8 Health Benefits of Salmon
Salmon, a flavorful and nutritious fish, is just one of many fish ideal for optimal health outcomes.
The benefits of eating salmon are well-documented and extend beyond its delectable taste.
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon supports heart health by reducing inflammation, lowering triglyceride levels, and promoting optimal blood vessel function.
If you’re new to the world of salmon benefits, this article will tell you why this delicacy is worth consuming.
Health Benefits of Salmon
Salmon is widely recognized as a nutritious food that offers several health benefits. Here are some of the proven health benefits of consuming salmon:
1. Excellent Source of High-Quality Protein
Salmon is packed with high-quality protein, which is essential for maintaining and repairing body tissues, supporting growth, and promoting a healthy immune system.
In this nutrient-dense fish, you’ll find the following kinds of protein:
- Complete proteins: These complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids your body requires but cannot produce naturally. These amino acids improve tissue repair, muscle development, and immune system support.
- Antimicrobial peptides: These short chains of amino acids fight harmful bacteria and defend against microbial infections.
- Collagen: This structural protein supports joint health, skin elasticity, and contributes to healthy hair and nails.
Depending on the type of salmon you cook, the amount of protein per 85-gram serving ranges between 20 and 22 grams.
2. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are beneficial for heart health, as they help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular function.
A single 85-gram serving of salmon contains roughly 0.7 to 1.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Brain Health and Cognitive Function
The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are critical for brain health and cognitive function. DHA, in particular, is a major component of brain tissue and has been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline, improved memory, and a lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.[*]
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain skin disorders.
5. Heart Health
Regular consumption of salmon has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. The omega-3 fatty acids help lower triglyceride levels, decrease blood clotting, improve blood vessel elasticity, and reduce inflammation, all of which contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system.
Because salmon promotes stable heart rhythms, it helps prevent arrhythmias and irregular heartbeats [*].
Consuming salmon as part of a balanced diet also manages cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries [*].
6. Eye Health
The omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in salmon, particularly DHA, are beneficial for maintaining good vision and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss.
Salmon contains antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In addition, it radically decreases the risk of developing cataracts and AMD [*].
7. Improved Mood and Mental Well-Being
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon may have a positive impact on mood and mental health. They are believed to help regulate neurotransmitters and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
Salmon contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that serves as a precursor for serotonin production [*]. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating mood, sleep, and appetite. Consuming foods rich in tryptophan, such as salmon, can contribute to maintaining optimal serotonin levels and supporting a positive mood.
Salmon is a nutrient-dense food, meaning it provides a wide range of essential nutrients with relatively few calories. It contains vitamins B12 and D, selenium, potassium, and other minerals that are important for optimal health.
Other Known Health Benefits of Salmon
Outside of the eight proven health benefits of salmon, you can also consume this delectable fish to enjoy the following lesser-known advantages:
- Weight management: Because of its high protein content, salmon regulates appetite, leading to reduced calorie intake. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote fat burning and reduce fat storage.[*]
- Skin health: Antioxidants present in salmon reduce inflammation, improve skin integrity, and promote hydration, leading to supple and radiant skin.[*]
- Bone health: Because salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, it improves calcium absorption and bone mineralization, supporting overall bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.[*]
- Muscle recovery: Salmon contains ample amounts of protein, supporting muscle recovery and repair after exercise or injury. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness and inflammation.[*]
The Bottom Line
The nutritional value of salmon is undeniable, and its health benefits are plentiful. From its omega-3 fatty acids supporting heart health to its impact on cognitive function and eye health, salmon proves to be a nutritional powerhouse. With its array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it contributes to overall well-being. Whether you're seeking to improve heart health, boost mood, or enhance bone strength, incorporating salmon into your diet can be a delicious and wise choice for optimizing your health.
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