10 health benefits of salmon

Salmon, a popular fish, is known for its rich and savoury taste. There are also many health benefits of salmon.

Salmon, with its unique pink-orange flesh, has a rich flavour. You should not just eat it for its taste. This variety of fish can be part of a well-balanced diet as it is full of protein and fatty acids such as omega-3. It is a seafood used in different types of cuisines worldwide. You can grill, roast or use other methods to cook salmon. Since it is nutrient-dense, salmon is good for your heart, skin, and overall health. Read on to know the health benefits of salmon, why you should include it in your diet and how to eat it in a variety of ways.

What is the nutritional value of salmon?

Right from calcium to potassium, you will find important nutrients in salmon, which can be wild-caught or farmed. Considering these two varieties, there can be slight differences in the nutritional value of salmon. For example, wild-caught salmon is a slightly higher in protein, as 100 grams of wild-caught salmon gives
25.4 grams of protein, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). On the other hand, 100 grams of the farmed variety gives 21 grams of protein, as per the USDA.

Raw salmon with lemon
Salmon is good for skin. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the health benefits of salmon?

Eating salmon offers several health benefits, including:

1. Heart health

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in salmon fish, can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. This way they can minimise the risk of cardiovascular disease, says dietician Preeti Nagar.

2. Brain function

Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids promote memory retention and brain health. They may lower the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

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3. Eye health

Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids may help preserve healthy eyes. They may lower the risk of macular degeneration caused by age, says the expert.

4. Joint health

Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, omega-3 fatty acids help improve joint health. They may lessen symptoms of arthritis.

5. Nutrient density

Salmon fish offers essential nutrients for general health. The list includes B vitamins, potassium, and zinc, says Nagar.

6. Weight management

Salmon fish’s high protein content might help with feeling content and full. This may help with your weight management efforts.

7. Skin and hair health

Salmon’s protein and omega-3 fatty acids help to support skin and hair health. As per a 2018 research published in the Nutrients, astaxanthin found in salmon could act as an antioxidant. It can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles while improving skin elasticity, and protecting skin cells against damage.

8. Reduced inflammation

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory qualities. They may aid in decreasing inflammation all over the body, says the expert.

9. Better mood

Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to better mood. They can travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with molecules related to mood.

10. Bone health

Vitamin D is also found in salmon which can help maintain healthy bones. It may shield against osteoporosis, which is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.

Raw salmon
You can grill or bake salmon. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to incorporate salmon into a diet?

You can include salmon in you diet in a variety of delectable and healthy ways!

  • Grilled salmon: For a tasty and healthful main course, season the fish with herbs and spices before grilling.
  • Baked fish: Baking fish with a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and herbs is an easy and delicious cooking technique.
  • Salmon salad: For a high-protein lunch, top a green salad with flaked salmon.
  • Salmon sushi: For a light and fresh choice, eat salmon as part of sashimi or sushi.
  • Salmon tacos: Use baked or grilled salmon for the filling to make tasty fish tacos.
  • Salmon burgers: For a unique take on classic burgers, make your handmade salmon burgers with extra ingredients and toppings.
  • Salmon wraps: For a simple and filling supper, assemble grilled salmon, vegetables, and a light dressing in whole-grain wraps.

What are the side effects of eating salmon?

Eating salmon is generally safe and provides a number of health benefits, says the expert. However, there may be some side effects:

  • Mercury content: It’s best to eat salmon in moderation, especially for small children and pregnant women, as certain varieties may contain mercury.
  • Allergies: To minimise allergic responses, people with fish allergies should stay away from salmon and other seafood.
  • Risk of parasites: Eating raw or undercooked salmon raises the possibility of contracting parasite infections, so, it is critical to ensure the fish is cooked properly to reduce this risk.
  • Omega-3 interactions: Salmon contains omega-3, which can also have blood-thinning effects. Those on blood thinners should speak with their doctor before consuming salmon.

Overall, salmon is a great complement to a healthy diet, but eat in moderation and cook it properly.