Exceptional nutrition profiles along with a distinct yet delicate taste are highlights of salmon. Salmon fish is found in both water body types which include saline water and fresh water. Some of the common varieties of salmon include Atlantic salmon, pink salmon, cherry salmon and sockeye salmon. Flesh of salmon can range from pink and orange to red and is often a favorite food among fish lovers.
Fish consumption such as salmon is considered an important part of a healthy diet plan. This is mainly attributed to the healthy fats or essential fatty acids present in salmon known as the omega 3 fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids, as the name suggests, are essential for the body and need to be supplied from food sources as these are not produced by our bodies. Fat consumption from salmon is considered excellent as this fish is not only a good source of omega 3 fatty acids but also has a high ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. This unique fat composition of salmon helps to decrease the risk of inflammation and helps to maintain a healthy circulatory and immune system. Salmon, besides being an excellent source of omega 3 fats also provides good amount of proteins, selenium, vitamin E, cobalamin, niacin, pyridoxine, magnesium and phosphorus. Salmon calories and fat content are low but the amount of proteins and other essential vitamins and minerals is high. The delicious flavor of salmon is considered to be best when smoked or candid. Simple dishes like salmon with a sweet mango–kiwi sauce or roasted salmon with lemon and garlic are sumptuous ways to include this fish in your diet.
Nutrients in salmon: (weight: 4 oz) raw salmon calories
Salmon calories 4 oz - 261 calories / salmon calories per ounce - 65 calories
- Tryptophan – 103.1% or 0.33 g
- Protein – 58.3% or 29.14 g
- Omega 3 fats – 87.1% or 2.09 g
- Selenium – 75.8% or 53.07 mcg
- Niacin – 56.7% or 11.34 mg
- Vitamin D – 102.8% or 411 IU
- Cobalamin or vitamin B12 – 54.2% or 3.25 mcg
- Phosphorous – 42.1% or 420.71 mcg
- Magnesium – 34.6% or 138.35 mcg
- Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 – 26% or 0.52 mg
Health Benefits Of Salmon
Salmon offers the following wide range of health benefits when included in the diet.
- Salmon is a cold water fish with a very rare combination of nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. All these nutrients synergistically have a protective effect against a wide array of heart diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids help to lower total cholesterol along with triglycerides and low density lipoprotein cholesterol and increases high density lipoprotein cholesterol. This healthy alteration of lipids in the body helps to prevent the hardening of the walls of the arteries and lipid plaque formation in the arteries thereby drastically decreasing the risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack. Salmon cooked in fresh tomato sauce can protect your heart in dual way; healthy fats from salmon and lycopene from tomato sauce both have been proved to have a protective effect against heart diseases.
- Omega 3 fatty acid and the high omega 3 to omega 6 ratio help in the prevention of overall inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a common symptom of diseases like cancer, diabetes, asthma and arthritis.
- Omega 3 fatty acids along with vitamin D, vitamin E and selenium may help increase the production of insulin from pancreas. This is a very important factor to help lower increased blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.
- Omega 3 fatty acids along with amino acids or proteins from salmon helps in the prevention of many eye related problems like macular degeneration, eye dryness, eye fatigue and even loss of vision. Fresh greens and carrot salad with broiled salmon would be an ideal recipe for good eye health.
- Including salmon in one’s diet has proved to improve functioning of nervous system and brain. The essential fatty acid from salmon may improve memory and increase brain efficiency which in turn can help increase you’re working hours with better concentration. Selenium, vitamin D, vitamin A along with the amino acid from salmon may have a protective effect on your nervous system. Together they behave like anti-depressants and help to relax brain. So salmon can be considered a potential brain food which not only sharpens the memory and concentration but also helps to improve the nervous function.
- Antioxidants such as vitamin D, selenium, vitamin E and vitamin A in salmon have been proved to have cancer preventing properties. Selenium is a potent antioxidant that helps to destroy and reduce abnormal cancerous cells which in turn prohibits multiplication of these cells and cancerous tumors in the body. Omega 3 fatty acid especially has been proved to prevent breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and cancer of the digestive tract - mainly colon cancer.
- Salmon is a very good source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. Vitamin E along with other antioxidants like vitamin C and selenium help to deactivate the free radicals at the molecular level. High circulating free radicals can damage cell wall structures and basic genetic material in the body, which can be thus prevented.
- Including salmon in a diet only two times a week may increase omega 3 fatty acid levels in the body as effectively as daily supplementation of fish oil.
- Two servings of salmon per week help to lower triglycerides levels in the body.
- The Omega 3 fatty acids or essential fatty acids in salmon are easily absorbed by the body while cod liver oil supplements are tougher to digest.
- Two servings of salmon per week help to control and prevent high blood pressure.
- Eating salmon at least 3 to 4 times in a month may help reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.
- Boiled, baked and broiled salmon may help decrease risk of heart arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation.
People love to eat salmon as it is a very versatile fish that can be added to a wide range of recipes. Enjoy delicious salmon in roasted, grilled, broiled or baked form instead of fried form. This is because deep frying any fish including salmon destroys most of its nutrients. Frying not only accelerates the production of free radical laden fat in the fish but also contributes to the calorie content of the food. To minimize nutrient loss salmon can be shallow fried in non-stick cookware.