Recipes at the top, sweet blog post below.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon on foil, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together all other ingredients and pour over the salmon. Pull up foil to edge of salmon. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Full broil 500°F for 4 minutes (until top of salmon is browned and slightly carmelized).
Now let’s break it down. Not only is salmon delicious, it is also one of the best foods for you! Salmon is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. So your body can’t create omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s important to get them from your diet. So why are these omega-3’s so awesome?
They decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer, improve functions of cells that line your arteries, lower chances of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, and ease the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. What’s more, they retain moisture in your skin, which helps maintain elasticity, and also calms inflammation, which preserves collagen and elastin.
Salmon is a fantastic source of protein. Four ounces of salmon has a whopping 26g of protein — keeping you feeling fuller, longer! Protein also helps your body heal after injury, protects bone health, and maintains muscle mass during weight loss and the aging process. Salmon helps regulate the hormones that control appetite and make you feel full, which in turn is great for weight loss. Fun fact, your metabolic rate increases more after eating protein-rich foods. The omega-3 fats may also promote weight loss and decrease belly fat in those who are overweight. It also reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes. Salmon is only 182 calories for 3.5 ounces!
Salmon also contains selenium, which helps protect bone health, decreases thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroid disease, and reduces risk of cancer. It’s also a great source of potassium — 3 oz of salmon contains ~309mg of potassium. Potassium can help control blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke. It contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol and increasing HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.
This antioxidant also protects the brain and nervous system from inflammation. The combination of omega-3’s, selenium, and vitamins A and D are integral for improving immunity, both in the short and long term. Let’s not forget the abundance of B vitamins, which turn the food you eat into energy, creates and repairs DNA, and reduces inflammation.
As if salmon couldn’t get better, it even provides perks for your brain. “People with normal brain function who consumed fatty fish on a regular basis were found to have more grey matter in their brains. Researchers noted that this could reduce their risk of memory problems later in life.¹” “Both fatty fish and fish oil have been found to reduce depressive symptoms,… decrease anxiety, slow age-related memory loss and lower the risk of dementia.” There have been studies that consuming salmon two to three times per week while pregnant has the possibility of having positive foetal neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, as of 2015 “Existing evidence is currently insufficient to inform advice regarding fish intake during pregnancy. Further well designed studies are required to strengthen the evidence base regarding the type and quantity of maternal fish consumption during pregnancy and associated neurodevelopmental outcomes in the offspring, while considering the contribution of mercury from fish-containing diets.²” Also good news for pregnancy, salmon has lower mercury levels than other fish such as tuna.
Salmon is the full package, guys. Don’t miss out on all these health benefits! Do your body a favor!
¹Spritzler, Franziska. “11 Impressive Health Benefits of Salmon” Healthline, 20 Dec 2016, healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-salmon. Accessed 30 April 2020.
²Starling, Phoebe, et al. “Fish intake during pregnancy and fetal neurodevelopment — a systematic review of the evidence.” Europe PMC, 17 March 2015, europepmc.org/article/MED/25793632. Accessed 30 April 2020.
“The Health Benefits of Salmon.” WebMD, webmd.com/food-recipes/benefits-salmon. Accessed 30 April 2020.
Ware, Megan. “Health Benefits of Salmon.” MedicalNewsToday, 20 Sept 2017, medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307811. Accessed 30 April 2020.
Brucculieri, Julia. “Why Eating Salmon Is So Damn Good For Your Skin.” HuffPost, 20 April 2018, huffpost.com/entry/salmon-for-healthy-skin_n_5ad7623be4b029ebe0203596. Accessed 30 April 2020.
Raji, Cyrus, et al. “Regular fish consumption and age-related brain gray matter loss.” NCBI, Oct 2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25084680. Accessed 30 April 2020.
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