Inside: Salmon is a super food that we can’t afford not to eat. You won’t want to miss these health benefits of salmon (plus get a recipe for a yummy seared salmon and salsa verde!).
Salmon is one of my favorite foods. But would you believe I didn’t eat it at all until my mid-20s?
Even though I worked at a seafood restaurant throughout high school and for part of college, I didn’t eat any ocean animal until my honeymoon!
My husband and I vacationed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and my dad said we absolutely could not forgo some of the best seafood in the world while there. He gave Will some cash to help pay for our meals, and I committed to at least give seafood a try.
I was surprised to learn that I really enjoyed fish–particularly salmon. When I began my healthy living journey a few years later, I began making salmon a regular part of my meal plan each week.
Salmon is a super food that I missed out on for years because I lived under the false impression that it must taste “fishy.”
Instead, I’ve learned how to cook it to be very flavorful, and fresh salmon, in particular, is very delicious. Salmon is now my food of choice when eating out as well.
Thankfully, my daughters won’t miss out on the health benefits of salmon because I serve it to them frequently.
I bake it, sauté it, and my girls even enjoy eating salmon straight from the can–bones and all! Yes, salmon bones are actually edible, and they are incredibly healthful as well. My girls will even fight over who gets more pieces of the salmon spine!
That might sound gross, but salmon is really one of the healthiest things you can feed your children. And if you start feeding your children salmon now, while they are young, they will most likely eat it for life.
Without further ado, check out these:
5 health benefits of salmon
1. Salmon builds brain health.
This is a major reason why salmon is hailed as a super food for pregnant and nursing women and children.
Salmon boasts high levels of DHA, which is vital for optimal brain function. Some studies even show that preschool children who eat salmon have a lower incidence of ADHD and higher academic performance (source).
Salmon can also help improve declining brain function in the elderly (source).
2. Salmon increases heart health.
Not only does salmon boost brain health but it’s also a heart healthy food!
Along with DHA, salmon contains high levels of the omega-3 fats, EPA,and DHA, all of which are essential for heart health because they keep the blood from excessive clotting and reduce inflammation.
This ultimately leads to an increase in protection against both heart attacks and strokes (source).
3. Salmon fosters good vision.
Salmon protects your eyes and is especially helpful for those suffering with dry eye syndrome (source). Who knew?!
4. Salmon gives you a healthy dose of vitamin D.
While proper sun exposure is the best way to ensure proper levels of vitamin D, salmon is one of the only good food sources of this vital vitamin (source).
While most Americans are deficient in this vitamin, upping salmon intake is one easy way to ensure you’re getting enough of it.
Vitamin D deficiency can be traced to a myriad of diseases. It’s one vitamin you definitely don’t want to ignore!
5. Salmon consumption leads to more restful sleep.
That pic above is of me sleeping with my three girls. Yes, Mama needs to find some way to get restful sleep–even if it’s with little ones cuddled all around her!
I was surprised but delighted that my research led me to finding that salmon is a great source of tryptophan, which is a natural sedative!
Tryptophan can help alleviate insomnia (source).
If you don’t currently eat salmon but are willing to give it a try, give the following recipe for seared salmon a go.
Seared Salmon & Salsa Verde
Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde
- 2 skin-on salmon fillets
- 4 ounces spinach
- 1 large lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 large bunch parsley
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 shallot
- 4+ tsp. olive oil
Serves 2. This meal is a THM S.
- Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic; using the side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Finely chop the almonds and capers. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Remove and discard the pith; medium dice and deseed the lemon. Roughly chop the spinach.
- In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, almonds, capers and parsley. Stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Transfer to the pot of cooked farro. Wipe out the pan.
- Add the lemon, lemon zest and spinach to the pot of shallot. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place.
- Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the pan used to cook the shallot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets, skin sides down. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Divide the veggies and cooked salmon fillets between 2 dishes. Top with the salsa verde.
Do you like salmon? Did you realize all of these health benefits of salmon? What’s your favorite salmon recipe?