Salmon is one of the superstar fish when it comes to eating a healthy and balanced diet. That is because salmon is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids along with essential B vitamins, potassium, selenium, antioxidants, and much more. The health benefits of salmon are lengthy and impressive.
Fatty fish like salmon is ideal for most people to eat regularly. You can reap all the health benefits of salmon by eating it just two to three times a week (1). Fats have long been deemed “bad” in the wellness world, but healthy fats like those in salmon are extremely healthy for the body. Healthy fats reduce inflammation, enhance immunity, and much more (2). Plus, it is easier than ever to consume more healthy fats like salmon.
Foods like salmon are often an easy addition to most diets as well. Salmon comes canned, in burger form, fresh, or even frozen for easy use. Salmon also takes little time to cook.
Fun Fact:Japan is the largest consumer of salmon, compared to the rest of the countries throughout the world.
Table of Contents
- Health Benefits of Salmon
Health Benefits of Salmon
Salmon and its many health benefits are important to consider when changing up your diet, especially if you already suffer from a health issue similar to the ones below. Check out the many health benefits of salmon to see how this fatty fish could help you.
1. It May Improve Heart Health
Salmon is full of heart-healthy antioxidants such as Astaxanthin as well as omega-3 fatty acids (3). Both of these are crucial for heart-healthy benefits. Astaxanthin reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which is vital to maintaining heart health (4). This powerful antioxidant may even have cardiovascular protective properties to further improve heart health.
In animal studies, Astaxanthin was effective at protecting cardiovascular health with oral supplementation as well as intravenous (5). Another study by the National Institutes of Health demonstrates that “A fish a day, keeps the cardiologist away.” That study emphasizes the importance of omega-3 fatty fish such as salmon when it comes to heart health. Omega 3 fatty fish intake is optimal to maintain cardiovascular health (6).
Eating more salmon may even reduce the risk of developing heart disease, which is the number one killer chronic disease in America. Don’t forget to think about including fatty fish like salmon in your diet, especially if you have a history of heart disease.
Summary:Salmon contains heart-healthy nutrients like astaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have demonstrated improvements in heart health.
2. It May Help Maintain Weight
Salmon is not only high in omega-3 fatty acids and potent antioxidants, but it is also a lean protein. That means it may help maintain and even promote weight loss in many. Don’t believe the hype that cutting out fats is the best way to drop inches. It may be the exact opposite for many people. Fatty fish like salmon could be an amazing alternative to red meat when trying to stay healthy and fit.
Some studies show that those who ate fatty fish more often lost more weight than those that didn’t. They also had significantly lower levels of inflammation parameters overall (7). Are you struggling to lose weight or maintain your weight? It may be helpful to add more fatty fish to your diet. Other types of fatty fish include cod, sardines, and mackerel to name a few. Try to change your diet as much as possible to get the most nutrients. That could help with weight loss as well.
Another reason salmon can be a great option for weight loss is it helps to keep you full longer (8). The high protein and omega-3 fatty ratio help to promote satiety, slimming down your chance of overeating. Salmon can be an easy addition to any diet too. For a quick meal, you can try some wild canned salmon and throw it in a salad, on a sandwich, and more.
Summary:Salmon is considered a lean protein even though it contains healthy fats, and has been noted as a food that may help with weight loss.
3. It May Boost Energy
Feeling sluggish? Do you often feel like you can’t get through the day without a second or third cup of coffee? You may need more B vitamins in your diet. Salmon is extremely high in many essential B vitamins, which help to promote energy (9). All eight B vitamins are essential to attain from a healthy diet to maintain energy throughout the day (10).
Salmon contains seven of the eight essential B vitamins necessary for nerve and energy production. These include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12. An easy way to make sure you are getting adequate levels of B vitamins is to include more salmon in your diet.
Eating a healthy balanced diet can help with many aspects of your health, and energy production is just one of those areas. Give yourself a natural energy boost by eating a balanced diet instead of adding more caffeine. Too much caffeine may deplete nutrients, leaving you more tired after.
Summary:Salmon is high in B vitamins, which may help provide a slight energy boost in place of substances like caffeine.
4. It May Promote Brain Health, Especially Memory
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to support a healthy body and brain. The brain requires healthy fatty acids to maintain memory, cognition, concentration, and more. Since salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, it may even have potent health benefits for the brain overall.
One study by the National Institutes of Health shows that certain nutrients like fatty fish help to boost cognition and memory (11). Those pieces, in connection with a healthy diet and lifestyle including exercise, make up a recipe for a healthy brain. Omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients also work to protect the brain from damage and even may promote repair (12).
Summary:One of the nutrients that salmon is most known for is being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to help promote brain health and boost cognition.
5. It May Help You Age Better
Because salmon is abundant in many beneficial nutrients, it may even help you age more gracefully. That is because, in the same way, it may help protect the brain from damage, it could also repair damaged skin. By promoting more repair, it may also actively counteract the aging process.
Older folks can rejoice in the fact that just adding more fatty fish to your diet can make aging less harsh. Skin elasticity requires the proper balance of nutrients, and salmon provides many of those. Just like with brain function, skin elasticity also depends on many lifestyle considerations. Lifestyle factors include your overall diet, stress levels, habits, and exercise level to name a few.
The carotenoid antioxidant, astaxanthin, also helps to promote skin health (13). This powerful antioxidant is responsible for activating the pink color in salmon as well.
Summary:Salmon is high in antioxidants and healthy fat, which may help promote healthy skin and may slow down overall aging too.
6. It May Improve Joint Function
Salmon is so powerful, it can even help improve joint mobility, water retention, and more. Fish like salmon could even be beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis. According to one study, participants who had rheumatoid arthritis and consumed more fish showed a significant reduction in inflammatory markers (14).
To keep bones and joints healthy, it is necessary to maintain a healthy diet overall but adding some fatty fish can increase your chances of lowering inflammation throughout the body. Salmon may even help to protect against osteoporosis (15). Why not add some more salmon to your diet to see if it helps to improve joint health overall?
Summary:Studies have found that eating fatty fish like salmon can help improve joint mobility and health and can protect against issues like osteoporosis.
7. It May Lower Blood Pressure
There’s even more good news. Eating salmon just three times a week could even lower your blood pressure. Lean fatty fish salmon could be a game-changing food for those who suffer from high blood pressure (16). The combination of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins help to make salmon a powerful food for many.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about what changes you can make to improve your levels. It may be a good time to start adding more fresh wild salmon to your routine.
Summary:Research has found that eating salmon can lower blood pressure which can be helpful for those with hypertension.
8. It May Help Fight Inflammation
The term inflammation gets a bad rap most of the time because the disease is often created in an inflammatory state. And although some level of inflammation is necessary for balance in the body, too much inflammation can leave more room for disease and pain to dwell.
For situations like this, salmon could come in handy. Salmon may help to lower and fight inflammation in the body because of its high level of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (17).
Summary:Salmon is high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to lower inflammation.
9. It May Prevent the Risk of a Stroke
Lastly, salmon could even be a saving grace for those who have a predisposition to strokes. One reason for this is that salmon is extremely high in potassium. It has more potassium than a banana (18). Just half a filet of salmon provides over 500 mg of potassium (19). The daily recommended intake of potassium is 3500-4700 mg per day.
The Mediterranean diet is extremely popular and effective to lose weight and maintain healthy nutrition overall. One key staple to the Mediterranean diet is consuming lean fatty fish at least two to three times a week (20). Foods higher in potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins like salmon can help tremendously in reducing the risk of stroke (21).
Summary:Increasing intake of salmon can help decrease the risk of stroke, possibly because of the high amount of potassium it contains.
Salmon is typically a healthy option for most people because it may promote heart-healthy benefits, more energy, joint health, and much more. Choosing to eat salmon around two to three times a week could give you many of the health benefits you see above.
Always be sure to check in with your doctor or dietician before making any extreme changes to your diet and lifestyle. Do you feel like it may be time to start adding some healthy fatty fish to your diet more often? Look into the benefits and see where adding more salmon to your diet can help you.
Don’t be afraid to add more fatty fish like salmon to your diet to improve your overall health and well-being. Also, many other fatty fish options to improve your health as well. These types of fish include sardines, mackerel, cod, herring, mussels, and tuna. Adding any of these fish, or even a variety of them may be beneficial to enhance your health in many aspects of the body. See where you can start adding some heart-healthy salmon to your diet today.