Sea chameleon - this is another name for cuttlefish. And this name was not given to the mollusk by chance. Within 1-2 seconds, she is able to change her color to almost any color, moreover, with any pattern. But for a person, it is not at all useful for this.

What is cuttlefish

Cuttlefish is a type of cephalopod, that is, it belongs to the same family as squids and octopuses. Moreover, it is the oldest representative of this family. Unlike other representatives of cephalopods, there is a lamellar shell inside the cuttlefish on the dorsal part of the carcass. On each of its ten tentacles, a large number of suckers are located in rows, which help the mollusk capture its prey. Sea chameleons feed on small fish and crustaceans. They go hunting preferably at night.

This mollusk is commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters. Cuttlefish - prefer shallow water in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. You can often see these creatures off the coasts of South Africa, Japan and Australia. Experts talk about the existence of over 100 varieties of cuttlefish. The most famous and most numerous among them is the pharaoh's sepia, which is found in the north of the Indian Ocean.

Cuttlefish is one of the most colorful creatures that inhabit the waters of the ocean. Several colors are combined on her body at once: brown on the dorsal part, light colors on the abdomen, greenish on the tentacles, purple on the fins. But depending on the environment, the color of the mollusk can vary significantly.

Sea chameleons almost never grow larger than 50 cm, but they can weigh more than 10 kilograms. Although there are also very small representatives - no more than 2 cm.

Defending itself from enemies, this mollusk releases a dark-colored substance called ink. This brown liquid creates an impenetrable curtain in the water, allowing the cuttlefish to hide. By the way, this substance has been used by man since ancient times as paint or ink for writing.

Cuttlefish meat is a traditional component of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. It tastes like squid or octopus, but more tender. It is rich in nutrients, but compared to other marine inhabitants, the body of a marine chameleon is more likely to absorb harmful substances from the water.

Chemical composition and nutritional value

Cuttlefish is an excellent source of protein, essential amino acids and minerals. 100 g of a raw product contains no more than 80 kilocalories (in a boiled one - about 160 kcal) and almost a quarter of the daily sodium intake.

Clam meat is a delicacy that contains almost no carbohydrates and fats. But despite the extremely low proportion of fat in the chemical composition, this product contains an impressive amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids, in particular eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids. Thanks to this, cuttlefish is considered a product that is useful for the heart and blood vessels, in particular for the prevention of arrhythmias, clogged arteries, and high blood pressure.


As already mentioned, cuttlefish is a product that is extremely rich in proteins. 100 grams of meat contains almost 55 percent of the daily protein requirement. And this suggests that the seafood is an excellent source of amino acids, necessary for the restoration and formation of cells. The meat of this mollusk contains all 9 essential amino acids in varying amounts.


Just one serving of cuttlefish has more than 190% of the daily value of vitamin B12. This unique vitamin is indispensable for humans, as it is necessary for the creation of DNA cells, red blood cells, and also supports neurological health. In addition, the sea chameleon is a real storehouse of vitamin B2 (contains more than 100% of the daily value), which is responsible for the health of the skin and eyes, and also contributes to proper metabolism. Almost a quarter of your daily vitamin A intake can also be obtained from just a 100-gram serving of cuttlefish meat. And this nutrient is the main substance responsible for vision. In addition, sufficient intake of vitamin A is the health of the skin, mucous membranes, bones and teeth. With antioxidant properties, this vitamin found in seafood prevents heart disease, cell mutation, and repairs damage caused by free radicals.


Seafood is an excellent choice for replenishing minerals in the body. A serving of cuttlefish contains almost 140% of the daily intake of selenium. This mineral, entering the body, as a result of certain chemical reactions combines with proteins, forming selenoproteins - substances with powerful antioxidant abilities. Selenium, among other things, is essential for thyroid health and strengthening the immune system.

Another important mineral found in large quantities in cuttlefish meat is iron. This suggests that eating seafood can improve oxygen circulation in the body, as well as support healthy cell growth.


And the only minus of cuttlefish meat is cholesterol. A serving of this product contains almost 63% of the daily cholesterol requirement. But we must recall that cholesterol in food is not always a bad thing. This substance is necessary for the body to maintain healthy skin, regulate hormonal levels, produce digestive enzymes and synthesize vitamin D. However, excessive consumption of cholesterol-rich foods can lead to fatty deposits in the arteries, which in turn impair blood flow to the heart and brain, causing heart attacks or strokes.

Nutritional value per 100 g
Calories 158 kcal
Proteins 32.48 g
Fat 1.4 g
Carbohydrates 1.4 g
Water 61.12 g
Cholesterol 224 mg
Vitamin A 0.11 mg
Vitamin C 8.5 mg
Vitamin B1 0.017 mg
Vitamin B2 1.73 mg
Vitamin B3 2.19 mg
Vitamin B5 0.9 mg
Vitamin B6 0.27 mg
Vitamin B9 24 mcg
Vitamin B12 5.4 mcg
Calcium 180 mg
Iron 10.84 mg
Magnesium 60 mg
Phosphorus 580 mg
Potassium 637 mg
Sodium 744 mg
Zinc 3.46 mg
Copper 0.998 mg
Manganese 0.209 mg
Selenium 89.6 mcg

Health Benefits

Like all seafood, cuttlefish is an excellent source of protein. Due to this, the consumption of shellfish in moderate portions has a good effect on the condition of muscles, hair, nails, skin, and improves the overall functioning of the body. But the useful properties of the product do not end there.

Cuttlefish is beneficial for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. And all because this product is rich in selenium. As studies show, it is this substance that is most often lacking in the bodies of people with symptoms of the disease, and the restoration of mineral balance improves their well-being.

Another useful property of cuttlefish is to reduce the frequency and duration of migraines. This ability of the seafood is explained by the presence of vitamin B2, which is abundant in cuttlefish meat.

Due to the high concentration of phosphorus (on par with fish and shrimp), cuttlefish are useful for strengthening bones and teeth.

This seafood is also listed as beneficial for preventing strokes and heart attacks. Vitamin B12, found in cuttlefish, reduces homocysteine ​​levels, which is actually a factor that increases the risk of these diseases.

Cuttlefish, as a source of vitamin B3, is also beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels. And thanks to the presence of zinc, this seafood is important for strengthening the immune system.

Other benefits of cuttlefish meat:

  • removes toxins;
  • improves metabolism;
  • adjusts pressure;
  • improves blood circulation;
  • accelerates fat metabolism;
  • promotes faster wound healing;
  • accelerates hair growth;
  • contributes to the proper functioning of brain cells;
  • stabilizes the work of the cardiosystem;
  • strengthens the immune system.

Benefits of Ink

Cuttlefish ink is often referred to as a superfood. Several studies have shown that this dark liquid contains many antioxidants that are beneficial for the cardiovascular system. In addition, the ink is a good source of iron, which makes this product useful for increasing hemoglobin, improving oxygen circulation.

Cuttlefish ink is useful for treating:

  • venous congestion;
  • constipation;
  • biliary tract dispersions;
  • migraines;
  • bronchitis;
  • eczema;
  • hemorrhoids;
  • ​​
  • disorders of the nervous system;
  • ovarian dysfunction;
  • vegetative-vascular dystonia;
  • insomnia.

Useful properties of the cuttlefish bone

The inner shell of the cuttlefish also has some beneficial properties for humans. This bone is a porous, pumice-like plate. It is used in Chinese medicine to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, as well as to stop bleeding, relieve asthma.

Crushed bone is added to medicines to normalize stomach acid and heal ulcers. In dentistry, this material is used to stop bleeding after tooth extraction. There is also reason to believe that this material can be used in traumatology, in particular for the treatment of bone diseases.

How to cook properly

The smaller the cuttlefish, the more tender its meat. Small cuttlefish are considered the most delicious. Clams up to 300 g are well stewed and added to second courses. But small ones are especially valued - up to 20 g. Salads, snacks, small kebabs are prepared from them, and they are also added to pizza. Cuttlefish can be fried, stewed, baked, grilled, added to soups or stews. Fried clams are often served as an appetizer with beer, added to salads or pasta. In Mediterranean cuisine, boiled cuttlefish are seasoned with olive oil or deep-fried, and the ink of this shellfish is used for sauces, pasta dishes or risotto. But in Japan and China, this delicacy can be fried, baked, dried and even marinated. But giving preference to fried seafood, one must be prepared for the fact that its calorie content, as well as the presence of cholesterol, will increase significantly.

Sea chameleons are a product that is important to cut and cook properly. Inside each mollusk contains a sac filled with a dark liquid. It is often used in cooking, to add color to sauces or rice. But if you inadvertently pierce this bag, the ink will stain the carcass. Properly cooked clam remains white in color and tastes like octopus or squid meat with a nutty flavor. Boil cuttlefish for about half an hour over low heat. There are some secrets in frying cuttlefish: first with the tentacles up, then turn over.

If frozen cuttlefish is to be cooked, it must first be properly thawed. To do this, the mollusk is poured with cold water. After complete defrosting, you can begin to cleanse. First, the bone, eyes, mouth and entrails are cut out. The silver ink bag is then carefully peeled off. You can either throw it away or use the brown liquid it contains to make spaghetti, risotto, or any other dish. The cleaned cuttlefish carcass is washed under running water and cooked in the chosen way.

Seafood is one of the healthiest food categories. Shellfish, including cuttlefish, are a source of many useful components. In addition, a person can get some of them exclusively from seafood.