Salmon is one of the most nourishing types of fish that provides numerous health benefits. For one, it is renowned for its fatty acid content, which is excellent for the heart and cholesterol. This tasty and versatile catch is also rich in other essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, folate, selenium, potassium and zinc, making it amongst the most heart-healthy of dishes.
There are several species of salmon, including the Atlantic, sockeye, chinook, pink and chum. Whether baked, grilled, seared or broiled, salmon gives you that flavoured right-out-of-the-sea taste and is equally delightful for your hair, skin and overall health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Remember the optimistic quote that says, “There is still good in this world”? Whoever came up with that sure knew his or her salmon well! You see, not all fats are downright bad for your body. There are some ‘good’ ones that are vital for your body, and those are what we call essential fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids fall under the ‘essential fatty acid’ category — so essential they are that the body cannot produce them on its own, and thus, requires the intake from external food or vitamin sources to ensure sufficient nutritional supply. Omega-3 promotes healthy skin and joints, aids in the neurological development of a foetus and minimises the risk of heart diseases. Additionally, this powerhouse fatty acid reduces the risks of fatal heart arrhythmia and improves heart muscle function.
Foods with high omega-3 fatty acid content are also great in aiding the skin in retaining moisture. While dry skin can derive from a myriad of factors, one telltale sign is omega-3 fatty acid deficiency.
Atlantic salmon has been found to contain the highest concentration of omega-3s in the entire salmon family species, standing at 1.9 grams per 2-ounce fillet. It is recommended for adults to have two servings of salmon a week to ensure your body acquires its ample omega-3 fatty acid needs.
Similar to omega-3 fatty acids, protein is another essential nutrient you must obtain from your diet. Salmon is loaded with high-quality protein and contains other essential amino acids that stimulate growth and help maintain muscle mass. In addition, the protein found in salmon helps the body sustain its metabolism at levels that are ideal in promoting weight loss.
Indulging in salmon for three or more days a week, alongside a serving of fresh steamed vegetables, will keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods of time, giving you that extra energy boost and easing your hunger pangs.
Furthermore, protein is a fundamental building block in skin repair, especially when you lose elasticity in the skin, as you age. Salmon helps generate healthy skin cells and even nails. The protein in salmon aids the body in producing hormones and vital enzymes for supple skin and healthy nails. So, stock up on these bad boys for #SkinGoals.
Salmons are also an excellent source of some essential vitamins your body needs to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle. Allow us to break it down for you — a serving of grilled salmon provides you with more than 40% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B12; over 25% of vitamin B6; over 30% of niacin and almost 15% of pantothenic acid and thiamine.
Moreover, the vitamin D in salmon supports healthy bones and teeth and may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer and multiple sclerosis.
A three-ounce serving of baked salmon gives your body an approximate 50% of your recommended daily intake of selenium. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements reports that selenium is effective against cancer and heart diseases, and helps impede mental decline that comes with age. Consuming salmon and other high-selenium seafoods has been shown to increase blood levels of selenium in individuals whose diets are low in this mineral.
The same serving of salmon also provides 20% of your daily intake of phosphorus — a mineral with multiple roles in the body, ranging from maintaining a healthy kidney and heart to building strong teeth and bones.
In addition, the potent combination of selenium, vitamin D and omega-3s is vital for enhanced immunity. Health experts suggest treating yourself to at least two servings in a week to minimise your risk of chronic illnesses, like diabetes, heart diseases and cognitive decline.
Astaxanthin is a compound with antioxidant properties linked to several prevailing health benefits. Apart from giving salmon its reddish pigment, astaxanthin is said to have the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and decreasing the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. One particular study found that a mere 3.6 milligrams of astaxanthin daily were sufficient to reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which could potentially lower the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, astaxanthin may help prevent skin damage and is believed to complement the omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon, synergising to protect the nervous system and the brain from inflammation.
Greatest Catch of Your Day
Salmon is credited with almost everything, from preventing heart attacks and cancer to extending your lifespan. The salmon nutrition profile possesses the highest omega-3 fatty acid content of any type of fish and each serving is locked and loaded with an abundance of salmon protein, vitamins and minerals.
From grilling and baking to sautéing and roasting, you can find a variety of methods to prepare glorious-tasting salmon and enjoy it in your daily diet, in order to reap its endless benefits.