Both fish and shellfish alike have been an important aspect of our nutrition for centuries. Both are nutrient dense and salmon is no exception. An excellent source of high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Often the most talked about nutritious element of salmon is its high Omega-3 content. This is due to its value to the proper nutrition of our brains and eyes.
With a focus on the Omega-3 benefits, other health benefits of salmon are often overlooked. But recent studies have shown that salmon contains a range of additional health benefits to us. Here are just some of the wide ranging health benefits of salmon.
Salmon: Bioactive Protein Molecules
Bioactive protein molecules provide excellent support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness and controlling inflammation in the digestive tract.
One particular bioactive peptide is calcitonin, naturally produced by our thyroid gland to help regulate our collagen and minerals in our bones and tissue structures.
Studies are continuing to dive deeper and deeper into the benefits of these bioactive protein molecules and highlighting more of the health benefits of salmon for our joints, muscles and bones alongside the long proven benefits of brain, eye and nervous system benefits.
Salmon: High in B Vitamins
Salmon is an excellent source of B Vitamins. The B vitamins are a vital aspect of keeping our bodies healthy. They are involved in turning food into energy, creating and repairing DNA and reducing inflammation that can lead to heart disease. As they are the building blocks of our bodies, these vitamins have a huge impact on our energy levels, brain function and metabolism. It can also help prevent infection and support cell health.
Below is the B vitamin content in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of wild salmon:
Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 18% of the RDI
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 29% of the RDI
Vitamin B3 (niacin): 50% of the RDI
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 19% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 47% of the RDI
Vitamin B9 (folic acid): 7% of the RDI
Vitamin B12: 51% of the RDI
Salmon is high in potassium. Commonly associated with bananas, salmon actually contains more potassium than the same amount of banana. It can provide 10% of the daily recommended amount. But wild salmon has an additional benefit as it provides upwards of 18% of the recommended daily amount in comparison to farmed salmon.
We all worry about high sodium diets with but a large study analysing over 30 studies found that by adding additional potassium to your diet, you can significantly reduce blood pressure. This is largely due to its ability to help the body from excessive water retention.
Selenium is a trace material meaning our bodies only require it in trace amounts. Nonetheless it plays a vital role in our health. Studies have highlighted that Selenium helps protect bone health, can reduce the risk of cancer and has wide ranging benefits on thyroid issues.
The trace material has also been shown to improve blood levels. A 100-gram serving of salmon provides 59–67% of the RDI of selenium.
Salmon: Contains the Antioxidant Astaxanthin
The reddish pigment associated with salmon is due to the antioxidant Astaxanthin. There are two types of cholesterol. The bad kind and the good kind. The bad kind “LDL Cholesterol” is related to cardiovascular issues such has heart attacks and strokes. The good kind “HDL Cholesterol” and it reduces your risk of cardiovascular issues.
Studies have shown that just 3.6mg a day of Astaxanthin is enough to reduce your bodies ability to oxidise bad cholesterol and help reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In addition this antioxidant works positively with Omega 3 to help support it in brain and nervous system health.
This antioxidant is also strongly linked to healthy skin. Studies have shown that it can help skin look younger and more hydrated. One study showed that people with sun damaged skin found that after 12 weeks of regular intake of astaxanthin alongside collagen found significant improvements in their skin hydration and elasticity.
There is no doubting that salmon is a nutrient dense meal and this article only covers a fraction of the benefits of one of the most healthiest foods in the world. Consuming at least 2 servings a week can help reduce the risk of disease and meet your nutrient needs. Alongside this, it is undoubtedly delicious.