Health Benefits of Salmon

Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is a fish that never goes out of fashion. Rightly so since in addition to its delicate flavor, its striking color, and being gastronomically very versatile, it has a type of fat that is very beneficial to health.

Salmon is a fish that in the wild is born in fresh water and, after a while in this environment, moves to the sea, so most of the species know both areas. In addition, most specimens return to spawn in the river or lake from which they originate. The way in which these animals manage to identify it is still not very clear, but it seems to be related to an acute and sensitive sense of smell.                                                                      

Nowadays, we can find salmon during all months of the year because most of the salmon we eat is farmed.

The two best known and most consumed varieties of salmon are:

Atlantic salmon, also called European salmon. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, and rivers in Europe. 

Pacific salmon. It is found in the Pacific Ocean, especially in northern areas.

Nutritional composition of salmon


Nutritional Composition of Salmon

Salmon is traditionally classified as fatty or oily fish. This designation has nothing to do with the color of its flesh, which is pink, one of the most defining characteristics of salmon.

The fat content of this fish (11 g of fat per 100 g of salmon) means that it has an average calorie content of 180-190 kcal per 100 g.

It has a not inconsiderable content in terms of protein, similar to that of any meat product, about 20 g per 100 g of this fish. In addition, they are proteins of high biological value, which indicates that they have all the essential amino acids, components of the proteins that we can not synthesize in our organism and are necessary for life.

It also contains specific amounts of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iodine. The latter is especially relevant because of its relationship with thyroid hormones and because it is found almost exclusively in fish, supplements, and fortified foods.

As for vitamins, it has small concentrations of water-soluble vitamins of the B group related to the body's general metabolism. However, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin D are the most abundant in this fish, which is logical if we consider that these vitamins are deposited in the fatty part of the food.


Healthy Fats in Salmon

Therefore, the nutritional characteristics of salmon are fascinating and make it a commonly consumed food, but its most relevant peculiarity is precisely related to its fatty part.

Most of the lipids in salmon (practically half of the total) are monounsaturated fats, and another essential factor is the omega-3 polyunsaturated type. These fats have the function of reducing the total cholesterol in our blood vessels, but not only that. 

In addition, they reduce the fraction of bad cholesterol, the so-called LDL-cholesterol, which is deposited on the walls of the capillaries, hindering blood flow.

And, the third advantage, they increase the good cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, which is the one that collects the deposits found on the vessel walls and carries them to the organs to be metabolized.

This effect is known as antithrombotic. It reduces the risk of thrombus formation or accumulation of material circulating in the blood with the danger of clogging the blood supply.


Health Benefits of Salmon

Due to an excellent nutritional composition thanks to its content in healthy fats, salmon is a food that is recommended to be included in the diet of people who present risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, or in the case of those patients who have already suffered an episode of this type:

-The episode itself of disease or stroke: angina pectoris, infarction, thrombus....

-Presence of risk factors that increase the danger of developing diseases such as:

  •        Hypercholesterolemia (increased blood cholesterol).
  •        Hypertriglyceridemia (increased blood fats).
  •       Hypertension (increased blood pressure).
  •    Diabetes (alteration in glucose metabolism).

·        Overweight and obesity (excess body fat). Taking into account the usual and moderate portions of consumption.


Contraindications of Salmon Consumption

Although for a great majority of the population, the regular consumption of salmon is highly recommended, some situations are contraindicated, and we must be careful.

For example, when salmon is salted, smoked, or frozen, the salt content increases significantly. In these cases, people with hypertension or fluid retention problems should restrict their consumption.

Also, in the case of a biliary diet due to digestion or absorption of fats in the diet, it would be advisable to moderate its consumption because although the fat it contains is healthy, it is still fat.

Of course, in food intolerance to any of its components or fish allergy, it will be necessary to perform an exclusion diet. This means that this food, along with others, will have to be eliminated from the diet.

Likewise, in the case of suffering from hyperuricemia or high uric acid values in blood, it would be advisable to control the contribution of salmon in the diet since it possesses purines that increase these figures.


Uses of Salmon in Cooking

Salmon is a highly appreciated fish in the kitchen due to its versatility, easy consumption, excellent stability, and pleasant taste.

This delicacy can be consumed fresh or after having undergone some kind of preservation process: frozen, smoked, marinated, etc.

Smoked salmon is highly appreciated as an ingredient in tapas, snacks, and small delicacies. It combines very well with dairy products, such as different types of cheese, cream, or yogurt. Dressed in all kinds of sauces: Ali-Oli sauce, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, mustard. And accompanied by vegetables: peppers, potato, fresh or baked tomato, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus...

Together with some fruits: avocado, lemon, pomegranate, orange. And as an accompaniment to other foods such as chicken, puff pastry, rice, or pasta.

In slices or loins, it can be grilled, fried with garlic, baked, alone, or with a sauce or vegetable accompaniment. With cream and caviar, it is also delicious.

As an ingredient in cold dishes such as salads, Russian salads, stuffed hard-boiled eggs, white asparagus, or wild asparagus? The range of combinations is immense.

It is a fish that, on its own, is already tasty enough and does not require the addition of many compliments. At the same time, it also adapts to dishes with more flavor as it is a little more camouflaged by solid flavors, for example, with soy sauce.

Its firm flesh resists culinary treatments quite well and keeps its shape well. In addition, its large, well-located bones are easy to see and remove, which makes salmon a very suitable fish for children...

There are millions of recipes with salmon, but most of the ones that most enhance its authentic flavor are salmon en papillote with vegetables. 

In addition, in this recipe, both the salmon and the vegetable garnish ingredients retain all their properties, and it is straightforward to prepare. 

The papillote is a technique where the food is wrapped together with the vegetable garnish and cooked in the oven. In this way, the food is cooked in its juice.

Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables

Ingredients (per person):

  •        One medium slice of boneless salmon.
  •     A quarter of an onion.
  •         A quarter of red or green bell pepper without seeds.
  •       Half a zucchini.
  •         A quarter of eggplant.
  •         A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  •         Optional: salt and garlic.


Peel and cut all the vegetables into skinny strips. Place these vegetables on the baking paper, to which a little olive oil has been previously added. 

Place the salmon on this bed and use the rest of the vegetables to cover it. Can add a little salt and finely chopped garlic to this mixture, but it is not strictly necessary.

Close the baking paper perfectly and preheat the oven to about 180 ºC. When it is hot, introduce the form with the salmon and the vegetables for about 10-15 minutes, and it is ready.

Remove from the oven, open the paper and serve the salmon together with the vegetables. Thus we have an attractive dish with a lot of colors and with the nutritional components almost intact that, otherwise, are lost in the cooking water or are spoiled by the heat of the grill.

Adam Hari

This is my profile, I seek to provide helpful content on several areas, especially health and fitness.

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