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With a top spot on the superfoods list, salmon is one of the most healthy proteins to include in your diet. Salmon belongs to the family Salmonidae and is known by the scientific moniker Salmo salar. Salmon is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is also commonly farmed. Salmon is a ray-finned fish that’s related to trout and char. Found in the two aforementioned oceans as well as the rivers the oceans flows into, salmon is a delicious and versatile fish. Packed full of nutrients, most notably the ever-so important omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can be prepared baked, broiled, pan-seared, and even raw (although it’s advised to only eat farmed salmon raw because of the absence of parasites). With tons of protein and a low-calorie count as well as many noteworthy nutrients, adding salmon to your diet is a must! Check out some of the many wonderful health benefits of eating salmon.
Important Note: As with all science, things change over time. The information contained herein is representative of the most current research at the time of this publication.
Undoubtedly, salmon is a nutrient-rich, incredibly healthy protein to incorporate into your diet. Although the nutrient counts of salmon may differ a bit depending on the variety of salmon you’re eating, they all contain most of the same nutrients. For starters, salmon is high in protein and healthy fats as well as a strong source of selenium and phosphorus. Furthermore, salmon is rife with vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine, and vitamin B12. Of the aforementioned nutrients, salmon is particularly high in selenium, making up about 85% of the daily recommended value per serving. Selenium is especially important to metabolism, DNA synthesis, and reproductive health. Moreover, salmon contains 127% of the daily recommended value of B12 which contributes to the production of red blood cells and the health of one’s central nervous system. Lastly, salmon contains 63% of the daily recommended value of niacin which is responsible for managing cholesterol and boosting brain function. Packed with incredible levels of so many nutrients, salmon is a wonderful addition to anyone’s diet.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Without a doubt, salmon is a nutrient-dense, high-protein fish that contributes high values of daily recommended nutrients.
Great Source of Protein
It’s widely known that protein is a necessary nutrient for your overall health. Important to muscle healing, bone health, upholding muscle mass, and beyond, protein can be found in droves in a single serving of salmon. Nutritionists recommend a daily intake of between 20 and 30 grams of protein per meal. Incredibly, in just 3.5 ounces of salmon, you’ll consume approximately 25 grams of protein. Salmon can easily help you to achieve your daily recommended intake of protein.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Certainly, salmon contains high levels of protein per serving thus enhancing muscle recovery and growth as well as contributing to bone health.
Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of salmon’s greatest claims to fame is that it’s incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, salmon is considered one of the best sources of these acids which are integral to reducing inflammation, decreasing blood pressure, and preventing a bevy of diseases. Significantly, the strand of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can only be acquired through diet which means that the tasty fish is a great source of the acids. Most health institutions recommended a daily intake of between 200 and 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, much of which can come from a single serving of salmon.
Some of the many health benefits attributed to omega-3 fatty acids include maintenance of blood pressure, a reduced risk for cancer, the improvement of arterial function, and more. Although many people prefer to get their omega-3 fatty acids in capsule form, science shows that consuming fish is the more efficient way to do so. Further, studies have shown that by eating just two servings of salmon per week, you can easily achieve your omega-3 fatty acid needs per week.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Clearly, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a stupendous addition to one’s diet.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Salmon contains two noteworthy compounds when it comes to heart health. First of all, salmon is rich in astaxanthin, a powerful member of the carotenoid group of antioxidants. A key compound in decreasing cholesterol, astaxanthin boosts the good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol. Surely, well-managed cholesterol levels are integral to heart health. What’s more, it’s suggested that astaxanthin may also prevent build up of plaque in the arteries which in itself reduces the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, salmon is rife with omega-3 fatty acids which significantly improve heart health. Some studies have revealed a link between regular consumption of salmon and lowering triglycerides which benefit optimal heart health. Taken together, the presence of omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthinin in salmon, both of which promote a healthy heart, make eating this fish highly recommended.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Unquestionably, salmon has the makings of one of the best food sources contributing to heart health. The science doesn’t lie.
Supportive of Weight Loss and Management
Salmon is uber high in protein which not only suppresses your appetite, but makes you feel fuller for longer. By choosing higher protein foods such as salmon, you’re less likely to snack on extra calories which is obviously beneficial to weight loss. Beyond this, your rate of metabolism increases when you eat high-protein meals; this means that your body turns food and beverage into energy at a faster rate. Lastly, salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids may promote weight loss as well as the reduction of belly fat though more research is needed to this end. Despite the nutrients in salmon that may support weight-loss and management, a single serving of salmon only contains around 200 calories making it a low-calorie protein option when prepared mindfully.
General Consensus: 4.5/5 and here is why. Salmon is a high-protein, low-calorie meat source that will likely be supportive of most weight-loss plans.
One important health benefit of eating salmon is its ability to prevent inflammation. Many scientists believe that inflammation leads to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. The B vitamins as well as the omega-3 fatty acids and the compound astaxanthin can lower markers for inflammation. A fascinating 2018 study showed that individuals who regularly consumed salmon and other fishes had much lower levels of inflammation supporting the notion that salmon has anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, a 2014 study showed that fish oil supplements improve symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Hundreds of scientific studies tout similar findings that suggest salmon can help to prevent inflammation.
Protects Brain Health
Many new studies suggest that including salmon in one’s diet may enhance one’s brain health. Both fatty fish, such as salmon, and fish oil such as is derived from salmon, preserve brain health and slow down cognitive decline as well as to reduce the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With as few as two servings of salmon per week, science suggests you can drastically reduce your risk for brain diseases. Another promising study suggests that salmon consumption can improve memory and promote brain function in adults. Finally, eating salmon can purportedly protect fetal brain health as well as brain function of adults.
General Consensus: 4/5 and here is why. Only a few dozen scientific queries make the direct connection between eating salmon regularly and brain health. Some more research seems warranted.
Maintains Healthy Vision
Salmon has a handful of nutrients that are beneficial to eye health and vision. For starters, astaxanthin has been proven in a few studies to reduce the onset of macular degeneration and cataracts among other eye diseases. Importantly, salmon is rich in vitamin A, another nutrient important to eye health. Coupled with salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids, this hearty fish is rife with vitamins that are beneficial to eye health.
General Consensus: 4.4/5 and here is why. A good many studies draw a positive connection between salmon and eye health.
Unlikely Benefit: Further Research Needed
Supports Bone Health
General Consensus: 2.5/5 and here is why. Although salmon is a good source of vitamin D which is known to promote bone health, there are only a handful of studies that connect the vitamin D in salmon to directly to bone health.