Salmon is sometimes called a super-food because of how much benefit consuming it has for your overall health. But what are the specific benefits of eating salmon over all the other sources of protein that are available? Here are the 6 health benefits of salmon for your brain, your heart and your skin.
It Enhances Brain Function
Omega-3 fatty acids are a vital nutrient, but they are something the body cannot manufacture itself. That’s why you must manage your intake to make sure you get enough. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential building block of the brain. They are so important, in fact, that they’re added to baby formula to make sure babies and toddlers get enough of it. For older adults, a lack of omega-3 increases your risk of dementia. Note that taking omega-3 supplements or eating more salmon won’t help you if you have a healthy, fully formed brain. It is simply the deficit that is harmful, though a surprisingly large number of adults have it.
It Improves Your Mood
We have already mentioned how omega-3 is a key building block of the brain. Studies have found that a lack of this nutrient can contribute to everything from brain fog to depression. And one serving of salmon contains half your daily requirement of B12. If you don’t have enough B12, your body can’t turn iron into red blood cells. That is why B12 deficiency can cause anemia no matter how much red meat you eat. All of this is why you should try to increase your intake of salmon and similar fatty fish before you assume you need anti-depressants.
It Protects Your Heart
The antioxidants in salmon are associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. At the same time, it is a healthy source of protein. Salmon contains lean protein necessary to maintaining your muscles without the fats that can clog your arteries. If you already have heart disease, the high levels of selenium and essential fatty acids in salmon can help bring it back down.
It Reduces Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
We’ve already mentioned how salmon reduces your risk of heart attack. However, that’s not the only benefit. It reduces your risk of general cardiovascular disease. Hardening of the arteries can contribute to everything from kidney failure to varicose veins to stroke. If you have salmon leftover, find ways to use the leftovers from stir-fry to soups to casseroles rather than throwing it out. And if you’re eating salmon in place of more calorie-rich foods, you’re maintaining a healthy weight and thus reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
It Maintains Your Skin
Salmon contains vital nutrients thought to reduce the risk of systemic inflammation. That’s a risk factor in heart disease. It can also contribute to your skin becoming puffy. Another point in favor of salmon is that it is a natural source of vitamin D. That vitamin is necessary to maintaining strong bones. The benefit of salmon consumption is that it lets you get this vitamin without spending a lot of time outside, while prolonged sun exposure can accelerate the aging of your skin.