Salmon is a rich, flavoursome fish with many health benefits which is a great choice of protein at dinner or lunch (or any meal for that matter). It is versatile food to cook and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including raw, fried, baked, BBQ’d or smoked!
What is it doing for you? Like most seafood, salmon is an excellent source of protein which helps our training recovery, muscle maintenance and is the basic building block of the body.
Unlike land based meats it is a rich source of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These are a key factors in reducing systemic inflammation which is important for healthy arteries, joint health relating to arthritis and osteo-arthritis, bowel health, skin health, lung health and menstrual health.
Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin A, B Vitamins, minerals such as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium and Zinc. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin D, which can make it an excellent choice in winter when it’s more difficult to get adequate vitamin D from sunlight.
Best Sources: Atlantic Salmon is not found in Australian waters but it is farmed in the cool waters on the coastline of Tasminia. 40,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon are farmed each year in Tasmania. Much of what you see in your fish shop and in smoked salmon packets is from Tasmania. Farmed fish in Tasmaina is fed a feed powder consisting of fish oil and small bony oceanic fish. Mounting evidence suggests the Omega 3 content of farmed salmon is lower than that of wild salmon, though to be fair my source for this was looking at North American farms which feed their salmon with protein pellets. Australian Salmon is the name of the wild varitey of Salmon found off our waters and would be the best choice from a health perspective. It is available all year round though peak season is from January to April. All good fish shops should know the source of their produce and from my experience are always happy to share what they know when asked.
Canned Salmon: Farmed salmon is not known to can well. Much of what we get here is the product of North America and from a health perspective is a good choice. The Omega 3′s are well preserved and it is a fairly cheap source of wild salmon.
Smoked Salmon: Smoked Salmon is generally higher in salt and the Omega 3 content is compromised to a degree. It is still a good source of protein and can be a convenient snack option. I find a slice of smoked salmon a good option for the post dinner hunger pangs instead of a high carb yougurt or fruit.
I’m pregnant, can I still eat salmon: Yes, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand recommend that 150g serves of Salmon can be consumed 2-3 times per week by women during pregnancy. Raw and smoked salmon should be avoided due to increased risk of Lysteria, so stay away from the Sushi Train!
The Bottom Line: At the end of the day Salmon is extremely good for you. If you enjoy the taste, you should make it a part of your diet along with a number of other protein sources that provide their own unique benefits to the body. Typically, Salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D, though some sources and preparation methods provide more of these benefits than others. Click here to find a recipe of Kat’s that you can use next time you buy Salmon!