7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Eating Salmon – Eat This Not That

Whether chopped in a poke bowl or grilled to perfection with fresh asparagus, salmon can be a delicious and healthy fish to enjoy any time of year. If you’re a fan of salmon, or any fish for that matter, chances are you’ve heard a lot about the possible health benefits of salmon. But is there scientific evidence to back up these conversations?

Before we get into the research-based benefits of eating salmon, let’s quickly discuss the two main types you’ll see when you’re grocery shopping: farmed and wild. While the wild catch comes from rivers and the ocean, farming means the salmon have been raised in a fish farm, which the United Nations says will supply around two-thirds of the fish sold globally by 2030. Breeding is often cheaper. , but the two types of salmon are very similar when it comes to their nutritional value and both can benefit your health in many ways.

Read on to discover the health benefits of salmon. Then, for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out The 12 Healthiest Fish You Should Eat and The 3 You Should Avoid.

1. You will get a high quality protein boost.

If you’re not getting enough protein in your daily diet, you might want to start fixing that. Protein is necessary for weight loss, building muscle, boosting metabolism and curbing food cravings. To make sure you’re getting enough protein every day, a study of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism suggests getting about 20-30 grams per meal you eat.

The good news for salmon lovers is that a 3 ounce serving of wild-caught salmon contains about 21 grams of complete protein. Both wild caught and farmed are high in protein, but wild caught (21.6 grams) contains slightly more than farmed (17.3 grams).

RELATED: Is Canned Tuna Healthy? 5 side effects of eating it

2. Salmon selenium may support thyroid health.

Another great benefit of salmon is that this flavorful fish is extremely high in a trace mineral called selenium, carrying around 70% of your recommended daily value per serving. But what does this mineral do? Among other benefits related to your heart and cognitive health, selenium is necessary for a healthy thyroid.

According to the National Institute of Health, the thyroid is the organ in your body that contains the most concentrated levels of selenium, and a report published in Molecules states that selenium is necessary for the functioning of your thyroid. Not only that, but a review published in Nature reviews says those who lack this mineral may increase their risk of hyperthyroidism – a condition caused by excess thyroid hormones.

3. You will get plenty of vitamin B12.

seared salmon capers lemon spinach rice

Have you ever felt extremely tired and lethargic, only to have someone recommend a B12 supplement? Indeed, vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy system of nerves and blood cells in our body.

When we lack B12, we can experience weakness, weight loss, and even depression. And according to the National Institute of Healthwe need B12 to help prevent megaloblastic anemia, a blood problem that can lead to lethargy and exhaustion.

Because our body cannot store its own vitamin B12, we must obtain this vitamin from food or supplements. The good news is that salmon is packed with vitamin B12. To put it into perspective, the recommended daily allowance for B12 is 2.4 micrograms and there are approximately 2.38 micrograms of B12 in a 3 ounce drizzle.

4. You can improve your heart health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart. You can find plant-based omega-3s (ALA) in foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and some nuts, but fish is the best source of the most bioactive forms of omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA! Salmon is one of the richest sources with about 2,260 milligrams of omega-3s per 3.5 oz. net.

According TrafficOmega-3 fatty acids help our heart by lowering our triglyceride levels (fats carried in our blood) and increasing our body’s levels of “good” cholesterol, which lowers our risk of heart disease.

RELATED: 21+ Best Healthy Salmon Recipes For Weight Loss

5. You could reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation in our body can lead to a number of health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and chronic pain. Fortunately, the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other oily fish have been linked to reducing inflammation.

According to a report by Biochemical Company Transactions, EPA and DHA (two types of omega-3 fatty acids) can have anti-inflammatory effects on our cell membranes. Omega-3 supplements have even shown positive anti-inflammatory results in some rheumatoid arthritis patients.

RELATED: The worst eating habits for inflammation, according to science

6. You can improve your brain health.

grilled salmon steak

Fatty fish like salmon may possibly improve our brain health and even slow cognitive decline as we age. A study of Chinese adults from Nutrition review found that powerful nutrients in fish (including salmon) such as vitamin D, vitamin B, magnesium and selenium, can positively impact cognitive function.

Among participants over the age of 65, those who ate fish more than once a week saw greater brain improvement than those who ate less than one serving of fish per week.

7. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant.

Salmon gets its natural pink/red color from a chemical compound called astaxanthin. It is a natural pigment that is also an antioxidant with tons of health benefits.

According to a review published in Marine Drugs, astaxanthin has been linked to anti-inflammatory properties, as well as positive effects in reducing the risk of certain cancers and diabetes. In particular, wild salmon is known to have a high amount of astaxanthin.

A 2005 study by the Asian Journal of Andrology even found positive results on male fertility and sperm velocity after being given a trial of astaxanthin.

A previous version of this story was published on August 26, 2021. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, and updated contextual links.

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