Salmon is widely known as one of those foods categorized as a superfood. It is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Here are some of the health benefits of salmon:
Excellent protein source
Salmon has been found to be well loaded with high-quality proteins. Like omega-3 fatty acids, proteins are essential nutrients which the body cannot produce. However, they can only be obtained from our diets. Proteins play a number of significant roles in the body, most of which include assisting the body to heal after injury, help protect bone health and maintain muscle mass amid weight loss and the process of aging (11). Studies have shown that in order to achieve optimal health, it is very important that each meal you take should supply the body with the minimum of 20 to 30 grams of high-quality proteins (16). A 3.5 ounce serving of it contains 22-25 grams of protein (1.2).
Rich in B vitamins
Here is the content of vitamin B in 3.5 oz (100 grams) of wild salmon (2):
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 18% of the RDI
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 29% of the RDI
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 50% of the RDI
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 19% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 47% of the RDI
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid): 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B12: 51% of the RDI
These vitamins play a vital role in your body including converting the food you eat into energy, creating and repairing DNA, and they also reduce inflammation which can result in heart disease (17).
Optimal functioning of your brain and nervous system are maintained as a result of all the b vitamins working together (18).
Salmon is a good source of potassium
Salmon is very high in potassium. This particularly applies to wild salmon, which gives 18% of the RDI per 3.5 ounces when compared with 11% of the farmed type of salmon (1). In fact, salmon has more potassium than bananas (19). Potassium helps to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke (22).
A big analysis of 31 studies showed that potassium supplements greatly reduce blood pressure, especially when combined with diets that are high in sodium (22). One of the ways potassium helps lower blood pressure is by preventing excessive water retention. Another study has shown that when potassium is restricted, it leads to increased retention of fluid and blood pressure in healthy individuals with normal blood pressure (23).
Salmon is rich in selenium
Selenium is a mineral that has been found to be available in the soil and some types of food. Selenium is widely known as a trace mineral, which means only a small amount of it is needed by your body. However, it is important to have enough selenium in your diet.
A lot of research has been done on the health benefit of selenium and it was revealed that selenium performs a great role in protecting bone health, reducing thyroid antibodies in individuals with autoimmune thyroid disease and reducing the risk of cancer (27). 3.5 ounces of salmon offers 59 to 67% of the IDR of selenium (2).
Eating salmon in combination with other seafood that is rich in selenium have been shown to improve blood selenium levels in people whose diets are low in selenium (29). There is a significant increase in the level of selenium in individuals who consumed two servings of salmon per week than those who consumed fish oil capsules that contain less selenium as shown by a study (29).
Read the rest of our Superfood Series on avocado, blueberries and Kale.
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