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A FISH A DAY? SALMON IS IT REALLY THAT GOOD?

Salmon is a reddish-colored fish with a pleasant flavor that contains a class of fats that are positive for health, omega-3 fatty acids, as well as selenium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, other minerals, and all the components of the vitamin group. Vitamin B. Its consumption helps keep us healthy and in shape as it can provide almost everything necessary to combat possible deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

Salmon is so complete that we can consider it as a food with unique medicinal characteristics. We must consume the one that lives in the seas, not the one that comes from fish farms since it is fed with artificial diets, which may contain contaminating elements. Wild caught is the best and, of course, the most costly.

PROPERTIES

It is one of the foods whose consumption is most beneficial for health. Its properties can be summarized in 6 data that are fundamental for protecting and improving our bodies. Salmon is considered a healthy and nutritious food for several reasons:


1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These fatty acids are essential for heart and brain health and have anti-inflammatory properties.

2. High-Quality Protein: Salmon is a good source of high-quality protein, which is important for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function.

3. Vitamins and Minerals: It's rich in various essential nutrients, including B vitamins (particularly B12 and niacin), selenium, and potassium. These are vital for various bodily functions.

4. Rich in Antioxidants: Salmon contains antioxidants like astaxanthin, which may help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

5. Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can help lower the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure.

6. Brain Health: DHA, one of the omega-3s in salmon, is crucial for brain function and may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and improve memory.

7. Bone Health: Salmon is a source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and can help prevent osteoporosis.

8. Weight Management: The high-quality protein in salmon can promote a feeling of fullness, which may help with weight management.

9. Eye Health: The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are beneficial for eye health, potentially reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

10. Skin Health: The omega-3s and antioxidants in salmon can contribute to healthy, radiant skin (Ersoy & Özeren, 2009)


PREPARATION: What is the best way to prepare Salmon?


The most healthy way to cook salmon is by baking, grilling, or steaming it. These methods help preserve the salmon's nutrients while minimizing the need for added fats. You can also season it with herbs and spices for added flavor without excess calories. Additionally, avoid overcooking to retain its beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids (Głuchowski, et al.,2020)


SEASONING: Salmon can be seasoned with a variety of ingredients to enhance its flavor. Here are some healthy and flavorful options:

  1. Lemon and Dill: A classic combination that adds a bright, citrusy, and herbaceous flavor to the salmon.

  2. Garlic and Herbs: Use minced garlic, along with herbs like rosemary, thyme, and parsley, for a fragrant seasoning.

  3. Soy Sauce and Ginger: Create an Asian-inspired marinade with soy sauce, ginger, and a touch of honey for a sweet and savory taste.

  4. Cajun or Blackened Seasoning: For a bit of heat, try Cajun or blackened seasoning blends with a mix of spices like paprika, cayenne, and oregano.

  5. Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs: Drizzle salmon with extra virgin olive oil and top it with fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or cilantro.

  6. Maple Glaze: A mixture of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and a hint of cayenne can create a sweet and spicy glaze.

Remember to season according to your taste preference, and don't forget to add a pinch of salt and pepper for balance.


Smoking salmon is a popular ingredient in canapés, often combined with cream cheese and lemon juice. In many cities across North America, smoked salmon is sliced very thinly and served on bagels with cream cheese or with sliced red onion, lemon, and capers. It may also be offered in hickory or alder-smoked varieties and candied salmon (smoked and honey or sugar-glazed, also known as "Indian candy". This is a traditional Indigenous food, is a method of preserving salmon by air-drying it with a combination of salt and sugar. This process results in a sweet and savory delicacy often enjoyed by various Indigenous communities across North America (Montgomery, 2015).


Across the Pond, in England, smoked salmon may be found thinly sliced or in thicker fillets or sold as chopped "scraps" for use in cooking. It is often used in pâtés, quiches, and pasta sauces. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon mixed in is another popular dish. Smoked salmon salad is strong-flavored with ingredients such as iceberg lettuce, boiled eggs, tomato, olives, capers, and leeks, and flavored yogurt as a condiment.


Slices of smoked salmon are a popular appetizer in Europe, usually served with some bread. They may be eaten with brown bread and a squeeze of lemon. In Germany, they are eaten on toast or black bread. They are also found smoked and eaten on a bagel with cream cheese (Grav Lox). Raw salmon is sometimes used in sushi, though not widely in Japan; found to be more common in the United States. The Philly Roll combines smoked salmon and cream cheese and rolls these in rice and nori (Oberholtzer et al., 2011).


It's important to note that not all salmon are the same. Wild-caught salmon is often considered superior to farmed salmon due to differences in diet, lifestyle, and potential contamination. Additionally, cooking methods can impact its nutritional value. Baking, grilling, or steaming salmon is often a healthier choice compared to deep-frying. Incorporating salmon into a balanced diet can provide a wide range of health benefits, but as with any food, moderation and variety are key for a well-rounded and nutritious diet. (Bastias etl., 2017).

 

References

Bastías, J. M., Balladares, P., Acuña, S., Quevedo, R., & Muñoz, O. (2017). Determining the effect of different cooking methods on the nutritional composition of salmon (Salmo salar) and Chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) fillets. PloS one, 12(7), e0180993. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.018099


Ersoy B, Özeren A. The effect of cooking methods on mineral and vitamin contents of African catfish. Food Chem. 2009; 115: 419–422.


Huynh M, & Kitts D. Evaluating the nutritional quality of pacific fish species from fatty acid signatures. Food Chem. 2009; 114 (3): 912–918.


Głuchowski, A., Czarniecka-Skubina, E., & Rutkowska, J. (2020). Salmon (Salmo salar)Cooking: Achieving Optimal Quality on Select Nutritional and Microbiological Safety Characteristics for Ready-to-Eat and Stored Products. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(23), 5661. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25235661


Montgomery, L. (2015). The Foods of Indigenous Peoples. ABC-CLIO.

Oberholtzer, Ashlan S.; Dougherty, Michael P.; Camire, Mary Ellen (1 August 2011). "Characteristics of Formed Atlantic Salmon Jerky". Journal of Food Science. 76 (6): S396–S400.


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