Have you ever thought about why doctors advise you to eat healthy? What is the need? They keep stressing the importance of following healthy food habits, along with proper hydration and exercise.
All these things together contribute to making our body’s immunity strong. When we have strong immunity, we are likely to fight diseases better.
A lot of people have started becoming conscious about what they eat and in what quantity they are eating. Even though there were many people who were conscious about their health and food habits, this has only increased to a great level after the pandemic that started in 2020.
All of us, as people of the earth, have lost a lot of things to the 2020 pandemic that was a result of the coronavirus. The year, and the following two years, have shown us that nothing is more important than our health.
This is why people started including more nutritious food in their diet. However, some of you may have also done the same.
Heard The Term Superfood?
There are some foods that are very nutritionally dense. They help the body a lot by boosting its immunity and by making the body healthier from within.
The term ‘superfood’ is precisely a marketing term that is used to refer to food items that are exceptionally rich in nutrients.
Most of the superfoods are plant-based. Tofu, which is made from soybeans, is an example of a superfood. Seeds and nuts like flax seeds and almonds are common superfoods. However, there are also some fishes that have earned their spot on the list of superfoods. One of them is Salmon.
Salmon: The Fishy Story
Unless you are living under a rock, you are bound to know that salmon is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. However, this popular and a tad bit expensive fish is loaded with several nutrients.
This is the reason why it has permanently earned a spot on the list of superfoods.
And that is all thanks to the high levels of good fats, Omega-3.
Importance Of Having Salmon
While you may think that you can easily get a substitute for salmon and you can get going without including this fatty fish in your diet, it is better if you think twice. There is much importance of salmon. And these cannot be fulfilled by other fishes or meat.
Nutrients Of Salmon
One serving of salmon has approximately about 200 calories in it. It is one of the best sources of protein that is available. However, yes, it is even better than chicken.
Even though the nutritional value of salmon can differ depending on the weight of the fish and whether it is wild or farmed, it has over 20 grams of protein.
Some of the nutrients that are found in salmon are:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B5
As we have mentioned above, the nutrient levels of salmon depend on whether it is wild or farmed; it’s better if you know them. Here are the wild and farmed salmon nutrition facts:
|Nutrient||Wild salmon||Farmed salmon|
|Fat||8 grams||11 grams|
|Protein||25 grams||20 grams|
Benefits Of Salmon
Salmon plays a major role in boosting the immunity system of our body. However, as a major source of essential fats like omega 3 fatty acids and good quality protein, there are multiple health benefits of salmon.
Given below are seven benefits of eating salmon:
1. Can Reduce Heart Diseases
The omega 3 fatty acid is the main component of salmon. This has several health benefits like:
- Lowering the blood pressure levels
- Decreasing the chances of getting heart diseases like stroke or cardiac arrest
- Regulating heartbeats
2. Improves Brain Health
The essential nutrients that are present in salmon, like Omega-3, are the reason behind it.
This fatty acid is extremely beneficial to your brain as it provides it with more oxygen. It also helps the brain to remember old information and retain new ones.
The main component of Omega 3 fat in the brain is Docosahexaenoic Acid, commonly known as DHA. Higher levels of DHA in the brain lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.
3. Improves The Quality Of Skin And Hair
A major part of our hair and skin is made of protein. Thus, when you eat foods that are rich in protein, your skin and hair automatically benefit from it.
The fish is also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. However, this makes your hair thicker and healthier. It also encourages hair growth.
Your skin also benefits from omega 3 as it makes it healthier. In addition, the astaxanthin that is present in the fish acts as an antioxidant and reduces the appearance of wrinkles by improving the elasticity of the skin.
4. Antioxidant Properties
Salmon contains a compound called astaxanthin. It is an antioxidant that belongs to the carotenoid family. It is also the reason why the fish is red in color.
Astaxanthin has been proved to lower the risk of many heart diseases.
It has also been proved that this compound supports the immune system of the body by activating the white blood cells, particularly the T-Cells of the body.
It also reduces the levels of LDL, which is bad cholesterol, by preventing it from getting oxidized.
5. Protects Against Cancer
Studies done on the health benefits of salmon show that including the fish in your daily routine can lower the risk of many diseases like cancer. This is again a result of the healthy fat, Omega 3.
The minerals Selenium, Vitamin B, and potassium also potentially help to prevent certain terminal diseases like colorectal cancer.
6. Aids Weight Loss
The fact that fish is a great source of protein makes it a preferred food for all those who are trying to lose weight.
With more than 20grams of protein, it helps to maintain and build your muscle mass while helping you in your weight loss journey.
It also regulates the hormones that are responsible for your appetite and controls your hunger, making you feel full for a longer time.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Salmon is a major source of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Inflammation in the body can lead to metabolic, heart, and other diseases. However, the fatty acids that are present in salmon are broken down by the body into protectins and resolvins. These compounds are anti-inflammatory.
Downsides Of Salmon
Even though there are several benefits of having salmon, consuming it in high quantities may have negative effects on your body.
It has been studied that most seawater fishes like salmon and sardine have a lot of contaminants in them. However, these include mercury, arsenic, and DDT. These can be extremely bad for your health. Eating them in high quantities can lead to cancer.
Sometimes when they are farmed, they are treated with antibiotics that are high in amount. This can cause resistance to certain antibiotics. This may lead to many long-term health effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are multiple health benefits of having salmon. It is a great source of good fats that are needed for the proper functioning of the body. It is also beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight.
Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. With a very high level of omega 3 fatty acids, this fatty fish helps in improving heart health. It also does wonders to the skin and hair. This is the reason why it has earned its spot on the superfood list.
With the high quantity of nutrients like omega 3, Vitamin B, Selenium, potassium, and other important minerals, salmon can be considered to be healthier than chicken.
YES. It is totally fine to eat the bones of the fish. They are actually a great source of calcium and phosphorus.
Generally, fish skin is safe to eat. However, you need to keep in mind that seawater fishes are exposed to harmful chemicals that are flushed in the ocean by the industries. There you should try to avoid eating the skin of salmon if they are not farmed.
Wrapping It Up!
There are many foods that have earned the title of superfoods. These are extremely dense in nutrients and have several health benefits for the body. Salmon is one of them. It is one of the best foods to lead a healthy life.
This fatty fish is a great source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, which are good fat, and other important nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
The health benefits of eating salmon are many. From improving heart and brain health to improving the quality of skin and hair, there is nothing that does not benefit from salmon.
However, you should keep in mind that you are eating the fish in moderation. This is because there can be harmful industrial contaminants, like mercury and arsenic, present in the fish. These can affect your body’s health negatively.