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The reputation of salmon as a healthy food has grown dramatically in recent years, and not without good reason.
Salmon benefits your health in many surprising ways, which is why so many people choose it as their favorite seafood option when dining out or ordering takeout.
Here are 10 of the most impressive health benefits of salmon that you may not have known about before!
1) Strong Bones
We know that salmon has a ton of benefits for our body, but strong bones may be one of its most impressive qualities.
A study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that women who ate more than two servings per week had a significantly lower risk for hip fractures compared to those who didn’t.
This was likely due to levels of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which are also beneficial for bone health.
Omega-3s help reduces inflammation, and vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium into your bones as well as strengthening existing bone density.
Both nutrients have also been shown to protect against osteoporosis, so try cooking with salmon or taking a fish oil supplement if you want stronger bones later in life.
2) Brain Boost
Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
The reason? Omega-3s are critical for brain health, which helps stave off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Find out if you’re getting enough salmon! If not, why not make it part of your weekly diet?!
Adding omega-3 rich foods to your diet is easy – just by eating more salmon (and other fish) a few times per week you can help boost memory function in no time at all.
3) Immune System
Eating salmon on a regular basis could help keep your immune system running smoothly.
This is because salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which boost brain function and fight inflammation throughout your body.
Fish, in general, is good for your health, but a study published in Nutrients suggests that farmed salmon might be even better than wild-caught options.
According to researchers, consuming farmed salmon every week can reduce plaque buildup in arteries by 42 percent. Another study , conducted by Harvard Medical School, found that people who ate fish at least twice a week had a significantly lower risk of stroke than those who ate fish once per month or less often.
4) Heart Health
There’s no doubt that salmon is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also a good source of vitamin B12 and selenium, both linked to healthy blood pressure.
According to research, consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients may be critical for ensuring your heart stays healthy.
It also makes sense that limiting other sources of unhealthy fat like saturated fats found in red meat will help protect your ticker as well.
Experts believe that swapping out red meat for salmon or other fish at least once a week could reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by up to 30 percent .
Eating salmon at least twice a week may even bring down your stroke risk by 40 percent .
Did you know that salmon is one of nature’s most effective anti-inflammatory foods?
Inflammation is an underlying cause of most serious diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
If inflammation is like a fire in your body, anti-inflammatory foods are just what you need to put it out.
The good news: nearly all seafood is anti-inflammatory—including salmon.
In fact, wild Alaskan sockeye salmon (not farmed) contains a whopping 500 milligrams per 100 grams; it also has roughly 900 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than cod or halibut!
That’s why I recommend adding it to your diet as often as possible!
6) Mood Lifter
Eating salmon on a regular basis may help alleviate mild depression, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The study looked at 671 men and women who were taking part in a long-term health study in 1985 and 1986.
Those who ate fish more than three times per week (including salmon) had lower rates of severe depression at both four-year and 18-year follow-ups than those who didn’t eat fish as often.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon can boost serotonin levels, which could improve mood, says study author Laura F. Liddell, MD.
In fact, she recommends eating fish twice per week as a way to prevent depression even if you don’t have symptoms now.
7) Energy Booster
In addition to providing a hefty dose of protein, salmon can also provide you with a significant boost in energy.
Most seafood is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for mental and physical health, and salmon can be one of your best sources.
In fact, wild salmon contains about 500 milligrams of DHA per 3.5 ounces that’s an amount that far exceeds what’s recommended for most people.
Getting enough DHA may help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and improve mood and memory in aging adults
(1). Omega-3 fatty acids can also aid weight loss by reducing inflammation in overweight adults
(2). If you’re not eating wild salmon every week, consider supplementing with fish oil or flaxseed oil daily.
8) Joint Pain Fighter
What is it about salmon that makes it such a powerful joint pain fighter?
The answer lies in its omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine content.
Omega-3s help calm inflammation, which keeps joints healthy and pain-free.
A recent study in Arthritis Care & Research found that omega-3 supplements significantly reduced pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis; as did another study, published in The Lancet.
What’s more, a 2014 analysis published in Rheumatology International found that fish oil was effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis as well; one caveat is to only take high-quality fish oil (which you can find here).
And one last pro tip: drink your salmon raw, it contains more glucosamine than cooked or canned varieties.
9) Pregnancy Aid
Pregnant women crave fish more than any other food during their first trimester and salmon is one of their top choices.
There are many, many health benefits to eating salmon while pregnant; in fact, it has been said that it’s even better for you than taking fish oil supplements (which have never been proven safe for pregnancy).
As a B-complex vitamin, salmon can help reduce fatigue and boost your energy levels.
High in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which not only give your baby healthy brain development but may also decrease postpartum depression symptoms as well.
10) Healthy Skin
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for keeping skin healthy, so it’s no surprise that several studies show diets rich in salmon or other fatty fish to be linked with lower rates of acne and other skin conditions.
Omega-3s may also help reduce redness, swelling, and burning sensations caused by rosacea and eczema.
Research has also shown omega-3 supplements (in capsule form) to be effective at reducing symptoms associated with psoriasis.
A good diet is key, but a fish oil supplement can be an easy way to add more fatty fish into your diet.
While many people think salmon is a healthy fish (it’s high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D), there are several health benefits that people tend to overlook.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce our risk for heart disease and lower cholesterol levels; regular consumption can also reduce triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure.
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