Salmon is one of the healthiest fish that you can eat. It has tons of amazing omega-3 benefits, which most people already know about… but what about everything that modern society overlooks? You almost never hear about things like the results of several recent studies, which found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. As researchers learn more and more about salmon peptides, we expect to see more and more potential health benefits discovered related to inflammation, including inflammation of the joints.
One huge benefit for anyone who eats salmon is that salmon are very low in mercury because they are small in size and the only eat plants. Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin D. Maintaining a sufficient level of vitamin D is crucial to maintaining one’s optimal health. A deficiency of this essential vitamin has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 diabetes. One can of salmon, for example, contains a day’s worth of vitamin D. However, if you eat salmon, it will increase your cardiovascular health (due to the high levels of the omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA). Salmon offers many cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing inflammation, keeping the blood from clotting excessively and relaxing and dilating the arteries. When eaten two to three times per week, salmon can protect you from problems such as heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides.
Eating salmon makes you smarter and happier. The human brain is 60% fat (and most of that is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA). 30% of the grey matter in the brain is DHA, showing how critical it is to brain function and a healthy nervous system. Eating salmon regularly has been shown to reduce the risk and incidence of depression, hostility in young adults and cognitive decline in the elderly.
Salmon helps to build the human brain (especially in children). Eating salmon while pregnant and nursing can boost learning capability and academic performance in children due to the high levels of DHA (decosahexaenoic acid), which is the main structural fatty acid in the central nervous system and retina. This aids in the prevention oif ADHD and has even been shown to improve athletic performance.
One last benefit to eating salmon is that it may help you sleep. It is an excellent source of tryptophan, an all-natural sedative. Studies show that tryptophan increases sleepiness in subjects with mild insomnia and helps to shorten the time it takes to fall asleep.
The best part about salmon is that it is so darn yummy! In our opinion, this may be one of the tastiest fish out there. Plus, you can cook it so many ways (for example, check out our recipe for Smoked Salmon with Bok Choy & Spicy Ginger-Soy Dressing)… the options are endless!
So eat up! Enjoy salmon! And live healthy.
(Many thanks to the Health Digest facebook page for the amazing graphic!)