All You Need to Know About Salmon and Its Health Benefits

All You Need to Know About Salmon and Its Health Benefits

I recently started eating salmon and I find that I truly enjoy this delicious seafood. As I started purchasing and preparing my salmon, I realized there are many things that I did not know about it.

I always heard that salmon was good for you, but why? What are the benefits of eating salmon? I learned there is a risk to eating salmon as well. But what risk???

I was told salmon was good for me, now I hear that it could come with some health risks. As if that was not enough, I learned there are different kinds of salmon – wild and farmed salmon. I started to wonder if it made a difference if I ate wild or farmed salmon. So then on top of that, I learned there are different classifications inside of wild salmon.

Ay Yai Yai; I just wanted to eat salmon.

Well, if you are like me and you want to eat healthily and you enjoy salmon, but you have questions, then you have come to the right place. Because I love to learn and do research (That’s code for I’m an overthinker) and I will provide you with answers to your questions.

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Nutritional Benefits

As a superfood, salmon is as super as it gets. When eating a 3 to 4-ounce filet, your choice of salmon will have roughly 200 calories, and it is low in saturated fat. Salmon is jam-packed with proteins; it is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and potassium.

Salmon filet

Health Benefits

Eating salmon which is filled with vitamin B12 helps with the health of your blood and nerve cells.

But here is the real beauty of eating salmon! Your body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids, but salmon will help provide your body with a powerful punch of omega-3 fatty acids.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke)
  • Certain types of cancers
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s

To get the full health benefits of seafood, the USDA recommends that you eat at least two meals a week with seafood that equals up to 8-ounces. Salmon is a great choice to help fulfill your 8 ounce requirement.

Risks

  • Seafood does carry the risks of mercury. This is a real risk if too much seafood is consumed. However, salmon has some of the lowest levels of mercury.
  • But too much of a good thing is never a good thing.

Wild Salmon vs Farmed Salmon

In the US, the two kinds of salmon most readily available are Wild Pacific and Farmed Atlantic. There is Wild Atlantic salmon, but not in abundance. So, typically Atlantic salmon is farmed.

Both Wild Pacific and Farmed Atlantic salmon tastes good and are good for you, but there are some differences.

  • According to an article by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, “Farm-raised fish are hatched, raised and harvested under controlled conditions comparable to other farmed animals. Farmed Atlantic salmon is available year-round in fresh or frozen forms.”
  • Wild and pacific salmon have different flavors, textures, and colors (red, orange, pink, and white). But still, it can be hard to tell the difference between wild and farmed salmon.
  • If you have shopped for salmon, you know that there is a price difference. Wild salmon is a bit more expensive than farm-raised salmon.
Salmon, veggies, lemon, tomatoes, and herbs on a cutting board.

How to Prepare a Great Tasting Salmon

Here is a quick and easy way to prepare your salmon. This is a delicious recipe that I have perfected. The spices are a combination that I enjoy. Try these spices or mix up your own. Just leave out the salt!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • One pound skin-on salmon fillet
  • Virgin Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper, Cajun Seasoning, and Cayenne Pepper

Equipment:

  • 1 non-stick frying pan
  • 1 spatula

Instructions:

  1. Choose a nice thick cut of salmon.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack placed in the middle.
  3. Rub the salmon with Virgin Olive Oil (just enough to coat the salmon). Sprinkle the salmon generously with Black Pepper, Cajun Seasoning, and Cayenne Pepper.
  4. Add Virgin Olive Oil to the frying pan and let the oily pan heat for 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
  5. Raise the heat to medium/high and place the salmon in the frying pan with the skin side up for 5 minutes until golden brown. 
  6. Carefully flip the salmon over (skin side down) and let cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Place the pan into the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Done: The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F at the thickest part of the fillet. (Personally, I look for the fillet to no longer have pink in the middle and have a nice flake to it).
  9. Slide the spatula between the skin and meat and transfer it to the plate.
  10. Serve and eat immediately: Make the meal complete by serving it with brown rice and mixed vegetables and a salad.

To learn more about the importance of healthy eating, read my e-book, The DASH Diet – Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension: How The DASH Diet Solved My High Blood Pressure.

DASH Diet Ebook

Go to the comment section and let us know how you season and cook your salmon.

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Resources:

Farmed or Wild?. (2010, June). Global Aquaculture Alliance. Retrieved from

http://www.seafood.oregonstate.edu/sites/agscid7/files/snic/farmed-or-wild-both-types-of-salmon-taste-good-and-are-good-for-you.pdf

How Often Should I Eat Seafood. (2018). USDA. Retrieved from

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-often-should-I-eat-seafood


Images by cattalin from Pixabay and Ramille Soares on Unsplash

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