Nutritional and Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is among the healthiest foods on the earth.

This delicious fatty fish is not only rich in nutrition but may also lessen some disease risk factors.

In addition, it is flavorful, flexible, and readily accessible.

This article will discuss the many health advantages of salmon, as well as several simple methods to include fish into your diet.

Facts about salmon nutrition

The nutritional value of different kinds of salmon might vary somewhat. For instance, farmed salmon includes slightly more good fats and calories, whereas wild-caught salmon contains slightly more protein.

However, both varieties are excellent suppliers of several essential elements, including selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

Here is a deeper look at the nutritional content of a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) portion of cooked wild or farmed salmon:


Wild salmon
Farmed salmon
Calories182206
Protein25 grams22 grams
Fat8 grams12 grams
Vitamin B12127% of the Daily Value (DV)117% of the DV
Vitamin B656% of the DV38% of the DV
Selenium85% of the DV75% of the DV
Niacin63% of the DV50% of the DV
Pantothenic acid38% of the DV30% of the DV
Thiamine23% of the DV28% of the DV
Phosphorus21% of the DV20% of the DV

Selenium is an essential nutrient involved in DNA synthesis, thyroid hormone metabolism, and reproductive health.

In addition, it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of heart-healthy lipid that helps reduce inflammation and promote brain function.

In addition, salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is essential for making red blood cells and maintaining the health of the central nervous system.

Salmon health advantages

Omega-3 fatty acid-rich

Salmon is one of the greatest sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA).

A serving of farmed salmon containing 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) has 2.3 grammes of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while the same quantity of wild salmon contains 2.2 grammes.

In contrast to most other fats, omega-3 fats are regarded as “essential,” meaning they must be obtained via food since the body cannot produce them.

Most health organizations suggest that healthy people consume between 250 and 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily.

Numerous outstanding health advantages have been attributed to EPA and DHA, such as reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, lowering the risk of cancer, and enhancing the function of the cells that wall your arteries.

An analysis of 22 trials indicated that persistent use of an EPA and DHA supplement may considerably enhance vascular function, particularly in those who smoke, are overweight, have high cholesterol levels, or have metabolic syndrome.

In addition, research indicates that obtaining these omega-3 fats from fish raises levels in the body much more efficiently than taking fish oil capsules.

Consuming at least two meals of salmon each week can help you satisfy your omega-3 fatty acid requirements.

Great protein source

Salmon is an excellent source of protein.

Similar to omega-3 fats, protein is an important food that must be consumed daily.

Protein has a variety of crucial tasks in the body, including promoting wound healing, preserving bone health, and preserving muscle mass with weight loss and ageing.

A recent study indicates that each meal should include at least 20–30 grammes of high-quality protein for maximum health.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of salmon has 22–25 grammes of protein as a reference.

Abundant in B vitamins

The B vitamins are abundant in salmon.

The B vitamin composition of 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) of wild salmon is as follows:

  • Vitamin B12: more than 100% of the DV
  • Niacin: 63% of the Daily Value
  • Vitamin B6: 56% of the Daily Value
  • Riboflavin: 38% of the Daily Value
  • Pantothenic acid: 38% of the Daily Value
  • Thiamine: 23% of the Daily Value
  • Folic acid: 7% of the Daily Value

These vitamins are involved in various essential bodily functions, including the conversion of food into energy, the creation and repair of DNA, and the reduction of chronic inflammation, which may lead to illness.

In addition, research indicates that all B vitamins interact together to promote healthy brain and nervous system function.

Excellent source of potassium

Potassium levels are relatively high in salmon.

This is notably true for wild salmon, which supplies 13% of the DV per 3.5 ounces (100 grammes), compared to 8% for farmed salmon.

In fact, wild salmon has more potassium than bananas, which contain just 9 per cent of the daily value per serving.

Potassium aids in blood pressure management and may lessen the risk of stroke.

One study indicated that potassium supplementation dramatically decreased blood pressure levels in individuals with high blood pressure, particularly those who consumed excessive quantities of salt.

Potassium collaborates with salt to control fluid balance and reduce blood pressure by limiting excessive water retention.

containing selenium

Selenium is a mineral found in soil and certain meals, such as salmon.

Considered a trace mineral, the body requires just a little quantity. Nonetheless, enough selenium consumption is essential.

Selenium protects bone health, lowers thyroid antibodies in persons with autoimmune thyroid disease, and may lessen the risk of some forms of cancer, according to studies.

A meal of salmon containing 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) offers 75–85 per cent of the daily value for selenium.

The consumption of salmon and other forms of seafood has been demonstrated to increase selenium levels in the blood of individuals whose diets are deficient in this element.

Blood levels of selenium rose much higher in those who had two servings of salmon per week than in those who ingested fish oil capsules containing less selenium, according to earlier research.

Includes astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a substance associated with several potential health benefits. As an antioxidant belonging to the carotenoid family, astaxanthin gives salmon its distinctive red colour.

Astaxanthin seems to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and boosting HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Some studies show that astaxanthin may also reduce inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, and guard against the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, which may lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, it is thought that astaxanthin collaborates with the omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon to protect the brain and neurological system against inflammation.

Additionally, astaxanthin may help prevent skin damage and make you seem younger.

In fact, according to one study, astaxanthin might function as an antioxidant, minimise the appearance of wrinkles, enhance skin suppleness, and protect skin cells from harm.

Salmon contains between 0.4 to 3.8 milligrammes of astaxanthin per 3.5 ounces (100 grammes), with sockeye salmon having the greatest concentration.

May lower the risk of cardiovascular disease

Regular consumption of salmon may protect against heart disease.

This is mostly due to salmon’s capacity to increase blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Many individuals have an imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

According to research, an imbalance between these two fatty acids raises the risk of heart disease.

In earlier research, consumption of two servings of farmed salmon per week boosted omega-3 blood levels by 8–9 per cent and lowered omega-6 blood levels after four weeks.

In addition, some evidence shows that frequent fish-eating may be associated with decreased triglyceride levels and improvements in numerous other heart disease risk factors.

May aid weight control

Frequent consumption of salmon may help you lose weight and keep it off.

As with other high-protein meals, it helps regulate the hormones that govern hunger and promotes satiety.

In addition, protein-rich meals, such as salmon, cause a greater temporary rise in metabolic rate than other diets.

In addition, evidence shows that, when paired with an active lifestyle, the omega-3 fats in salmon and other fatty fish may help weight reduction and reduce abdominal fat in obese individuals, however further study is required.

In children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, supplementation with DHA, the primary omega-3 present in salmon, was associated with considerably higher decreases in liver fat and abdominal fat than placebo.

Additionally, salmon is minimal in calories. A serving of farmed salmon (3.5 ounces or 100 grammes) has 206 calories, whereas wild salmon (3.5 ounces or 100 grammes) contains 182 calories.

Protects against inflammation

Salmon offers potent protection against chronic inflammation.

According to several experts, inflammation is the underlying cause of the majority of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Multiple studies have revealed that consuming more salmon and other forms of seafood may help lower various inflammatory indicators.

In fact, according to a study of 4,105 individuals, regular fish eating was related to reduced levels of white blood cells, which are often used to detect chronic inflammation.

Several particular inflammatory markers, including CRP, IL-6, and TNF-alpha, were shown to be dramatically decreased by fish oil intake, according to a 2014 study.

It May help preserve brain health

An increasing number of research show that eating salmon may boost brain function.

It has been discovered that both fatty fish and fish oil protect the foetal brain throughout pregnancy, prevent cognitive decline, and retain brain function.

Two servings of fish per week were related to a 10 per cent reduced risk of dementia and a 30 per cent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a review.

Another 2020 study indicated that a fish diet might boost cognitive capacity, increase brain function, and safeguard the structure of the brain in healthy persons.

Enhances mental health

In addition to maintaining brain function, intriguing research suggests that the omega-3 fatty acid content of salmon may also benefit mental wellness.

According to a meta-analysis of 10 trials, eating at least one portion of fish per week or 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day was related to a reduced risk of depression, particularly in women.

Nonetheless, further high-quality randomised controlled studies are required.

Another short trial including 23 young individuals revealed that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids improved depressive symptoms significantly after 21 days.

There is also evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may lessen anxiety symptoms and enhance mood, however additional study is required.

It May help preserve good eyesight

Salmon includes various essential elements for preserving and enhancing eye health.

As an example, astaxanthin has been examined in people and animals for its capacity to prevent a variety of eye-related illnesses, such as age-related macular degeneration, eye fatigue, uveitis, and cataracts.

A serving of farmed salmon containing 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) provides about 8% of the daily value for vitamin A.

Vitamin A is a precursor for pigment molecules in the photoreceptors of the eye, which are needed for vision.

In addition, further studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids may be useful for treating a dry eye condition.

Could help maintain bone health

A serving of farmed salmon weighing 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) contains about 66% of the daily value for vitamin D.

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays a pivotal role in bone health by enhancing calcium absorption.

Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of bone loss and decreased bone mineral density in older persons, according to research.

Phosphorus, another essential vitamin for bone health, is also present in salmon.

Some studies have suggested that eating more fish may reduce the incidence of osteoporosis in some groups; nevertheless, additional study is required.

Delicious and flexible

Salmon is certainly tasty. It has a distinct, delicate flavour that is less “fishy” than other fatty fish species, such as sardines and mackerel.

Additionally, it is quite adaptable. It may be poached, steamed, sautéed, smoked, grilled, or baked. It is also suitable for sushi and sashimi preparations.

Additionally, tinned salmon offers the same great health advantages as fresh fish in a convenient and economical format. In reality, practically all canned salmon is wild as opposed to farmed, and it has an outstanding nutritional profile.

Look for it in cans that do not contain bisphenol A (BPA) to avoid the possible health hazards associated with this chemical.

How to increase your salmon consumption

Here are some nutritious ways to include salmon in your diet:

  • Substitute canned salmon for canned tuna in a salad made with healthy mayonnaise.
  • Prepare a Cobb salad using salmon in a can, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • On sprouted-grain bread, serve smoked salmon and cream cheese with cucumber or tomato slices.
  • Try grilling fish and serving it with avocado sauce.
  • For a simple weekday supper, bake herb-crusted fish with vegetables.

Possible health hazards of salmon consumption

Even while salmon is nutrient-dense and an excellent supplement to a balanced diet, there are a few drawbacks and hazards to consider.

To begin with, both wild and farmed kinds of salmon often include toxins such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin, which, when taken in excessive quantities, may change hormone levels and significantly impact other aspects of health.

However, there are tight government rules regarding the number of pollutants allowed in feed, which are designed to decrease the number of contaminants in seafood.

Antibiotics are also often added to fish feed. The usage of antibiotics is linked to environmental problems and may raise the possibility of antibiotic resistance and other long-term health impacts.

If you’re worried about antibiotic resistance, it may be prudent to avoid fish from regions where antibiotic usage is regulated less strictly, such as Chile.

In addition, bear in mind that salmon contains some mercury, but at a considerably lower concentration than some other species, like swordfish and sharks.

It is suggested that pregnant women have 2–3 servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, each week and avoid undercooked or raw seafood.

The conclusion

Salmon is a nutrient powerhouse with several outstanding health advantages.

At least two servings per week may help you satisfy your nutritional requirements and minimise your risk of a variety of ailments.

Moreover, salmon is delicious, gratifying, and flexible. Incorporating this fatty fish into your diet on a regular basis may enhance your health and quality of life.

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