Fish is one of the most commonly consumed proteins in the world. They’re healthy, have many benefits, and are fantastic to taste. Fishes are versatile to be taken as a meal or even as a supplement. Among plethora of fishes, salmon is one of the most healthy options farmed all over the globe. Its popularity stems from its high nutritious value and taste.
Salmon is a nutrient-dense fish with a high nutritional value. It’s high in lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B, and D. It’s also rich in cholesterol, with levels ranging from 23 to 214 mg/100 g depending on its species.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which consists of therapeutic properties. It aids in the treatment of nutritional deficiencies and is also an essential vitamin with potent antioxidant qualities. Furthermore, it also has health advantages for the heart, brain, and eyes, among other things.
Salmon is generally orangish red with a pinkish hue. But there are other exceptions as well. For example, wild salmon has white flesh. Moreover, the flavour and texture vary according to the species, farming method, season, and cooking method. However, all salmon variants have high-fat content and a rich, oily texture.
Nutritional Properties of Salmon Fish
100 grams of salmon contains:
- Calories – 127
- Protein – 20.5 g
- Carbohydrates – 0 g
- Fiber – 0 g
- Fats – 4.4 g
Salmon has no fibre and zero sugar. These nutritional values may differ depending on the species of salmon fish. However, all the species are reservoirs of several nutrients, making it a healthy fish choice.
- Salmon fish is carb-free and rich in protein. Salmon 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 contains lean fat.
- Salmon provides vitamin A and multiple B-vitamins. In addition, salmon (especially wild salmon) is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D.
- Salmon fish has edible bones, making it a good calcium and mineral source. These minerals include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and selenium.
There are several subtypes of salmon. You can divide them in terms of appearance, nativity, and size.
Types of Salmon
This fish is royally befitting of its title. It is the finest salmon available. King salmon (also known as Chinook) is high in fat and omega-3s.
King salmon may grow up to five feet long and weigh over 100 pounds (0.05 t). They’ve been spotted everywhere, from southern California’s Pacific seas to northern Alaska’s icy rivers.
Sockeye salmon, sometimes known as red salmon, is prized for its vibrant red-orange flesh and intense aroma. However, it’s supposed to have a deeper flavour, or what some would call a “fishier” flavour.
They’re smaller and thinner than Kings, and they’re a lot less expensive. Smoked sockeye salmon is a popular choice among chefs around the globe. They derive their name from their vivid red flesh and skin turning a deep red when they move upstream to spawn. The majority of them are from the Alaskan seas and North Pacific Ocean. The Sockeye salmon is a rich source of vitamin-A, D, E.
Silver salmon, also known as coho, derives its name from its shiny silver skin. Coho has a medium fat level and a delicate flavour. However, they fall short in reputation compared to enormous Kings and tasty Sockeyes.
Cohos have a utility while cooking a whole salmon because of its tiny size. Cohos have a similar flavour to Kings, but their texture is more delicate. They’re prevalent in the Alaskan seas and the rest of the northern Pacific. They are great in Vitamin B6, B12 and Vitamin D.
Because they have a prominent hump on their back that forms when they spawn, as well as light-coloured meat, people know this salmon as pink, humpback, or even “humpies.” They have a moderate flavour and are low in fat and size, weighing between two and six pounds on average.
They’re commonly processed and sold in cans or pouches. However, you can purchase them fresh or frozen. The majority of the pink salmon catch is in Alaska fisheries. However, you can find them along the shores of Washington and Oregon.
This light to medium-coloured fish is smaller and has a reduced fat content. Its meat is frequently canned or frozen for sale.
It does, however, have one significant advantage: its roe. Roe is fish eggs housed in a female fish’s ovaries. It is considered an expensive delicacy in many cuisines. Chum’s roe is often larger and more flavorful than other forms of salmon roe. One puts it in the preparation of Ikura (salmon caviar).
The majority of chum salmon is available in the Alaskan seas.
6. Atlantic/Salmon Salar
Finally, Atlantic salmon is the only salmon that does not originate from the Pacific Ocean. All commercially available Atlantic salmon is farmed and that is because of the presence of a limited number of endangered salmon populations in the wild. In addition, because of their specialised diet, Atlantic salmon has a milder flavour and is generally bigger in size.
However, fish farming has improved and become sustainable as fisheries have shifted to more plant-based diets. Atlantic salmon is also less expensive than most wild salmon.
Salmon fish offers many benefits irrespective of the salmon you choose to eat. They are all healthy in their own right.
Health Benefits of Salmon
1. A Healthy Heart
Experts recommend two fatty fish meals per week, such as omega-3-rich salmon, that contributes to a heart-healthy eating plan.
A new study on the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease (CVD) found that consuming these fatty acids is connected to improved cardiovascular health.
In population studies, baked or boiled fish consumption lowers heart rate and a lower risk of ischemic heart disease and heart failure.
In independent observational studies, researchers discovered that Japanese and Inuit individuals had a reduced risk of heart disease fatalities than persons in Western nations. Since a major part of their diet contains fish and sorts of fatty acids found in the fish, they contribute to their health benefits.
2. A Healthy Mind
As per studies, salmon helps improve the brain and its cognitive processing. Many minerals in fish lead to a decreased risk of affective disorders such as depression. Polyunsaturated fatty acids result in lower psychosis. It is also useful in reducing cognitive impairments, dementia, and hyperkinetic disorders like ADHD.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce aggressiveness, impulsivity, and depression in adults. The source of this claim is the American Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The linked drop is considerably more significant for children aged 4 to 12 years with mood problems and disorderly behaviour concerns, such as some kinds of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
One study captures the impact of consumption of salmon in mothers who consumed at least 12 oz (0.45 kg) of fish per week throughout their pregnancy. The findings show that the children had higher IQs and improved social, fine motor, and communication abilities.
Salmon is a source of quality protein in considerable amounts.
Protein serves various functions in the body, including assisting the body in healing after injury, safeguarding bone health, and maintaining muscle mass throughout weight loss as per your age.
3. Protein: Quality and Quantity
According to a recent study, each meal should contain at least 20–30 g of good quality protein for maximum health. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) meal of salmon, for example, has 22–25 g of protein.
4. Provides Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is a substance that has several positive health benefits. Also, it is a member of the carotenoid antioxidant family. In addition, astaxanthin gives salmon its distinctive red colour.
Astaxanthin reduces the risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol) and boosting HDL (good cholesterol). According to studies, astaxanthin may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. In addition, it protects against the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries. Therefore, it lowers the risk of heart disease overall.
Astaxanthin operates with omega-3 fatty acids to protect the neurological system from aggravation.
5. Powerhouse of B-Vitamins
It’s commonly known that B-vitamins are one of the most essential and healthy vitamins to consume. Salmon is an excellent source of those vitamin B12, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B1 and vitamin B9
Omega-3 is essential to every human. It helps in maintaining health and structure in the body like no other. Fish has long been one of the most common and healthy sources of Omega-3.
Salmon is, of course, no exception.
Salmon is a source of omega-3 acids EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA have significant health advantages, including reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of cancer, and improved function of the cells that wall your arteries.
A 100 g piece of farmed salmon has 2.3 grams of omega-3.
7. Provides Potassium and Selenium
Salmon contains potassium. However, this is notably true for wild salmon, which has 13% of the RDV (Recommended Daily Value) per 3.5 ounces (0.13 kg).
Wild salmon has more potassium than a medium-sized banana, which only delivers 9% of the required daily dose. Therefore, the potassium in Salmon aids in blood pressure control. In addition, it significantly reduces the risk of stroke.
Selenium is a mineral found in the soil and certain foods. It’s a trace mineral, which means your body only requires slight amounts of it. However, including selenium in your diet is still crucial.
Several studies show that selenium helps maintain bone health and reduces thyroid antibodies in autoimmune thyroid disease. In addition, it may lower the risk of cancer. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) meal of salmon contains 75–85 percent of the daily value (DV) for selenium. Consuming salmon and other high-selenium seafood boosts blood selenium levels in patients with low selenium diets.
Salmon is undeniably tasty because it has a distinct, zesty flavour. It is also incredibly adaptable. Furthermore, you can cook it in various ways. These include steamed, sautéed, smoked, grilled, baked, or poached. Not only that, but it also goes in sushi and sashimi.
This fish can readily replace less healthy protein sources as the primary source of protein in a meal.
To do so, here are three simple recipes to get you started with salmon:
1. Pan-Fried Salmon
- Garlic powder: 1 tbsp
- Basil: 1 tbsp (dried)
- Salt: ½ tsp
- Salmon: 4 fillets
- Butter: 2 tbsp
- Lemon: 4 (wedged)
- First prepare the salmon fillets
- Combine garlic powder, basil, and salt in a bowl; rub equal quantities onto the salmon fillets.
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and place the skin side of the fish down in the pan, cook skin side until brown and crispy.
- Serve each fillet of salmon with a lemon wedge.
2. Creamy Pasta with Salmon
- Pasta with Salmon
- Salmon: 2 fillets
- Olive Oil: 2 tbsp
- Penne: 175 g
- Shallots: 2, finely chopped
- Garlic clove: 1, crushed
- Whole wheat flour: 2 tbsp
- Low fat Milk: 200 ml
- Lemon: ¼, zested and juiced
- Dill: ½ bunch, finely chopped
- Pepper powder – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
- Add wheat flour and roast for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix in milk and cook until thick pouring consistency and set aside.
- Cook pasta in water with a pinch of salt until al dente, drain excess water and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a large pan and cook chopped shallot for 5-7 minutes, or until softened but not brown.
- Add finely chopped garlic until it is aromatic.
- Add prepared white sauce, salt, pepper powder and mix well.
- Remove the skin from the roasted salmon and flake it into large chunky pieces.
- Combine the salmon pieces, lemon zest, juice, most of the dill in a mixing bowl and add to the pan.
- Add cooked pasta, gently toss it and check the seasoning.
- Sprinkle with the remaining dill and black pepper to taste.
- Season with salt to taste and serve hot.
3. Roasted Salmon
- Organic honey: 1 tsp
- Balsamic vinegar: 2 tbsp
- Olive oil: 1 tbsp
- Rosemary: ¼ tsp, dried
- Garlic: 1 clove, minced
- Ground black pepper: ¼ tsp
- Salmon fillets: 1 ½ pound
- Salt: ½ tsp
- Combine the organic honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Set aside one tablespoon of the marinade in a small dish. Toss in the salmon to coat evenly.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes after wrapping the bowl with plastic wrap. Take the salmon out of the marinade and brush off any excess. Place the salmon in a baking dish lined with tin foil and season with salt.
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F (ca. 232 degrees Celsius).
- Cook for about 10 minutes in a preheated oven or until you can flake it with a fork. Then, return the fish to the oven and brush with the leftover marinade. After that, keep it for a minute in the oven until glazed.
- Season with salt and serve hot.
Potential Risks of Salmon
Like everything else, salmon doesn’t come without its fair share of risks. However, you can avoid all the risks if you know about them.
- Salmon contains moderate mercury and toxins. These can accumulate from the salmon’s natural environment. Therefore, you should eat salmon moderately.
- Foods that may contain high levels of mercury can be dangerous to a pregnant woman. For example, women should consume no more than two servings of fish per week during pregnancy, avoiding all high-mercury seafood such as swordfish and king mackerel.
- Effluents are in the dermis and visible fat of the fish. Therefore, removing the skin can lower the chance of exposure to pollutants. While they are unlikely to cause health concerns, removing the skin or purchasing pre-skinned salmon is recommended.
Here are some essential tips to minimise risk
- Make sure the salmon you bought is fresh.
- One should refrigerate store-bought salmon at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 °C).
- Buy salmon at the end of your shopping trip. As a result, it reduces the fish’s exposure to warmer temperatures.
- If the salmon has a pungent smell, discard it immediately.
- One should defrost frozen salmon hours before cooking. This practice will nullify any bacterial growth.
Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that offers several health advantages. Consuming at least two servings each week will help you satisfy your nutrient requirements while lowering your risk of various ailments.
Salmon is also delicious, filling, and flexible. Making this fatty fish a regular component of your diet may improve your quality of life and health.
The risks are primarily dependent on eating habits. These are easily avoidable. As a result, one can enjoy salmon to the fullest without worrying too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does Salmon do to your body?
A. Salmon has countless health benefits for your body. For example, it keeps your blood and nerve cells running smoothly. It also aids in the production of DNA. Moreover, salmon is rich in Omega-3. Omega-3 is essential for health and has many health benefits, especially for the heart.
Q. Is Salmon healthier than chicken?
A. Both salmon and chicken are excellent sources of protein. However, the quality of protein is better in salmon. Furthermore, it is more beneficial in terms of heart health. Eating salmon also provides more minerals (selenium, potassium, and calcium). Therefore, the advantages of salmon outweigh those of chicken.
Q. Is Salmon an excellent fish to eat?
A. Yes. Salmon is one of the healthiest fish for consumption. It is rich in omega-3 and essential vitamins and minerals. As a result, it is excellent for health and overall wellbeing. In addition, salmon tastes great and is easy to cook. It makes it an all-around great fish to eat.
Q. What is the healthiest way to eat Salmon?
A. Grilling or roasting salmon is considered healthy. It does not require much oil. As a result, there are fewer chances of consuming any harmful substances.
Q. Is Salmon a Superfood?
A. Salmon has a good nutrient profile. It is a protein that promotes cardiovascular health, cognitive ability, and bone density. It also contains a good amount of Omega-3 acids. Therefore, it can be considered a superfood.
Q. Can Salmon make you fat?
A. Salmon has a good amount of healthy fats. Some of these fats are essential, but excessive consumption of salmon can accumulate fat in the body and make you gain weight. However, salmon does not make you fat when taken in a balanced diet with regular exercise. On the contrary, it may even help you lose weight.
Q. Is Salmon good for skin?
A. Yes. Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids naturally moisturise the skin. Additionally, they fight red, dry and itchy skin. In addition, omega-3 seals moisture inside the skin and prevents skin ailments like dermatitis and psoriasis.
Q. Can I eat Salmon four times a week?
A. Yes. Eating salmon around 3-4 times a week is appropriate. If you consume healthy salmon preparations alongside a balanced diet, you can consume it up to four times a week. However, eating salmon every day is generally not recommended.
Q. Who should not eat Salmon?
A. Salmon may have adverse effects on those having allergies, young children and pregnant women. Therefore, they should avoid excessive consumption of salmon. However, there isn’t a strict restriction on its consumption for anyone else.
Q. Is eating Salmon excellent or bad for you?
A. Salmon is one of the healthiest foods. It contains several vitamins, essential minerals and is rich in omega-3. So if you consume it with a proper diet, it can be very beneficial for you. However, excessive consumption of salmon isn’t recommended.
Q. Is frozen Salmon healthy?
A. Yes, frozen Salmon is healthy. The nutrients of the fish are not lost when it is frozen. So when you defrost it before eating, it will be just as beneficial as before.
Q. How much protein is in Salmon per 100g?
A. Salmon has a pretty good amount of protein content. It provides 20.5 g of protein per 100-gram serving. Therefore, it is an excellent source of proteins. Moreover, fishes like salmon are complete proteins, meaning they have all the essential amino acids you need for all body functions.
Q. How much fat is in salmon per 100g?
A. Salmon contains about 4.4 grams of total fat. However, the fat in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike the bad saturated fat you find in most meats, these are good fats. Therefore, these fish should be a staple of everyone’s heart-healthy diet.
Q. How many calories are in cooked Salmon?
A. 100 g of cooked salmon contains around 127 calories. However, cooking methods also play a role in it. For example, cooked salmon may have some extra fats because of the additives used for cooking.
Q. Is Salmon good for calories?
A. Yes, salmon has a good amount of calories. A serving of salmon is around 180 calories. So it is perfect for anyone looking to increase their calorie intake and add other nutrition to their diet.
Q. Is Salmon bad for high cholesterol?
A. No, on the contrary, salmon helps build HDL, the good cholesterol. It also helps the body lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for enhancing heart health and maintaining cholesterol levels.
Q. How much cholesterol is in fresh Salmon?
A. Raw and fresh salmon usually contain 5.4 mmol/l per 100 grams of cholesterol on average. It can also fight high cholesterol due to its high-protein content. In addition, it helps build good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol).
Q. Does Salmon raise blood sugar?
A. No, salmon doesn’t have any natural sugar and won’t raise your blood sugar at all. In addition, the protein content found in salmon is healthful for people with diabetes.
Q. What kind of fish is suitable for people with diabetes?
A. Generally, most kinds of fish are suitable for diabetic patients. However, salmon is an excellent choice in this regard. Proteins and vitamins in salmon help you fight against diabetes. It also contains no sugar and helps lose weight. In addition, salmon is rich in Omega-3, which helps fight diabetes.
Q. Is salmon or tuna better for people with diabetes?
A. Both tuna and salmon are excellent sources of protein and equally good fish for a diabetic person. That is because it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. Hence, it does not raise blood glucose levels. In addition, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help control blood sugar levels.