The salmons have a peculiar lifestyle in that they live in both fresh water and sea water. They are born in fresh water but then gradually migrate to the ocean. However they eventually come back to the fresh water to reproduce, where most of them die after laying eggs.
This well known fish is a very good source of easy digestible proteins in the form of amino acids, fatty acids like omega-3 in the form of triglyceride, vitamins including vitamins D, A and B, and minerals such as selenium, calcium, iron and zinc.
The health benefits of salmon range from strengthening your heart and muscles to reducing your chances of developing numerous diseases. Various studies have shown that consumption of omega-3 fats (which is a “beneficial kind of fat”), that are found in salmon can help you both live longer, and healthier. A more detailed list of health benefits of salmon can be seen below.
Cardiovascular Health – The amino acids found in salmon help repair any damaged cardiovascular tissues. On the other hand, the omega-3 fatty acids maintain flexibility of the veins and arteries and strengthen the heart muscles. By lowering cholesterol levels, the omega-3 helps reduce blood pressure and prevent the hardening of the walls of the arteries, thereby reducing the chances of a heart attack. The high levels of the antioxidant selenium in salmon have also been proved to help with cardiovascular protection.
Eye Health – The omega-3 fats found in salmon help to avoid Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) which is an age related disease that affects the central vision. If you suffer from AMD it means that you find it very hard to see things that are right in front of you, making it difficult for you to read, write, drive and even recognize faces. It is a proven fact that people who eat fish on a regular basis, have better vision than those who do not.
Skin and Hair Health – The high protein content in salmon helps maintain strong and healthy hair. Omega-3s also contribute to provide nourishment to hair follicles which are parts of the skin that grow hair by packing old cells together. The nourishment provided helps hair grow healthy and prevents hair loss.
The omega-3s contained in salmon help moisturize the skin cells making your skin look more young and healthy. The fatty acids are also known to alleviate skin marks including areas of discoloration of the skin.
Brain Health – Salmon contains amino acids, vitamins A and D and the mineral selenium which protect the nervous system from the deteriorating effects of aging. They also help the brain relax and are helpful in treating diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson. Omega-3 acids also help prevent blood clots which can reduce your chances of having a stroke.
Cancer Prevention – Salmon contains high levels of vitamin D and selenium which have their own different part of reducing the risk of several types of cancer including colorectal cancer, by keeping the digestive tract healthy. Regular omega-3 intake has been proven to aid against the blood cell related cancers such as leukemia and multiple myeloma.
The health benefits of salmon are far too many to ignore since they are packed with disease fighting acids, vitamins and minerals. But just like any super food, salmon should also be consumed with moderation. This type of fish has purine content which can lead to health conditions like gout which is a form of arthritis, and also possibilities of forming kidney stones. If you are going to add salmon to your diet it might be wise to consult your family physician.
NOTE: If you would like to add comments on the above article or if you have any personal opinions and know of other health benefits of salmon, we would be grateful and honored if you shared your thoughts and ideas in the "comment" section below. Adding salmon recipes would also be a big bonus.
Glazed Salmon With Broccoli Rice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 head broccoli, florets only, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 pieces skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 pounds total)
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1. Heat broiler. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and soy sauce. Set aside.
2. Cook the rice according to the package directions, stirring in the broccoli during the last 3 minutes.
3. Let the rice and broccoli stand off the heat until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
4. Meanwhile, place the salmon and onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
5. Broil until the salmon is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes, spooning half the soy sauce glaze over the fish during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
6. Serve the salmon and onion with the rice and the remaining glaze.
Garlicky Broiled Salmon and Tomatoes
4 6-ounce pieces skinless salmon fillet
4 medium tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1. Heat broiler. Place salmon and tomatoes, cut-side up, in a broiler-proof roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Drizzle with oil and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle salmon with paprika. Scatter thyme and garlic over the top.
3. Broil until salmon is opaque throughout and tomatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.