Salmon

It might not be the splashiest of species in the seafood world, but salmon is a genuine superfood.

It is one of the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are integral to a healthy brain and heart function. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation. Long-term inflammation can lessen the body’s ability to fight off chronic illness.

Salmon is also a great source of protein and one of the few rich food sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone building and maintenance, and recent research has suggested it plays many other vital roles in the body, particularly to support healthy cardiovascular and immune function.

Buying fish comes with some considerations. We have highlighted some helpful tips and facts to keep in mind when buying salmon:

  • Alaskan salmon is always wild-caught and is an excellent choice whether fresh, frozen, or canned.
  • Wild-caught salmon gets is pink/orange color from eating krill and other small shellfish that themselves eat yeast and algae that create carotenoids like beta-carotenoid.

There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding the question of whether to eat farmed or wild salmon, and our advice is simple: Eat salmon!

The issue is complex, and experts seemingly contradict one another. The three concerns often cited in this controversy are environmental impact, contaminated fish, and omega-3 fatty acid content. The current understanding is that there are very low levels of contamination in both farmed and wild-caught salmon populations and that this is not a concern. The environmental impacts such as pollution, disease, and escape of farm-raised salmon are being addressed by environmental agencies and regulations. Finally, and most importantly from a nutrition standpoint, omega-3 fatty acid content is dependent on the diet eaten by the salmon. The most recent evidence suggests that both farmed and wild-caught salmon are both extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The bottom line is, no matter whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught, salmon is a delicious and extraordinarily nutrient-dense addition to your diet.

Chef Tips

Wild salmon is in season from early summer through late September, and this is when you will see wild Sockeye, King, and Coho salmon at your fish market. Wild-caught salmon is lean and firm looking, and deep rich orange color. Farmed salmon tends to be much paler and fattier looking.

If you can’t find it fresh, you can also buy frozen wild salmon. Frozen salmon should not be overlooked as it is super fresh because it is frozen as soon as it’s caught and can be kept in your freezer for up to four months. Wild canned salmon or pouches are a great convenient and economical option, but make sure to buy salmon in containers that are BPA-free.

For those going through cancer treatment, it can be best to avoid strong-smelling foods. For this reason, we recommend poaching salmon, as it is an excellent way to include fish into your diet while avoiding the pungent smell.

We love using salmon in our recipes because it is delicious and packed with great nutrients. Even those who dislike fish often enjoy salmon every once in a while. One of the best ways to prepare a good piece of salmon is to simply poach it with vegetables.

It’s incredibly fast cooking and deliciously simple. Top it with a tarragon vinaigrette for a delicious dish. And canned salmon is perfect for Salmon Cakes with Dijon Yogurt Sauce the whole family will love.

Registered Dietitian Approved

There are many misconceptions about nutrition and cancer in widespread media. By using current scientific literature, plus recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society, our Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, and our team of editors work to help our readers discern truth from myth.

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult your physician or registered dietitian for specific medical advice.


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