Super foods, the ultimate health foods – Salmon

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Thursday, 26 February 2009.

Super foods, the ultimate health foods – Salmon

Low in saturated fat, rich in zinc, high in protein and a great source of omega-3s, there are plenty of good reasons to eat salmon and other oily fish.

 

Highly nutritious and versatile

It is high in protein and full of minerals from the sea like iodine, potassium and ‘prostate-protecting' zinc. Few other fish show salmon's versatility, being eaten fresh, smoked or canned.

Anti-aging Omega-3s

Omega-3 fats from oily fish like salmon are the ultimate anti-aging nutrient. They are an integral part of the structure of your brain and nerve tissues so work to keep you mentally sharp (fish truly is brain food!). They're good for your eyesight - the lens of the eye is particularly sensitive to any nutrient deficiency.

Great for breast-feeding mothers...

One omega-3 called DHA plays a key role in the development of babies' brains and eyesight. It is abundant in breast milk and many primitive cultures have traditionally fed fish to new mothers to increase their milk levels.

... and for lowering triglycerides

They lower blood pressure and triglycerides (a blood fat like cholesterol) and reduce blood clotting - in other words, they keep your heart ticking and your arteries clear. And they dampen down the swelling and inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Try to eat salmon (fresh, canned or smoked) or other oily fish 2 to 3 times a week. All types of fish carry some omega-3, but the oily cold-water varieties like salmon have around double that of temperate-water fish.

A surprise source of calcium

The small edible bones of salmon, softened and made digestible by the canning process, yield an important source of calcium, a mineral generally derived from milk or yoghurt. A small 100g can salmon provides 200 to 230 mg of calcium, which represents 25 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium.

Nutrition stats

Per serve:

A medium salmon fillet grilled (weighing 140g) supplies: 36g protein, 13g fat, 0 sugars, 0 starch, 0 dietary fibre and 1090 kilojoules (260 calories).

Per 100g grilled:

25 per cent protein, 9 per cent fat, 0 sugars, 0 starch, 0 dietary fibre and 770 kilojoules (183 calories).

Easy ways to enjoy salmon:

  • Keep individual cans of salmon in the cupboard for an easy meal solution - they now have interesting flavour additions like lemon and pepper or tomato with capsicum. Even keep a spare in the office in case you get stuck.
  • Salmon steak is quick and easy to cook - you can barbecue or char-grill it; wrap it in baking paper with fresh parsley or dill and bake in a hot oven for around 15 minutes depending on the size of the fillet.