Diet

Salmon Fish: Benefits, Nutritional Value & Recipes

Fish, in general, is very healthy, and nutritionists recommend including some fish protein in your diet. You can either take fish as a meal or include it as a supplement. Salmon fish is one of the most popular and nutritious fish species. Its flesh is generally orange to red. However, there are some examples of white-fleshed wild Salmon.

Salmon fish is highly nutritious and is dense in nutrients like high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin A, B and D. However, it is also high in cholesterol, ranging from 23–214 mg/100 g depending on the species of the fish.

Salmon fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have medicinal use. Also, it is an essential nutrient with excellent antioxidant properties that is beneficial for the healthy heart, brain, eye, and provides other health benefits.

Nutritional Properties of Salmon

100 g of raw salmon fish contains:

  • Calories: 127 kcal
  • Fats: 4.4g
  • Sodium: 37.4mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 20.5g
  • Fibre:0g

These nutritional values may differ depending on the species of salmon fish. However, all the species are reservoirs for all the nutrients, making it a healthy fish choice.

  • Salmon fish is carb-free and is rich in protein. Their species can contain up to 21.9g of fish protein which has impressive health benefits. However, farmed salmon is higher in fat content and contains saturated fat, whereas wild salmon is leaner.
  • Salmon provides vitamin A and multiple vitamin B Complex. Also, it (especially wild salmon) is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D.
  • Salmon fish has edible bones making it a good source of calcium and other minerals. These minerals include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and selenium.

Types of Salmon Fish

You can find six types of salmon species that are edible and make for a great source of nutrients and yummy recipes.

These six categories can be wild fish or farmed species. The farmed fish species usually carry low amounts of nutrients as compared to the wild fish. For example, farmed salmon fish has only 25% more Vitamin D than wild fish.

But even after that, Salmon fish accounts for the most significant source of naturally occurring vitamin D.

Atlantic Salmon

It is also known as Salmo Salar and is the most famous salmon for commercial food production. Found in the North Atlantic Ocean, and you can find it in both farmed and wild forms. It contains 142-208 kcals depending on the type of cultivation and includes 2018-2506 mg of omega-3.

Chinook (King Salmon) 

Chinook is found in the North Pacific Ocean and is commonly known as the “King Salmon”. That is because the fish can grow to a great size and weigh up to 61kg!

100g of King Salmon contains 20.5g of protein, 2342mg of omega-3 and 122 mg of omega-6.

Chum Salmon

Chum has many common names, such as ‘Dog salmon’, ‘Keta’, and ‘Silverbrite’. It is found in the Pacific Ocean. Most of the commercially cultivated Chum comes from Alaska.

Unlike other Salmon fish species, this one has a much milder flavour and lighter texture. It is also the second-largest fish after King Salmon and can weigh up to 16kg.

100g of wild Chum Salmon contains a high quantity of protein (20g) and only 740 mg of Omega-3 fatty acid.

Coho Salmon 

This particular species of fish is also one of the most commercially available Salmon species. You can find it all around the world. People in many places also know it as “Silver Salmon”.

You can find Coho Salmon in wild or farmed form, depending on which the nutritional value can vary a bit.

Wild Coho Salmon contains 21.6g of protein and 1474mg of Omega-3 fatty acid. At the same time, the farmed species has 21.3g of protein and 1281mg of Omega-3 fatty acid.

Pink Salmon (Humpback)

Pink Salmon is the most affordable category of fish. It is the smallest fish in this fish family. It has the smallest amount of fat and a milder flavour.

A majority of the Humpback is wild-caught. It accounts for most of the smoked salmon products or canned items. 100g of Humpback can contain up to 19g of protein and 1335mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Sockeye Salmon

This species is also known as the “Red Salmon” or “Blueback” Sockeye Salmon fish. It is found in river habitats. Despite the name Blueback, the fish has red interior flesh and is high in carotenoids and B12 vitamins.

It is the healthiest of all types due to its food value. Moreover, it is the most delicious tasting fish. 100g of this species contains 113mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and almost 21.9g of fish protein.

Salmon Fish: Top 11 Health Benefits

As a result of housing so many essential nutrients, fish oils, fatty acids and fish protein, Salmon has some impressive health benefits:

Promotes Healthy Heart

Salmon fish has zero carbs and a high quantity of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and potassium. The combination of these three promotes healthy heart health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids which may prevent platelet aggregation. It also helps prevent coronary arteries from occluding, thereby improving heart health. Thus help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes.

Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help reduce and fight various inflammatory conditions in joints. This fish also houses a group of proteins called bioactive peptides. These peptides help regulate collagen and regulate healthy joints and reduce inflammation.

A study suggests that consuming two servings of fish weekly may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks or developing heart conditions.

Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that results in decreased bone density. The bones become porous. It puts the person at risk of unexpected fractures even by a minor fall or accident. Salmon fish is an excellent source of calcium because its bones are edible and naturally provide vitamin D. Vitamin D ensures that our bodies absorb the calcium we consume.

Our skeletal structure, made of calcium, supports our entire body. Therefore, calcium deficiency can be harmful. On the other hand, calcium and vitamin D  strengthen the skeleton structure. As a  result, it reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Promotes Healthy Pregnancy

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in Salmon fish make it a great meal addition for pregnant women. As per research, adequate consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is vitally important during pregnancy. That is because omega-3 fatty acids are the critical building blocks for the fetal brain and retina. Furthermore, they also help prevent perinatal depression.

Salmon fish is also very low in mercury levels as compared to other large fish species. That makes it safer for pregnant women to consume without compromising the baby’s or mother’s health. At the same time, the fish provides other essential nutrients and fish protein.

Aids in Weight Management

Several studies link a high protein intake with weight management. Studies also suggest that a protein-rich diet may help lose weight fast and reduce waist circumferences.

Salmon fish is high in protein. You get 21.9g of protein from 100g of raw fish. If you pair it with a healthy lifestyle and daily exercise, it can help build muscle mass. In addition to that, proteins are most satiating, which allows you to follow a low-calorie diet. The fish enables you to do that and provides all the necessary nutrients. As a result, they can help lose fat mass and manage a healthy weight.

Supports Healthy Brain Function

As per research, the human brain constitutes 60% fatty acids. There are various fatty acids. However, primary fatty acids in the brain are docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). Our bodies do not produce DHA. Therefore, it is essential to acquire them through diets. Salmon fish is the richest source of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid. As a result, the fish helps support brain functioning.

Several studies suggest the benefits of DHA in neuroprotective properties. It also works as a potential treatment for various neurodegenerative and neurological disorders. Omega-3 helps provide more oxygen to the brain, thus helping in retaining new information and remembering the old.

Improves Eyesight

Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Salmon fish is a storehouse of vitamin A and acts as a great source of vitamin A. It can help improve eyesight and promote good health overall. Vitamin A also supports cornea function which is the protective outer layer of the eye.

Vitamin A acts as a precursor for a photopigment found in the inner eye membrane cells. Therefore, taking a vitamin A-rich diet helps improve the functioning of these cells, which are responsible for clearer vision.

One hundred grams of raw fish contains 50IU of vitamin A. As a result, it helps improve eye health.

Regulates Thyroid Hormones

Selenium in Salmon fish species can help regulate thyroid hormones. It helps fight many other diseases caused by faulty thyroid. Studies suggest that maintaining a physiological concentration of selenium is a prerequisite to preventing thyroid disease. It is also helpful in preserving overall health. Furthermore, it helps in hormone regulation by fighting free radical damage.

Per 100 grams of salmon contains 25 to 50mcg of selenium. Therefore, the fish can help regulate thyroid hormones.

Great Source of Antioxidants

Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in the Salmon fish species. It helps fight the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals resulting in improved cellular functioning.

Improved Sleep Cycle

Salmon fish contains high amounts of vitamin D, a natural sedative. Therefore, consuming fatty fish (particularly Sockeye Salmon) in a proper dietary manner can help you improve your sleep cycle.

Research suggests that consuming fatty fish positively affects sleep quality and distribution.

Vitamin B Reservoir

Salmon is rich in vitamin B complex, essential in regulating a healthy body function. For example, B3 helps regulate cholesterol, and B6 promotes a healthy brain. B12 also regulates hormones that contribute to better overall health.

Healthy Skin

Omega-3 fatty acids work very well with many other antioxidants housed by the Salmon fish. As a result, it helps fight free radical damage and promotes healthy skin.

Antioxidants help fight the oxidative damage that free radicals in our bodies may cause. They help remove the free radicals. In addition, they also help reverse some of the already caused damage like fine lines, pigmentation, etc.

Salmon Fish: Healthy and Delicious Recipes

Salmon Stuffed Avocados

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • Avocados: 2 pieces
  • Salmon (canned, drained, flaked) without skin and bones: 5 ounces
  • Ground pepper: ⅛ tsp
  • Salt: ⅛ tsp
  • Mustard: 1 tsp
  • Low Fat Mayonnaise: 2 tsp
  • Parsley: 2 tbsp
  • Diced celery: ½ cup
  • Greek yogurt: ½ cup
  • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Method:

  • Mix yogurt, celery, parsley, lime juice, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  • Now, add salmon and mix well.
  • Cut the avocados into half (lengthwise) and remove pits.
  • Scoop about one tablespoon of flesh from each avocado half into a small bowl.
  • Mash the scooped-out avocado flesh with a fork and stir into the mixture
  • Fill each avocado half with about ¼ cup of the mixture, mounding it on top of the avocado halves.
  • Garnish with chives, if desired.

You can enjoy the recipe as an evening snack or can pack it as lunch for your kids.

Sweet and Tangy Salmon with Green Beans

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 45 min

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillets: 4 (6 ounces each)
  • Butter: 1 tablespoon
  • Brown sugar: 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Mustard: 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 1 tbsp
  • Pepper: ½ tsp
  • Salt: ⅛ tsp
  • Fresh green beans: 500 g (trimmed)

Method:

  • To prepare the fish, first, preheat the oven to 218° Celsius.
  • Place fillets in a baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Melt butter and stir in brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, oil, pepper, and salt. Use this mixture to brush half of the mix over the salmon.
  • Now place green beans in a large bowl; drizzle with the remaining brown sugar mixture and toss to coat.
  • Arrange green beans around fillets. Roast until the fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, and green beans are crisp-tender and bake for 14-16 minutes.

Salmon Rice Bowl

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillet: 4
  • Sesame ginger salad dressing: 120 ml
  • Cooked brown rice: 400 g
  • Chopped parsley: 120 g
  • Salt: ¼ tsp
  • Julienned carrot: 128 g
  • Thinly sliced cabbage

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 218° Celsius.
  • Place salmon in a foil-lined pan; brush with ¼ cup dressing.
  • Bake until the fish just begins to flake easily with a fork for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the rice with parsley and salt.
  • To serve, divide the mixture and, if desired, cabbage.
  • Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Salmon: Dos and Don’ts

Eating frozen or uncooked seafood can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to consume it that way. Instead, you should thaw frozen Salmon safely by removing it from the freezer and placing it in a bowl of water overnight. Then, you can consume it the next day.

Cooked salmon should be stored in a fridge and consumed within two days. You should not keep it for more than that as it can be a health hazard. While holding it in the deep freezer, you should wrap it in a moisture-proof film to avoid contamination or quality degradation.

While buying fish from the grocery store, make sure it is fresh. Old fish can be dangerous to consume. It is also vital to see if the grocery store follows hygienic and safe storage methods. Any sort of compromise with the storage conditions can affect the quality of the fish,

Allergies

Allergic reactions to fish can prove to be fatal. Therefore, before consuming any salmon dish, ensure that you are not allergic to the fish or any other proteins in it.

You should eat the skin of wild-caught salmon rather than farm-cultivated ones. That is because pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), pesticides or dioxins, and mercury can contaminate it.

The Bottom Line

Adding fish to your meals has many health benefits. It contains antioxidants and promotes healthy hormone regulation. It promotes better heart health and eyesight. However, there are a few things you should be mindful of while dealing with salmon. For example, proper storage conditions, cooking methods, fish’s freshness, or fish allergies are areas to look after. Nevertheless, it will help make the experience much more enjoyable.

Salmon fish is a popular fish species, and it is easily available. It is an excellent source of protein, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. In addition, it contains vitamins like A, B, D, and E and many other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, selenium, and potassium. All these nutrients, minerals, and vitamins promote a very healthy lifestyle.

Q. Is salmon fish good for health?

A. Yes. It is an excellent source of fish protein, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. They are perfect for your hair, and skin. It also contains many other nutrients which promote good health.

Q. Why is salmon bad for you?

A. Salmon is a good source of many nutrients. However, if you are allergic to the fish, it can be fatal. In addition, farm-grown skin may contain toxins, pesticides, and mercury, which can be bad for your health.

Q. Is salmon healthier than chicken?

A. Chicken and salmon have their benefits. Salmon has the healthiest fats and is nutritionally better than red meat. It is also a great source of protein. The benefits of fish are slightly higher than chicken, especially the omega-3 content.

Q. Is salmon good for weight loss?

A. Salmon has zero carbs and high protein. It also regulates appetite-controlling hormones to make you feel full. As a result, it acts as an excellent protein source and helps build muscle mass when paired with exercising and a healthy lifestyle.

Q. What happens if you eat too much salmon?

A. Too much of anything can prove to be unhealthy. However, salmon doesn’t do much harm due to its nutritional value.

Q. How often should you eat salmon?

A. Having two servings of salmon in a week is healthy for an individual. It also helps to reduce cardiovascular diseases.

Q. Does salmon fish make you fat?

A. No. Salmon has zero carbs, healthy fats, and high proteins. So, it helps you gain muscle mass and not fat.

Q. How much protein is in salmon per 100g?

A. Protein content varies from species to species. However, 100g of salmon can contain 19.4-21.9g of protein.

Q. How much nutrition is in salmon?

A. Salmon fish is dense in high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B, and D. It is also high in good cholesterol ranging from 23–214 mg/100g depending on the fish species. It also has calcium, selenium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and various antioxidants.

Q. Is salmon a good source of protein?

A. Salmon is an excellent source of fish protein. Across the various species, it can contain up to 21.9g of protein.

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