Wild salmon is one of nature’s most beneficial foods, offering a wide range of essential nutrients, some of which have been found to be very helpful in preventing disease. In addition to being an excellent source of protein, salmon contains vitamins A, E, D, B6 and B2, niacin and riboflavin, as well as the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus, all essential for good health. But in health circles, salmon also is known for being one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids – polyunsaturated fats that can play a significant role in protecting us from heart disease and cancer and in the treatment of a whole host of other ailments.
The evidence is so clear that omega-3s are good for us that the American Heart Association now encourages everyone to consume fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, twice a week, in order to prevent heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids improve the ratio of good and bad cholesterol in the blood and reduce the abnormal heart rhythms that contribute to sudden death. The oils in fish further protect against heart disease by lowering blood triglycerides (fats) and reducing blood clotting, and are helpful in reducing high blood pressure.
Additional studies show that omega-3 oils can help in the treatment of arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, lupus erythematosus, asthma, and certain cancers. Cancer studies have consistently shown that Omega-3 fatty acids delay the appearance of tumors, and decrease their growth, size, and number.
Salmon and Pregnancy
Salmon is an excellent food for you and your baby during pregnancy and lactation. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have been shown in many studies to be essential in the development of the fetus, especially the development of the brain and retinas. Recent studies have shown salmon to be very low in contaminants, such as mercury, and they are considered safe to eat regularly during pregnancy. For a detailed article on consuming seafood during pregnancy, click here.
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