10 Reasons that Salmon is Healthier Than You Already Think
Salmon is a true nutritional catch. (Pardon the pun.)
And this might sound a bit crazy, but I sometimes forget just how delicious it is.
Louise and I love to get some fresh salmon and wrap it in aluminum foil with olive oil and fresh rosemary, then bake it for a bit. So good.
But you probably already know how delicious it can be. I want to give you more reasons that it’s worth the price tag…
10 Great Reasons Why Salmon Packs a Powerful Health Punch
1. It’s an omega-3 superstar. Salmon has an unusually high omega-3 fatty acid content and it’s one of the food’s biggest health benefits.
A 4-ounce piece, whether baked or broiled, probably contains at least 2 grams of disease-preventing omega-3 fats. This is more omega-3 intake than the average U.S. adult consumes from all food over several days’ time.
2. It’s Great for Your Heart. All those omega-3s help your heart in several different ways. Intake is associated with decreased risk of heart attack, stroke, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides in the blood.
Eating omega-3-dense fish is also connected with improved metabolic markers for cardiovascular disease. These benefits start with even one omega-3 fish meal weekly. More of the benefits, however, kick in with eating these meals 2-3 times per week.
3. Salmon Helps You See. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fats has been associated with decreased risk of two eye-related problems: macular degeneration and chronic dry eye.
4. Salmon Supplies the Best Forms of Omega-3s. Approximately half of the fatty acids in salmon are comprised of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and slightly less are in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—which are also unusually high amounts of these types of fatty acids found in common foods. These are the forms of omega-3s that have been shown to provide the most health benefits.
5. It Has a Stellar Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratio. I might have gone a bit overboard on the Omega-3 push.
However, an average serving usually will contain a very low amount of omega-6—less than a half a gram, which is a ratio of 5.5 to 1 for omega-3s to omega-6s.
In the standard American diet, there’s the continual problem of the omega-3/omega-6 ratio being lopsided in the opposite direction, containing at least 4-5 times as much omega-6 fat as omega-3 fat. This is counter-productive for our health, as studies have shown that these two types of fatty acids compete for the same conversion enzymes. This means that the higher the omega-6s that are in the diet, the more directly they’ll affect the conversion of omega-3s found in plant foods, to the EPA and DHA form of omega-3s, which protect us from disease.
6. Salmon is Chock-Full of Awesome Amino Acids. It’s got a full range to start with, but it’s also particularly high in taurine, an antioxidant amino acid.
7. (Alaskan) Salmon is Sustainable. Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California just declared Alaskan salmon as a “best choice” in salmon selection because it is the only low-risk salmon to meet four sustainability criteria: the level of population vulnerability, the effects of fishing on the habitat, the state of wild stocks, and the by-catch (the other types of fish that are caught unintentionally during salmon fishing).
8. Salmon is a Great Source os Selenium. A 4-oz. serving contains over 61% of the recommended daily value of this immune-boosting mineral. An adequate supply of selenium in the diet has been linked to decreased risk of joint inflammation and prevention of specific cancers, including colorectal. Selenium has also been shown to play an important role in cardiovascular protection.
9. It Will Make You Smarter. The DHA salmon provides is considered by many researchers to be the most important fat in the human brain. High salmon intake is associated with decreased risk of certain brain-related problems like depression, decreased risk of hostility in teenagers and decreased risk of cognitive decline in seniors. Some studies show a correlation between higher IQ and omega-3 intake and omega-3 fish.
10.Wild-Caught Salmon is Low in Contaminants. While contaminants like pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) continue to be a problem in salmon habitats and with the fish itself, other wild-caught varieties like Southeast Alaskan chum, sockeye, coho, pink and chinook, as well as Kodiak coho, pink and chum, still pose a low risk of contaminants.
The many ways that salmon nourishes us makes it a perfect addition to a Paleo table, if it’s not on yours already. Try eating salmon 2-3 times a week as a delicious and healthy way to fortify and protect your body and mind.
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