Besides being delicious, salmon also offers a variety of health benefits. Keep reading to learn more about this superfood.
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7 Reasons to Add More Salmon to Your Diet
1. Fights Inflammation
Tenderness and pain are common effects of inflammation. The good news is that salmon may be able to fight it!
Making salmon a dietary staple may help reduce inflammation markers in different conditions and diseases. In fact, in one study there was a reduction in two inflammatory markers among elderly women who ate 80 grams of fatty fish (including salmon) every day for eight weeks.
Similar results were found in another study among men with an inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, the men ate 600 grams of salmon every week.
After two months, there was a significant reduction in inflammatory markers in their colon and blood. On top of that, the men also reported a general improvement in their symptoms.
2. Great Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When it comes to fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s hard to beat salmon!
What are omega-3 fatty acids? They are essential fatty acids the body can’t produce on its own. It contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are needed for optimal cellular function.
Depending on the source, 100 grams of salmon contains 2.3-2.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. The components that make up omega-3 fatty acids are linked to their ability to decrease inflammation.
Scientists have yet to establish the recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega 3-fatty acids, but they do have recommendations for its components:
If you want to meet these recommendations, you’ll need to have at least two servings of salmon every week. Otherwise, you can try fish oil supplements.
3. Provides Lean Protein
Salmon offers a good amount of high-quality protein.
What is high-quality protein? This refers to natural sources of protein that are easily digested, have high levels of amino acids, and support metabolic functions. Many highly processed types of meat are high in fat and contain low-quality protein.
Protein serves as the building blocks of your muscles, organs, and skin. Your body needs protein to help regulate muscle mass, heal after an injury, and maintain bone health.
Researchers recommend having 20-30 grams of high-quality protein at every meal for optimal health. An average serving of salmon contains about 22-25 grams of protein.
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4. Full of B Vitamins
- Folic acid (vitamin B9) – 7% RDI
- Thiamin (vitamin B1) – 18% RDI
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) – 19% RDI
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 29% RDI
- Vitamin B6 – 47% RDI
- Niacin (vitamin B3) – 50% RDI
- Vitamin B12 – 51% RDI
There’s also preliminary evidence that shows that vitamin B12 can help treat pain: animal studies show that vitamin B12 may be able to inhibit pain-signaling pathways, making it a possible supplementary treatment for pain.
5. High in Potassium
When it comes to sources of potassium, salmon can give bananas a run for their money—100 grams of wild salmon can give you 18% of its RDI compared to a regular banana’s 10%.
Potassium is an important mineral for your body. It helps regulate the cell functions in nerves and muscles.
Without potassium, the body may begin to retain more water than it needs which, over time, can negatively impact blood pressure. One study even shows that a high potassium diet may reduce the risk of stroke in older women.
On top of that, there are small studies that show that potassium may have some pain-reducing properties. An example is a clinical trial in Iran in which potassium supplementation significantly reduced pain in women with rheumatoid arthritis, a painful inflammatory disorder.
6. Rich in Antioxidants
Salmon is one of the dietary sources of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family. It’s actually what gives salmon its red hue.
Astaxanthin works with omega-3 fatty acids to regulate the inflammatory response in the nervous system. This may help prevent neurological disorders.
And just like other antioxidants, it helps improve overall skin quality as well. In one study, adults with sun damage on their skin took 3 grams of collagen and 2 mg of astaxanthin for three months.
At the end of the study, there was an increase in skin hydration and elasticity. So salmon doesn’t just keep you healthy on the inside, but it may be able to give you a youthful glow, too!
7. Protects Against Heart Disease
Regular intake of salmon may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Its nutritional components provide the following heart-protective benefits:
- Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve arterial function.
- Astaxanthin helps reduce low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) and increases high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol).
- Potassium can help regulate blood pressure. It may even lower it when it’s added to high-sodium diets.
- DHA may have blood pressure regulating properties as well.
On top of these benefits, studies show a decrease in triglycerides when oily fishes (like salmon) make up a good portion of your diet. When you maintain healthy levels of triglycerides, you also reduce the risk of various heart diseases.
With its numerous and impressive health benefits, salmon lives up to its superfood status.
One of the most interesting benefits of salmon is its anti-inflammatory properties. But for some people, it may be difficult to maintain a regular diet of salmon.
You need to eat one serving of salmon two or three times each week to meet the RDI requirements to reap its potential health benefits.
If you’re looking for other ways to fight swelling and pain, you may want to try taking other supplements. Dr. Seed’s Body Protective Complex supplement doesn’t just mask symptoms of pain, but it helps increase collagen synthesis to repair the injury from inside out.
Which of these salmon benefits are you most excited about? Would you eat more salmon now that you know of these? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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