Salmon is quite a nutrient-dense food. This delicious fatty fish is not only high in nutrients, but it may help lower certain risk factors for a variety of disorders. It’s also flavorful, flexible, and abundantly accessible. The nutritional value of salmon varies somewhat depending on the kind. Farmed salmon, for example, has slightly more good fats and calories, but wild-caught salmon has slightly more protein.
Here are the health benefits of salmon:
1. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich
EPA and DHA are abundant in salmon (DHA). Farmed salmon provides 2.3 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids every 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, whereas wild salmon has 2.2. Omega-3 fats are “necessary” since your body cannot make them. Most health organizations suggest 250–1,000 mg of EPA/DHA daily for healthy persons. EPA and DHA reduce inflammation, blood pressure, cancer risk, and vascular cell function.
EPA and DHA supplementation improves vascular function in smokers, overweight adults, and those with high cholesterol or metabolic syndrome, according to a 22-study analysis. Fish increases omega-3 fat levels higher than fish oil capsules. Two salmon meals a week may give omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Excellent source of protein
Salmon has a lot of high-quality protein. Protein, like omega-3 fats, is an important nutrient that must be obtained from your diet. Protein serves a variety of functions in your body, including aiding in wound healing, bone health protection, and muscle mass maintenance throughout weight loss and as you age.
According to recent studies, each meal should include at least 20-30 grams of good-quality protein for maximum health. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of salmon offers 22-25 grams of protein.
3. Rich in B vitamins
Salmon is a great source of B vitamins. The B vitamin composition of 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of wild salmon is as follows:
- More than 100% of the DV for vitamin B12
- Niacin: 63% of the daily value
- 56% of the DV for vitamin B6
- Riboflavin: 38% of the daily value
- Pantothenic acid: 38% of the daily value
- Thiamine: 23% of the daily value
- Folic acid: 7% of the daily value
These vitamins are involved in a number of vital activities in your body, including the conversion of food into energy, the creation and repair of DNA, and the reduction of chronic inflammation, which may lead to illness.
Moreover, research has shown that these B vitamins work together to keep your brain and neurological system operating properly.
4. Potassium-rich food
Fish has a lot of potassium. This is notably true for wild salmon, which contains 13% of the daily value (DV) per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), compared to 8% for farmed salmon. In fact, wild salmon has more potassium than an identical quantity of bananas, which has just 9% of the daily value.
Potassium helps control your blood pressure and may lower your risk of stroke. According to one study, taking potassium supplements dramatically decreased blood pressure levels in persons with high blood pressure, particularly those who consumed a lot of salt. By limiting excessive water retention, potassium interacts with sodium to assist in managing fluid balance and reducing blood pressure.
5. High in selenium
Salmon and dirt contain selenium. Trace minerals are needed in small amounts. Selenium intake is important. Selenium may reduce cancer risk, preserve bone health, and suppress thyroid antibodies in those with autoimmune thyroid disease. 75–85% of the selenium DV is in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) salmon dinner. In people with low selenium diets, salmon and other seafood increase blood selenium levels. One study found that those who ate two servings of salmon per week had considerably greater selenium levels than those who took fish oil capsules with less selenium.
6. Presence of astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is a substance with several health advantages. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid antioxidant, makes salmon red. Astaxanthin reduces LDL cholesterol oxidation and raises HDL cholesterol, lowering heart disease risk. Additional research suggests that astaxanthin may decrease inflammation, oxidative stress, and fatty artery plaque, decreasing heart disease risk. Astaxanthin and salmon omega-3 fatty acids may also protect the brain and nervous system from inflammation. Astaxanthin may also protect the skin and make you seem younger. One research found that astaxanthin may protect skin cells, reduce wrinkles, and promote suppleness. According to a 2014 research, sockeye salmon had the highest astaxanthin content at 0.4-3.8 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
7. May lower heart disease risk
Regular salmon consumption may help prevent heart disease. Salmon increases blood omega-3 fatty acid levels, which explains why many individuals have too much omega-6s in their blood compared to omega-3s.
Research shows that imbalances in these two fatty acids increase heart disease risk. Two meals of farmed salmon per week boosted omega-3 blood levels by 8–9% and lowered omega-6 levels after 4 weeks in one older research. Fish may also decrease triglycerides and improve other heart disease risk factors.
8. Helps regulate weight
Salmon helps maintain weight loss. Like other high-protein meals, it regulates hunger hormones and fills you up. Protein-rich meals like salmon also temporarily boost your metabolism.
Omega-3 fats in salmon and other fatty fish may help obese individuals lose weight and reduce belly fat when paired with an active lifestyle, but further study is required. DHA, the major omega-3 in salmon, reduced liver fat and belly fat more than a placebo in children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Salmon is also low-calorie. Wild salmon provides 182 calories per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion, whereas farmed has 206.
9. Prevents inflammation
Salmon fights chronic inflammation. Experts think inflammation causes most chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Salmon and other seafood may lower inflammation, according to multiple studies. One research in 4,105 participants revealed that regular fish eating was related to reduced white blood cell counts, a sign of chronic inflammation. Fish oil supplementation reduced CRP, IL-6, and TNF-alpha levels in a 2014 review.
10. Brain protection
Salmon may boost brain function, according to further research. Fatty fish and fish oil promote fetal brain health, decrease cognitive decline, and sustain brain function throughout pregnancy.
One research indicated that eating at least two servings of fish each week reduced dementia risk by 10% and Alzheimer’s risk by 30%. In a 2020 study, healthy people who ate fish had better memory, brain function, and brain anatomy.
11. Improves mental health
Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids may also help mental well-being. A 10-study evaluation found that eating at least one dish of fish per week or 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day reduced depression risk, particularly in women. Nonetheless, additional high-quality RCTs are required.
Another small trial in 23 young people revealed that taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement for 21 days significantly improved depressive symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids may lower anxiety and increase mood, but further study is required.
12. May improve eyesight
Salmon offers minerals for eye health and eyesight. Age-related macular degeneration, eye tiredness, uveitis, and cataracts may be prevented by astaxanthin in humans and animals.
Farmed salmon has 8% of the DV of vitamin A per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) meal. Vitamin A is a precursor for photoreceptor pigment molecules and is important for eyesight. Some study shows omega-3 fatty acids may help cure dry eye condition.
13. Helps bones
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of farmed salmon provides 66% of the DV of vitamin D. Vitamin D boosts calcium absorption and promotes bone health.
Vitamin D deficiency may raise the risk of bone loss and lower bone mineral density in older persons. Fish provides phosphorous, another bone-building mineral. Several studies suggest that eating more fish may lessen the incidence of osteoporosis in some groups, but further study is required.
14. Deliciously versatile
Its delicate flavor is less “fishy” than sardines and mackerel. You can have it steamed, sautéed, smoked, grilled, baked, or poached. Sashimi and sushi include it uncooked.
Canned salmon is fast, cheap, and healthy. Most canned salmon is wild and has great nutrients. Avoid health concerns by buying it in BPA-free cans.
Salmon has a high concentration of selenium, an essential component involved in DNA synthesis, thyroid hormone metabolism, and reproductive health. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of heart-healthy lipid that helps reduce inflammation and promote brain function. Moreover, it is high in vitamin B12, which is needed for the production of RBCs as well as the regulation of the central nervous system’s health.
Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that offers several health advantages. Eating at least two servings each week will help you satisfy your nutritional requirements while also lowering your risk of various ailments.
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