31 Days of Health. Day 25: Indulge in Salmon

You need salmon in your life. If you’re not eating it regularly now, today is the day to start. Including other types of fish is smart too!

Salmon is a fatty, cold-water fish containing a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a rather unique food in this regard, where not many other foods can quite compare. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in walnuts and flaxseeds, however, these fatty acids come from alpha-linoleic acid (ALA, for short). The omega-3’s found in salmon come from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The general difference between the three is that they all offer different health benefits. What is fabulous about all of them, collectively, is that they are anti-inflammatory compounds…less inflammation means reduced risk for chronic disease, meaning higher quality of life!!! Particularly from salmon: the heart, brain, eyes and joints reap those anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to EPA and DHA.

With regular salmon consumption comes healthier cholesterol levels, along with reduced risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Additionally, salmon can lead to improved thinking and concentration, decreased depression, and may even reduce the risk for cognitive decline in older age!

In addition to the omega-3’s in salmon, just 4oz will supply you with approximately 125% your daily recommended intake for vitamin D! And because salmon is a fatty fish, it is certain your body will do a good job absorbing the fat-soluble vitamin, which promotes strong bones, a strengthened immune system and even controlled blood sugars.

I love grating some lemon and lime zest, sprinkling a little salt and freshly ground pepper, along with a squeeze of fresh lemon and lime juice over a raw fillet of salmon and broiling it for about 10-15 minutes. I typically purchase wild-caught fish. I prefer, and appreciate eating food that has lived life uncontrolled – the fish ate what it naturally eats, it swam where it naturally swims, and contributed to other life sources in the ocean, river or lake in which it lived. I find I enjoy the flavor – and color – of wild-caught fish more than farm-raised.

However, after some research, it is apparent there isn’t a whole lot of black-and-white when it comes to which is better: wild-caught or farm-raised. Therefore, rather than promoting one over the other, I leave that decision to you for now. You will find that farm-raised is much more affordable, likely due to the ease of mass-producing a population of fish. Currently, it seems to be more of a personal decision, and clearly a topic we must discuss in greater detail another day! In the meantime, include whatever type of salmon that makes you happy – or other fish that pleases your palette! – in your diet at least a couple times a week.

alyssa

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