Fish is a key part of a healthy diet and salmon really tops the charts as one of the best foods to eat.
If you’re not already enjoying salmon at least 1-2 times a week, here’s 6 reasons why dietitians Alex and Anna from The Biting Truth suggest that you make the switch.
1. Support your brain and mental health
You’ve most likely experienced the way that your mood can influence your food choices – just think about the foods that you tend to opt for when you feel stressed or bored.
But did you know that the foods you chose to eat can also influence your mood?
Salmon is one of those foods that has been linked to favourable outcomes in mental health. One of the main reasons for this is because it is one of the best food sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 is a healthy fat that the body cannot make, so it must be obtained from the diet. It makes up a large percentage of our brain tissue with research suggesting that people who are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids may be more susceptible to depression and low mood. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for good mental health, brain function, energy production, oxygen transfer and immunity.
Salmon also contains vitamin B12, which helps produce brain chemicals that affect mood. Low levels of B12 are linked to depression.
2. Manage your weight
Salmon is rich in high-quality protein. Compared to carbohydrates and fats, protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients. Because of this, incorporating protein rich foods like salmon regularly into your diet will keep you feeling satisfied, meaning you’re less likely to overeat or snack unnecessarily. This can lead to consuming less calories and contribute to weight loss.
3. Reduce inflammation in your body
Inflammation is the body’s way of fighting potential harm e.g. infection, injuries and germs. To an extent, the process of inflammation is very normal and actually necessary for the body to heal. Chronic inflammation on the other hand is considered to be one of the root causes of a variety of diseases including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to prevent inflammation in the body by interfering with immune cells that can cause inflammation. Research has found that individuals who consume oily fish including salmon regularly are less likely to develop inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Look after your heart health
Let’s get one thing straight, you don’t need to avoid fat to look after your heart health. Instead, focus on replacing the unhealthy fats in your diet with healthy fats. Salmon is rich in healthy fats, specifically monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that have been shown to keep cholesterol levels within the healthy range.
5. Tastes delicious
There’s no denying that the rich, fatty texture of salmon is a taste bud’s delight. We love how delicious salmon is on its own but there are also so many flavour combinations that go well with it! From Asian to Italian and Spanish, the choices are endless and so delicious!
Check out some of our delicious salmon recipes here.
6. Easy to cook
While we love spending time in the kitchen cooking, we appreciate that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
One of the best things about cooking with salmon is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It can be baked, BBQ, poached, steamed or grilled. You can enjoy it with steamed veggies and brown rice or get your Margaret Fulton on and create a Spanish fish pie!
There are so many ways to enjoy salmon and up your weekly intake. You may like to swap chicken for salmon in a taco, beef for salmon in a kebab, or pork for salmon in fried rice. Whichever way you choose, as dietitians we recommend including salmon at least 1-2 times a week as it is a nutritional powerhouse that provides several health benefits.