Salmon is an outstanding food with a variety of health benefits on the nervous and cardiovascular systems, immune response and energy metabolism. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B9 and B12, salmon is an excellent brain food, ideal for stimulating learning and enhancing memory and vital for normal brain development in the womb. Eating salmon promises to help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and protect against heart disease. Not surprisingly, the fish has an impressive anti-inflammatory action with benefits for arthritis pain. Eating salmon promotes weight loss and helps gain muscle mass thanks to a generous protein content. Read on to find out more about the health benefits of eating salmon.
1) Salmon as brain food. Salmon contains a form of Omega-3 called DHA, found for the most part in seafood such as krill, algae, oily fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel or salmon and fish oils in general. Studies show this particular form of Omega-3 is vital for proper brain development in children and can help initiate and support learning abilities (Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
A deficiency can cause learning difficulties, accentuate memory problems and even behavior problems in children. Fatty foods, particularly oily fish such as salmon have a huge impact on learning, supporting cognitive functions in their entirety and encouraging mental effort. Eating salmon may also protect against degenerative disease of the nervous system as a result of its cholesterol content.
The cholesterol in salmon is an essential dietary nutrient because it helps make up cell membranes in the brain (and the rest of the body) and is an important component of nerve cells that make up the white matter. Cholesterol helps make up the tail of nerve cells, called a myelin sheath, which protects nerve cells and enhances their function. If the myelin sheath deteriorates, degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis may appear.
Because Omega-3 also acts as an anti-inflammatory and inflammation is known to cause degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, eating fish rich in the fatty acid may further protect brain and nervous system health. The good B vitamins content of salmon also makes it a great brain food. Vitamins like folic acid contribute to brain development of babies in the womb and help prevent neural tube defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord in newborn children. Vitamin B12 is important for nervous system health and helps prevent degenerative nervous system diseases like multiple sclerosis.
2) Salmon benefits for mood and depression. Studies show DHA, a form of Omega-3 found in salmon and other oily fish, may reduce the risk of depression as a result of its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, salmon is a rich source of quality protein and amino acids. Amino acids help synthesize neurotransmitters such as serotonin and may thus help improve mood with potential benefits for depression. Salmon has further benefits on mental health, helping regulate sleep and appetite in addition to being a natural mood enhancer.
3) Salmon for pregnancy and fertility. Omega-3 from oily fish such as salmon has been found to help with brain development of children in the womb. Vitamin B9 from salmon helps prevent neural tube defects in newborn children. Moreover, the cholesterol in salmon is vital for hormone production and has a deciding role in increasing fertility in women and men, favoring conception.
4) Salmon for building muscle. Salmon has a protein content of around 19-20 g per 100 g, making it a good food for building muscle mass. Protein is also important for muscle recovery following injury and can enhance weight loss.
5) Eating salmon benefits weight loss. Salmon provides good amounts of protein to help build muscle mass. More muscle means a faster metabolism because it takes more calories to build and maintain muscle than fat. With a right diet and exercise routine, this means that by eating more protein-rich foods you get more muscles and start burning fat to maintain them, resulting in weight loss. Also, salmon is rich in nutrients and relatively low in calories (around 150 kcal/100 g), helping you lose weight steadily and in a healthy manner.
6) Salmon for a strong immune system. Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D, a nutrient with important immune system modulating properties. Meeting your daily requirements of vitamin D has been shown to protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and against immune system disorders like atopic diseases. Even more, salmon provides the necessary fats required for an optimal absorption of vitamin D. The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon boast anti-inflammatory properties and can provide anti-arthritic benefits, reducing arthritis pain.
7) More energy and beautiful skin. Salmon is a rich source of varied essential nutrients, from healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats to vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and B12, important for energy metabolism. Eating salmon gives you more energy because it further provides good amounts protein and fat as well as optimizes the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D. Vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin E along with Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon nourish skin, help it retain moisture and give it radiance.
8) Stronger bones and teeth. Salmon is an important source of vitamin D which increase the absorption of calcium from food. The fish species provides generous amounts of phosphorus which not only makes up a good deal of our bones and teeth, but also initiates the production of new bone. Lastly, salmon contains magnesium, a nutrient known to regulate calcium absorption for stronger bones and teeth and osteoporosis prevention.
9) Salmon for heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure. The healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon reduce inflammation and prevent lipid oxidation, reducing the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, Omega-3 has cholesterol-lowering effects: it reduces LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and helps raise HDL cholesterol levels. Eating salmon also has blood pressure lowering benefits as a result of its good potassium and magnesium content.