Salmon is both a fresh and saltwater fish, and its family is made up of several different species. Salmon can be cooked in many ways including baking, searing, boiling, grilling, and even having it raw as they do in Japan. Salmon is a powerful health food that most people tend to skip out on. Despite its numerous health benefits, people seem to avoid salmon due to its high fat content. While salmon does in fact have a higher fat content than other lean meats, a lot of the fats salmon delivers is in the form of healthy promoting omega 3s - essential fatty acid that provides a myriad of benefits to health. Not only this, salmon provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and is a great food when it comes to dieting due to its high protein content.
As we mentioned earlier, salmon has a high omega 3 content at 1.8g per 150g portion. Eating omega 3 is important as the body cannot produce its own omega 3 acids and as such needs it via the intake of food/supplements. Omega 3 itself has incredible benefits including reducing inflammation which promotes healthy joints, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, assisting in developing healthy brains in unborn children, and can even improve heart muscle function which reduces risks of heart arrhythmia. While there is no exact recommended daily intake of omega 3, most health organisations suggest a minimum of 250-500g of combined EPA and DHA daily.
Salmon also contains a high protein content at 30g per 150g serving. Protein is important as it supplies the building blocks necessary to build muscle/recover from workouts, keeps your metabolism going, provides satiety, and ensures minimal muscle loss or atrophy when you are on a diet. Satiety is a very overlooked aspect when it comes to food selection, but it is especially important when you are on a diet since you do not want to be overeating. Having salmon with a serving of fresh or steamed vegetables ensures maximum satiety while providing you with enough energy and nutrients.
Salmon is also high in vitamins and minerals. Within vitamins, salmon provides extremely high amounts of B vitamins with a 100g serving of wild salmon providing 18% of the RDI for vitamin B1 (thiamin), 29% of the RDI for vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 50% of the RDI for vitamin B3 (niacin), 19% of the RDI for vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 47% of the RDI for vitamin B6, 7% of the RDI for vitamin B9 (folic acid), and 51% of the RDI for vitamin B12. B vitamins are involved in key processes in the body including reduction in inflammation, turning the food you eat into energy, and working together to maintain optimal function of the brain and nervous system.
Among minerals salmon is high in selenium, phosphorous, copper, and potassium. Selenium is important as it assists in bone health, decreases thyroid antibodies in people with people with autoimmune thyroid disease, and reduces the risk of cancer. Given salmon provides ~60% of the RDI of selenium per 100g, salmon can improve blood levels of selenium for those whose diets are low in this mineral. Salmon is also high in potassium which provides 18% of the RDI per 100g, and is another important mineral. Potassium helps control blood pressure through preventing excess water retention and reduces the risk of stroke.
As we can see from the above, salmon provides a huge number of benefits when it comes to health, and can aid significantly during a diet. The general recommendation is to have two to three servings of salmon a week to gain the optimal health benefits from it. If you aren’t already having salmon, consider having more of it in your diet!
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