack on top of toast or a beautiful addition to salads. 

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