No matter where you are in the world, one thing that always seems to pop up on the menu is seafood. With most major cities in the world being started near water, it only makes sense that we used to get most of our food from the sea and still do. Among the most popular types of seafood has been the salmon, which can be found in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as the Great Lakes in the United States.
When it comes to the health benefits of salmon, there seems to always be some debate on if it’s good for you, or overrated. Through years of research, we have found that the benefits of eating more salmon far outweigh any negatives, and there have been studies to back that up. Let’s take a further look at those benefits, and see why you should be adding more salmon to your diet.
There are a lot of different types of salmon out there, so the nutrition can vary from fish to fish. However, we want to look at the Alaskan chinook salmon and what it contains in terms of nutrition when it’s raw. Just one ounce will bring you more than 10 percent of your recommended daily protein intake, while also bringing in some vitamins and minerals.
The most abundant of the vitamins is vitamin B12, which helps you to improve cell maintenance and lower your cholesterol levels, as well as keep many nasty diseases away. Other vitamins found in salmon include vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. Finally, for the minerals, there is plenty of selenium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. If you’re not familiar with selenium, it is also important in cell building.
Acidity is Good
You might have heard already that salmon is one of the best possible sources that you can find for omega-3 fatty acids. It’s recommended that you get in the neighborhood of 400 mg each day of omega-3 fatty acids that your body can not create on its own. While you have probably heard the name omega-3, you might not be familiar with what that entails.
Omega-3 fatty acids help in a multitude of ways, from preventing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, depression and ADHD to relieving symptoms of asthma. While you can get these acids from other sources such as vitamins, some people prefer getting it from salmon. The typical suggestion is to get a couple of servings each week of salmon to help your omega-3 levels stay on track.
Two parts of the body that we need to keep repairing unless we want to experience pain and weakness later on are the bones and muscles. Salmon is a tremendous source of protein, which allows you to build stronger muscles (though most of us are already aware). If you have ever met someone that has spent a lot of time at the gym trying to build muscle, there’s a good chance their diet has a lot of salmon included.
Those omega-3 fatty acids will also help your bones as they are an anti-inflammatory that keep away the aches and pains that we get in our joints. Studies have shown that these increased omega-3 levels also reduce fractures and allow us to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis. Your muscles and bones weaken with age, so you have to keep them strong for as long as possible.
Flowing Like the River
Eating more salmon in your diet will allow your blood to flow more properly. The high amount of potassium has been shown to help you lower blood pressure and also prevent retaining excess fluids such as water. Cholesterol is another big culprit of poor blood flow, and the omega-3 content in salmon helps with that, as well.
Omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to help lower the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) levels. Circling back to the high antioxidant content in salmon, you are less likely to suffer from problems that stem from inflammation. Keeping all of that in mind, your blood stream is going to work more efficiently, and that alone prevents many different ailments that could be deadly.
Depending on the type of salmon that you’re eating, you can control your calorie count by eating more. A larger portion (more than three ounces) contains between 175 to 200 calories. It’s also very filling as a meat, but you can add some healthy sides to make a full and filling meal that stays well under the 400 calorie mark.
It’s not just calorie control that will help you lose weight. Your metabolism will see an increase thanks to the high protein and low carbohydrate count. An increase in muscle mass burns more calories, allowing you to lose fat in the process. Salmon is also toward the bottom of the glycemic index, allowing you to control your insulin, which is another boost in the battle against excess weight.
We’ve covered what salmon can do for your insides, but what about the exterior? Your skin will see a lot of benefits from eating more salmon as the amount of astaxanthin improved treatment for those with sun damaged skin and gave them more hydration, which results in a younger appearance. The omega-3 content will add up, and allow you to prevent many signs of aging on your skin.
Salmon is also good for both your hair and your eyes. Foods that are high in protein naturally help your hair grow faster, and fish oil makes your hair stronger. This is why you’re seeing an increase of beauty products that contain fish oil. Finally, the omega-3 acids help to prevent many eye problems such as macular degeneration, and studies have shown that vision in those that eat salmon more often is better than in those that don’t.
Summing it Up
Salmon is readily available throughout most parts of the world, making it very versatile. However, if you want the best kinds, you might have to pay a little more. The price of salmon has gone down in recent years making it more available, but it might not be the best product. Keep an eye on the labels to make sure that the salmon was shipped without anything harmful like mercury or pesticides. Organic is going to be your best way to go, obviously.
Wild caught salmon is the best type of fish, and inspect the package to see if the fish has clear eyes, low odor and the skeleton still in tact. Those are the fish that you want to eat. As long as you know what to look for and have a keen eye for salmon, it’s going to be very beneficial for your health. If you don’t like seafood, you can still take omega-3 fatty acid capsules to get most of the great benefits that salmon would bring.