What is Salmon?
Salmon are saltwater fish that are mostly native to the waters of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and California. They swim through estuaries and upstream into freshwater to reproduce, making them relatively unique among commercially harvested fish. Salmon is great for a variety of preparations, including poaching, grilling, roasting, broiling, smoking, or pickling. You’ll find them in salads and tartare, burgers and pasta dishes.
Here’s the question, why should you eat salmon?
Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. This popular fatty fish is loaded with nutrients and may reduce risk factors for several diseases. It's also tasty, versatile and widely available.
Here are the top 5 amazing health benefits of salmon:
1. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
Salmon is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Unlike most other fats, omega-3 fats are considered "essential," meaning you must get them from your diet since your body can't create them. Salmon is rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease (e.g. reducing the risk of cancer and improving the function of the cells that line your arteries).
2. Great source of protein
Salmon is rich in high-quality protein. Like omega-3 fats, protein is an essential nutrient that you must get from your diet. Your body requires protein to heal, protect bone health and prevent muscle loss, among other things. Salmon provides 22–25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving
3. Contains the antioxidant astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is a compound linked to several powerful health effects. As a member of the carotenoid family of antioxidants, astaxanthin gives salmon its red pigment and may benefit heart, brain, nervous system and skin health. In addition, astaxanthin is believed to work with salmon's omega-3 fatty acids to protect the brain and nervous system from inflammation
4. May benefit weight control
Consuming salmon frequently can help you lose weight and keep it off. Like other high-protein foods, it helps regulate the hormones that control appetite and make you feel full. In addition, salmon is fairly low in calories. A 3.5-ounce serving of farmed salmon has only 206 calories, and wild salmon has even fewer at 182 calories. Hence, consuming salmon may help you control your weight by reducing appetite, boosting metabolic rate, increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing belly fat.
5. Delicious and versatile
Salmon is undeniably delicious. It has a unique, delicate flavor with a less "fishy" taste than many other fatty fish, such as sardines and mackerel. It is also extremely versatile. It can be steamed, sautéed, smoked, grilled, baked or poached.
Here are 3 below 500kcal salmon recipes to incorporate this fish into your diet:
1. Sesame salmon, purple sprouting broccoli and sweet potato mash
Nutrition per serving:
1 ½ tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
thumb-sized piece ginger grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp honey
2 sweet potatoes scrubbed and cut into wedges
1 lime cut into wedges
2 boneless skinless salmon fillets
250g purple sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (deseeded if you don't like it too hot)
Heat oven to 200C/180 fan/ gas 6 and line a baking tray with parchment. Mix together 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, the soy, ginger, garlic and honey. Put the sweet potato wedges, skin and all, into a glass bowl with the lime wedges. Cover with cling film and microwave on high for 12-14 mins until completely soft.
Meanwhile, spread the broccoli and salmon out on the baking tray. Spoon over the marinade and season. Roast in the oven for 10-12 mins, then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
Remove the lime wedges and roughly mash the sweet potato using a fork. Mix in the remaining sesame oil, the chilli and some seasoning. Divide between plates, along with the salmon and broccoli.
2. Salmon noodle soup
Nutrition per serving:
1l low-salt chicken stock
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
100g flat rice noodle
150g pack shiitake mushroom, sliced
125g pack baby corn, sliced
2 skinless salmon fillets, sliced
Juice 2 limes
1 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
pinch brown sugar
small bunch coriander, chopped
Pour the stock into a large pan, bring to the boil, then stir in the curry paste. Add the noodles and cook for 8 mins. Tip in the mushrooms and corn and cook for 2 mins more.
Add the salmon to the pan and cook for 3 mins or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice, soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Ladle into 4 bowls and sprinkle over the coriander just before you serve.
3. Zingy salmon and brown rice salad
Nutrition per serving:
200g brown basmati rice
200g frozen soya beans defrosted
2 salmon fillets
1 cucumber, diced
small bunch spring onions sliced
small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
zest and juice 1 lime
1 red chilli, diced, deseeded if you like
4 tsp light soy sauce
Cook the rice following pack instructions and 3 mins before it’s done, add the soya beans. Drain and cool under cold running water.
Meanwhile, put the salmon on a plate, then microwave on High for 3 mins or until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly, remove the skin with a fork, then flake.
Gently fold the cucumber, spring onions, coriander and salmon into the rice and beans. In a separate bowl, mix the lime zest and juice, chilli and soy, then pour over the rice before serving.
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