In many cuisines, salmon is used both as a main dish and as an additive. Everybody knows this fish is actually good for health, but what are those benefits exactly?
Why is Salmon Good for You?
From the scientific point of view, salmon is primarily good for its omega-3 fatty acids content. However, it is hardly the only advantage of this fish. One of the most amazing advantages of salmon is a set of amino acids in its composition.
Several recent studies have shown that salmon contains biologically active substances that can support articular cartilage, as well as effectively control the inflammatory process in the gastrointestinal tract.
However, since the exclusive benefits of salmon are strongly associated with omega-3 fatty acids, we will start with them. Omega-3 content of a cooked salmon is 2 grams more than you would receive from any other food per several days. The recommended dosage of these acids for a woman (18-50 years old) is 4 grams per day, which consuming salmon covers completely.
About half of omega-3 acids are contained in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and slightly less in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The amount of EPA and DHA in salmon is perfect.
In addition to high concentrations of omega-3, salmon have a relatively small amount of omega-6 fats. The ratio of these two is also pretty nice. Only two products in nature have better positions on the ratio of these acids – walnuts and flaxseed. Both are excellent sources of omega-3, but cannot be compared to salmon, because their omega-3 acids are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and not EPA or DHA that are the most valuable.
What are the Advantages of Omega-3?
- Preventing cardiovascular diseases. Consumption of fish rich in omega-3 acids (salmon including) reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke.
- Mood and cognitive abilities improvement. Consumption of fish that contains a lot of omega-3 acids reduces the risk of depression and cognitive impairment. Some studies have shown that omega-3 consumption even improves an IQ.
- Preventing the arthritis. EPA from fish such as salmon, together with calcitonin, prevents inflammatory processes, protecting tissues.
- Reducing the probability of macular degeneration. It is known that in case of macular degeneration (a chronic eye problem that can lead to loss of vision), 2-3 servings of fish containing omega-3 per week reduces the risk of disease development. To achieve a significant reduction in this risk, you need to consume 5-6 servings of salmon per week.
- Anti-cancer properties. Consumption of salmon is associated with the reducing risk of several types of cancer. It is mostly true for colorectal cancer, prostate and breast cancer. Salmon is effective for the prevention of leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Is Smoked Salmon Good for You?
There are many benefits of consuming salmon due to the content of omega-3. However, what else can this fish be good for? We will discuss this question for a smoked salmon, as it is the most popular way of cooking it.
One of the biologically active peptides is calcitonin. In its human form, it is found in the thyroid gland, and we know that it is the key hormone for helping regulate the balance of collagen and minerals in bones and surrounding tissues.
Therefore, salmon must necessarily be included in the diet of people suffering from arthritis and arthrosis.
Another nutrient worthy of special mention is selenium. 100 g of a smoked salmon contain 55-60% of the daily norm of this mineral. The intake of selenium in sufficient amounts is important for preventing inflammation of joints, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
Thus, salmon is useful for prevention and dietary treatment of the following problems:
- Arthritis and arthrosis;
- Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases;
- Some types of cancer (rectal, prostate, breast, blood and lymph);
- Macular degeneration;
- Depression, impairment of cognitive abilities.
On the other hand, you should not eat salmon when you have gout exacerbating, since it can strengthen the inflammatory process.
Can You Eat Salmon Raw?
Erroneous is the assertion that useful properties are contained only in live fish. Some people believe that long heat treatment spoils the taste of fish, so when processing it they use less salt, smoke or heat treatment (sushi, raw fish salads). Of course, this helps to preserve the nutritional value, but it keeps the probability of the survival of pathogens. Therefore, it is dangerous to eat a salmon raw.
The consumption of raw, not fried or slightly salted fish increases the probability of infection with worms. Parasites affect cardiovascular, urinary, sexual, musculoskeletal, respiratory, endocrine and nervous systems. They weaken the immunity.
Especially dangerous for human are Siberian trematode and broad tapeworm. Adhering to internal organs, these parasites make you eat more to support their own cells, but not yours.
In addition, frequent consumption of raw salmon can lead to a very dangerous disease – opisthorchiasis, which affects the liver and pancreas and contributes to the cancer of these organs. In addition to parasites, various poisonous substances can accumulate in fish, if it inhabits water polluted by various industrial or agricultural effluents.
Nevertheless, there are many recipes, especially in Japanese cuisine, that require using raw salmon only. If you like these, make sure the fish was grown in artificial reservoirs or aquariums. This way you will be sure that it is not polluted nor infected.
What to Eat With Salmon?
You can cook many delicious and healthy dishes with salmon – simple or rather exotic ones. It can be baked, fried, stewed or boiled. Original festive dishes are cooked from salmon being pre-marinated with herbs and spices. For example, salmon fillet can be baked with shrimps and vegetables in a puff pastry.
To preserve the natural taste of fish, it is best to bake or simmer it with vegetables and herbs.
Salmon can also be grilled and served with a variety of sauces. This fish is well combined with sweet-and-sour, sharp and even sweet fruit sauces. You can add it to soups and broths. In addition, you can cook a huge amount of salads with salmon. For example, a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, eggs and canned salmon.
No matter what way of cooking you choose, you will definitely get a huge amount of vitamins and elements from a dish with salmon. If you want a maximum from every bite, it is better to grill or smoke the fish. However, a grilled salmon fillet contains the biggest amount of calories.
Salmon is truly the best fish you can eat. This product is definitely top-5 the most beneficial in the world. In addition, there are so many ways of cooking salmon, it is hard not to find your own best. If you have any cool recipes, share with us in the comments section!