In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of eating salmon. Usually, when your health starts depleting, your body starts showing hints. You can not ignore signs like constant headaches, sudden weight gain, hair fall, skin problems, etc. Instead of spending money on medications and treatments, you need to find a safer option.
We suggest you add freshly caught salmon to your diet. This omega 3 rich fish is one of the healthiest foods in the world. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended serving size is eating at least two salmon every week. They are also a great source for protein, vitamins, and minerals that help lower the risk of several diseases and symptoms (1).
Here are the 15 amazing health benefits of eating salmon.
1. Good For The Heart
All the nutritional benefits of salmon can be credited to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids. In salmon, there are two types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These help to lower the levels of serum triglyceride by lowering the LDL levels and increasing the degeneration of the fatty acids. This blocks plaque formation which will keep cardiovascular diseases and stroke at bay. Eating salmon at least two servings a week may help lower the risk of heart disease.
2. Aids Weight Loss
Along with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also a rich source of protein. Both these nutrients can lower body fat percentage. Proteins don’t get digested quickly, hence it keeps you full for a longer duration. This makes you eat less. Whereas, the Omega-3 helps to lower inflammation-induced weight gain and reduce fat deposition by increasing fatty acid oxidation. It also improves metabolism and stunts your appetite. So, if you consume salmon by cooking it the right way, you can get a slim and toned body.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation can cause joint pain, gastric ulcers, autoimmune response, and stroke. The EPA and DHA present in salmon control the local hormones which in turn, inhibit the cellular pathways and gene expression. The proinflammatory bio-molecules get suppressed and help prevent ulcerative colitis, arthritis, psoriasis, migraine, multiple sclerosis, inflammation-induced obesity, Crohn’s disease, etc.
4. Boosts Brain Performance
The omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon are neuroprotective in nature, which ensures that your brain functions properly. Moreover, EPA and DHA help boost the neurite outgrowth in the brain developmental stages. Therefore, eating the required amount of salmon will provide the right dose of omega-3 fatty acids to boost your brain functions. Especially among older women, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to boost cognitive function.
5. Fights Cancer
An imbalance in the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body leads to inflammation, toxic build-up, and uncontrolled cell proliferation. All of these can result in cancer. Adding salmon to your diet can boost the levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have also proved that EPA and DHA help in the treatment of cancer and the prevention of breast cancer progression and chemo-induced muscle loss.
6. Prevents ADHD In Children
The DHA and EPA in the salmon are very helpful for children. DHA is vital for pre and postnatal brain development whereas EPA aids in controlling mood and behavior. Experts have found that administering DHA and EPA in certain combinations can help lower the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. Studies also found the combination to be beneficial for dyslexic and autistic children.
7. Excellent Source Of Protein
Salmon provides 40% of the daily recommended dietary allowance of protein. Just from one-fourth cup of salmon, you get 13 g of protein. It is also a great source of essential amino acids that join to form proteins. Proteins are the building block of your body as it increases muscle power, suppresses appetite, and also helps you build lean muscle mass to get a more toned body. They also help to improve skin, hair, and nail health.
8. Good Source Of Vitamin D
Sunlight is the best source for vitamin D, but if you are not someone who spends enough time under the sun or you have sensitive skin then you need to get it from another source. Salmon provides 66% of the required amount of vitamin D. It helps to strengthen bones and lower the risk of diabetes type 2, cancer, and heart disease. Eating salmon also boosts the production of melanin, which protects the skin from UV rays as well as your overall health.
9. Improves Macular Health
The rich omega-3 fatty acid content in salmon makes it ideal for improving eyesight. Scientists who conducted the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that participants who regularly consumed omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods were less prone to developing macular diseases. Moreover, the retina contains a good amount of DHA that controls the activity of the membrane-bound enzymes and photoreceptors. So DHA is also vital for better vision.
10. Excellent Source Of Selenium
Another vital mineral found in salmon is selenium. You can get 65% of the RDI of selenium for just 3.5 pounds of salmon. This trace mineral has antioxidant properties that help in regulating thyroid hormones production, immune system functioning, sperm motility, and also helps lower the chances of miscarriage. Selenium reduces oxidative stress and inflammation which may protect you from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and HIV. Moreover, deficiency of selenium can decline your cognitive abilities.
11. Great Source Of Astaxanthin
The orangish pink color of the salmon flesh is due to the presence of a good amount of the astaxanthin. It is a xanthophyll carotenoid with powerful antioxidant properties that helps remove the harmful oxygen radicals. Our body cannot synthesize Astaxanthin, but you can get a good amount of it by eating salmon.
12. Loaded With B Vitamins
Salmon is a treasure trove of B vitamins such as
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine – 18% of the RDI
- Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin – 29% of the RDI
- Vitamin B3 or Niacin – 50% of the RDI
- Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid – 19% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine – 47% of the RDI
- Vitamin B9 or Folic acid – 9 % of the RDI
- Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin – 51% of the RDI
All these B vitamins are very essential in maintaining optimum health. They help prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures, boost metabolism and energy levels, improve brain function, prevent gastrointestinal problems, regulate cellular calcium mobilization and cell differentiation, help in amino acid metabolism, and help methylation of proteins, RNA, DNA, and phospholipids.
13. Prevents Hair Loss
Salmon provides most of the nutrients required for healthy hair such as iron, protein, vitamin B12, and of course the omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients improve your scalp health and nourish the follicles, which in turn reduces hair fall, promotes hair growth, and gives your hair a healthy look. So, you must frequently consume salmon to take care of your hair.
14. Improves Skin Health
Fine lines, dark spots, and freckles start to appear as we age. Moreover oily or dry skin makes us more prone to acne or flaky skin. Salmon’s properties are highly helpful in improving your skin’s health. The nutrients will help increase the production of collagen, keratin, and melanin in your cells. The skin will retain less water, thereby removing wrinkles and fine lines. The Astaxanthin in the salmon also flushes out the bacterias and toxins that help improve skin elasticity and reduce acne and dark spots.
15. Helps Improve Mood
The omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon can help uplift your mood by reducing inflammation and providing support to your emotional health. Around 30% of certain brain cells are made up of DHA. Scientists have confirmed through studies that people who suffer from depression have lower omega-3 fatty acids levels as compared to those who did not. So, eating salmon regularly will ensure omega-3 fatty acids levels are up, which can keep the mood light and cheer you up.
Salmon is not only delicious, but it also provides a myriad of health benefits. You can easily include them in your regular diet and notice changes in your overall health. You can bake them, roast them, add them to your salads and sandwiches. Also, it is best to avoid eating out and cook it at home, devoid of artificial color and flavor. There are many easy and tasty recipes available online.
You also need to be careful and buy the salmon from fresh sources. Check for foul smell and always buy salmon with the skin. Storing it efficiently will make them last longer too. Placing the salmon fillet on a baking tray with some ice thrown on it will keep the salmon fresh. If you wrap the salmon in clean film and keep it in the freezer, you can store it for a week. So, why wait, buy the best salmon, eat them regularly to enjoy a disease-free life.
- Credit: Getty Images/Johner RF