Filipino sailor Arnel Balbero said they were also only given small amounts of water and felt like "the walking dead" by the end of their ordeal.
The 26 sailors were seized on board their ship in 2012 and were eventually taken to Somalia. They were freed on Saturday, reportedly after a ransom was paid. The sailors were from China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Mr Balbero was among the crew of the FV Naham 3 when it was captured by Somali pirates south of the Seychelles. One crew member was killed during the capture. A year later, the ship sank and the crew were brought onshore in Somalia. Two sailors subsequently died of illnesses.