Wild-caught salmon is one of the top foods in the world in terms of nutrition. It is said to provide countless health benefits like preventing cancer and heart attacks as well as extending people’s life span.
Every serving of salmon is packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins. Aside from omega-3 fatty acids, it is also known to enhance skin and bone health as well as brain function. It is yummy and very easy to cook, making it a perfect fit for any recipe or diet.
Salmon: An Overview
The term ‘salmon’ may refer to fishes that belong to the Salmonidae family. It includes grayling, whitefish, trout, and other species. Native to the Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, these ray-finned fishes are anadromous. They normally hatch in fresh water, transfer to the ocean and then go back to freshwaters for spawning and reproduction.
The Pacific salmon and Atlantic salmon are the two major categories of this fish. After that, they can be divided further into many major species including sockeye salmon, pink salmon, masu salmon, coho salmon, chum salmon, chinook salmon, and Atlantic salmon.
Salmon caught in the wild is regarded as a very healthy fish. Every serving of grilled salmon or sockeye salmon is packed with minerals, essential vitamins, heart-healthy fats, and protein. What is more impressive is the low caloric content of salmon. No wonder it is recommended by many health associations to be included in people’s daily and weekly diets.
Salmon is among the best nutrient-dense foods available today. An approximately 85-gram serving of cooked salmon includes around 6.9 grams of fat, 21.6 grams of protein and 155 calories. The same amount also includes significant amounts of vitamin B12, niacin, and selenium.
Salmon is also a very good source of phosphorus, riboflavin and vitamin B6. You can also get potassium, pantothenic acid, and thiamine each time you consume this kind of fish. Other key nutrients include zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, and copper. Additionally, you also get calcium and vitamin A.
Wild-Caught Salmon Nutrition and Benefits
1. Rich in Vitamin D
Each serving of wild-caught salmon contains over a day’s vitamin D value. According to research, it can keep you in optimum health and can deliver 25% more vitamin D compared to farmed salmon.
Vitamin D deficiency is tied to many medical conditions including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
Based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2010, around 90% of U.S. citizens with darker skin pigments are hampered by insufficient vitamin D. This can be addressed with regular sun exposure and the regular consumption of salmon and other foods that are rich in vitamin D.
2. Enhances Bone Health
Salmon and other fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are known to help improve the health of bones. Just like fish oil, regular consumption of salmon can prevent the onset of osteoporosis and other bone conditions.
15-year research conducted by Ohio State University found that fewer hip fractures were experienced by women with high omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood. The regular consumption of salmon keeps the bones stronger because this fish is naturally anti-inflammatory.
3. Increases Brain Function
Eating salmon can result in enhanced memory because of the strong links between foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and improved brain functions. The regular intake of omega-3-rich foods provides relief from inflammation. This means greater protection for the nervous system from age-related damage and oxidative stress. In minor studies, taking omega-3 supplements for a long time can help people avoid the symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Prevents Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Kids
According to studies, the regular consumption of salmon can benefit the brain function of children. Kids who regularly eat salmon experienced improved academic performance. They also averted the symptoms of ADHD. Salmon offers great benefits to children as it helps them remember things better and improve their focus.
5. Improves Heart Health
The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are beneficial especially in reducing systemic inflammation. Furthermore, they can also reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.
6. Improves Eyesight
The consumption of salmon can help relieve the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome. These two conditions are among the top causes of irreversible blindness in the European Union and the U.S. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma. They can also enhance intraocular fluid drainage in the eyes. Salmon can also benefit infants as omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in the development of their eyes.
7. Keeps the Skin Healthy
Eating salmon can make the skin more supple and glowing. It contains astaxanthin which can significantly decrease the damage caused by free radicals. Dermatologists worldwide recommend wild-caught salmon because of the carotenoid antioxidants that keep the skin healthy and bright.
8. Prevents Cancer and Fights Tumor Growth
Salmon is regarded as a superfood because of the health benefits provided by its omega-3 fatty acids. Based on peer-reviewed scientific studies, omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cancer while curbing the growth and development of tumors. These include skin cancer, liver cancer, and malignant brain tumors. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon can also fight prostate cancer, colorectal cancer cells, breast cancer cells, and non-specific human cancer cells.
When looking for salmon in fish markets and grocery stores, always pick the fresh varieties. Go for signs like red gills, no slime, and fresh smell. Avoid those which are already discolored. Choose fish without cuts especially on the belly part. The bone and flesh should also be intact with consistent coloring and clear eyes.
A simple salmon dish with roasted vegetables can serve well as the main course. It is a flexible ingredient which can be added to omelets, sauces, and pizzas. It can also be a part of your favorite burgers or salads.
If you want to try the best salmon recipes, you can never go wrong with dishes like Grilled Honey Glazed Salmon and Teriyaki Baked Salmon. You can also try Salmon Omelette with Herbs and Potatoes, Blackened Salmon and Avocado Salmon Salad.