Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Seafood and fish have played an important role in human nutrition since ancient times. Even the ancient Assyrians and Romans grew fish in ponds. For thousands of years, the Chinese have been using their rice fields when they are under water to breed fish.
At different times, people ate both fresh and smoked and salted fish. And salmon has always held a special importance in the diet of many peoples. For Scandinavians, Brits and Russians, this fish is part of their national cuisine.

What kind of fish is this

Salmon is an amazing fish with red meat and delicious red caviar. He is born in fresh waters, but spends most of his life in the seas. It returns to freshwater only for the spawning period. Scientists never cease to be surprised by the amazing memory of this fish. Salmon recognize the waters where they were born by the smell, and only there they produce their own offspring. By the way, after throwing eggs, they die.

Biologists distinguish several types of salmon. More precisely, classify all representatives of this species by habitat. Those living in the Pacific Ocean belong to the genus Oncorhynchus, the inhabitants of the Atlantic – to the genus Salmon, and in the waters of Alaska there is a so-called wild salmon.

And if scientists know only one species of migrating salmon in the Atlantic Ocean (salmon), then among the Pacific there are 9 varieties of salmon (including king salmon, sockeye salmon, kichuzh, pink salmon, chum salmon and others).

Salmon meat is usually pink, but its color can vary from red to orange. Salmon and sockeye salmon fillets are fatter than those of pink salmon and chum salmon, and kichuh occupies the golden mean according to this characteristic. The largest representative of salmon is chinook salmon, and sockeye salmon is considered to be the smallest.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Nutritional value

Like all seafood, salmon is an exceptional source of high–quality easily digestible protein, minerals, vitamins and, most importantly, Omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamins A, D, E and group B are also abundantly represented in this product, as well as minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, iron.


In addition to the fact that fish is full of vitamins, I want it to be also dietary. And here the nutritional value, as in the case of other products, will depend on the method of preparation. After all, boiled fish is less caloric than, for example, fried.

Therefore, we will consider in detail the nutritional value for the main methods of processing salmon fish at home.


You are unlikely to eat salmon fillets without any processing, although such dishes exist, even if they are served only in restaurants – usually these are real sushi, rolls, sashimi and other representatives of Asian cuisine (the lowest–calorie of all). But we need to find out how much fish gains or loses calories during the cooking process.

So, the energy value of 100 grams of fresh, not cooked salmon is usually 150-170 kcal on average. And not only caloric content is important, but also BZHU, in the same 100 grams there will be 20 grams of protein and about 8 grams of fat. There are no carbohydrates.

It is important to pay attention that the fish must still be thermally treated before use, otherwise there is a risk of harming yourself, for example, by contracting parasites. Therefore, it should be at least boiled, in this case its caloric content will not increase.


Despite the fact that lightly salted salmon retains all its useful properties during cooking, its caloric content is growing. Therefore, if you suddenly want salted fish on a diet, remember that the caloric content of salmon in this case is about 230-250 kcal per 100 grams.

The amount of protein in the BZHU practically does not change and will remain at the level of 20 grams out of 100, but fat becomes more. And here they are no longer 8, but at least 17. The amount of carbohydrates will not increase.


Due to processing, it is possible not only to increase the caloric content, but also to reduce the number of useful properties. This is exactly what happens with fish fillets when frying in oil, with sauces or spices, the fat content will increase here. It becomes delicious, saturated with different shades, but the energy value of 100 grams will be at least 270 kcal. Here, the caloric content of salmon can also vary.

Speaking of CPFC, proteins in a fried dish will be 22 grams, fats – 20, carbohydrates – 2.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Health benefits

Source of protein

Proteins, or rather their constituent amino acids, are important components for humans. They are necessary for the construction of cells, the formation of tissues, the formation of enzymes and hormones. Proteins from salmon, like most other fish, are easily absorbed by the body. As a rule, they do not have side effects and do not contain carcinogens, like some other types of meat.

Vitamins and minerals

This type of fish is valuable with a rich content of minerals and vitamins necessary for the proper course of metabolic processes, the health of nails, hair. Selenium contained in salmon is much better absorbed by the body than from other animal products. By the way, salmon is the richest source of this trace element. Red fish contains more than 40% of the daily value of potassium and phosphorus. The first is necessary to maintain a proper heartbeat, the second is for the formation of DNA, the production of enzymes and the maintenance of bone health.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of heart disease, prevents the oxidation of low–density lipoproteins, reduces the accumulation of plaques in the coronary arteries. In addition, it protects against malignant tumors, increases immunity and protects against cataracts. This vitamin, like ascorbic acid and beta-carotene, can be obtained in large portions from salmon. These substances affect the body at the cellular level, deactivating free radicals that can damage genetic material, disrupt the structure of cells, which subsequently leads to incurable diseases.

Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining health. Deficiency of the substance increases the risk of cardiac disorders, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. B vitamins contained in red fish are also important for humans. They are indispensable for the nervous system, liver function and stable blood glucose, serotonin production and the formation of new cells in the body.

Польза для нервной системы и мозга

Omega-3 increases the activity of brain cells, which as a result affects memory and the ability to work effectively mentally during the day. Along with amino acids, vitamins A and D, as well as selenium and fatty acids protect the nervous system from damage caused by aging. In addition, the mineral-vitamin complex acts as an antidepressant, relaxes the brain, protects it from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. And some studies show that the mental abilities of people who regularly consume sea fish are significantly higher than those of people who refuse it.

Eye Health

Salmon will help prevent macular degeneration, get rid of retinal dryness, eye fatigue and vision loss. It has been proven that fish lovers can boast better eyesight, which they retain longer than meat eaters.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Fatty acids in salmon: what are useful

The most beneficial Omega-3s found in nature have been found in oily fish. In this product, the substance is represented by two unique acids – eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and decosahexaenoic (DHA). They contribute to the healthy functioning of the brain, heart, joints, and support the overall health of the body. Back in the 1970s, scientists first started talking about the fact that the consumption of marine fish reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. They made this assumption after a survey of Eskimos living in Arctic Greenland, for whom seafood serves as a traditional food. It turned out that the incidence of cardiac pain among the representatives of this nation is extremely low. In addition, scientists have found that sea fish also helps to reduce the risk of developing many types of cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, depression, diabetes, hypertension, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis. And all this, researchers believe, is due to Omega-3. And since the human body is not able to synthesize these fatty acids on its own, it is extremely important to restore their reserves from food. You can optimize the concentration of EPA and DHA in the body by eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna. Ideally, these products should appear on the menu at least twice a week.

So, Omega-3s derived from salmon:

  • protect the heart;
  • reduce the risk of sudden death from heart disease;
  • reduce the risk of stroke;
  • reduce the likelihood of diabetes;
  • they are necessary for the proper course of pregnancy and fetal development;
  • reduce bad cholesterol in the blood;
  • strengthen blood vessels;
  • they facilitate the course of immune and inflammatory diseases, in particular skin, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease;
  • reduce the risk of mental disorders and some diseases caused by brain disorders.

In addition to the incomparable benefits for the heart and blood vessels, according to research, Omega-3 is necessary for people suffering from psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, lupus. These fatty acids are able to slow down the growth and reduce the size of tumors.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Vitamins and minerals in salmon

Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods. This healthy fatty fish is simply loaded with nutrients, so it is able to minimize risk factors for a number of diseases. In addition, it is delicious, versatile and widely available.

Salmon is one of the best sources of Omega–3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Each serving of farmed salmon (one hundred grams) has 2.3 g of these compounds, a similar serving of wild salmon has 2.6 g.

Unlike other fats, Omega-3 fats are known as “important”, that is, everyone is recommended to get them from the diet, since the body itself cannot create them.

DHA and EPA attribute several aspects of benefits to the body, such as reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, the risk of cancer, and improving the function of arterial cells.

In addition, the benefits of salmon for humans are explained by the considerable level of B vitamins. One hundred grams of the product contain the following amount:

  • B1 (thiamine): 18% of the daily value;
  • B2 (riboflavin): 29%;
  • B3 (niacin): 50%;
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): 19%;
  • B6: 47%;
  • B9 (Folic acid): 7%;
  • B12: 51%.

These vitamins are involved in several global processes in the body, including the conversion of eaten food into energy, the reconstruction and repair of DNA, and the reduction of inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.

It has been established that all B vitamins work together to maintain optimal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Important! Salmon fish is an excellent source of some B vitamins, vital for creating energy, fighting inflammatory processes and protecting blood vessels and the brain.

Among other things, salmon is a good source of potassium. This is especially true for wild salmon, which provides 18% of the daily norm in one hundred grams. This mineral controls blood pressure levels, thereby reducing the risk of stroke. Therefore, the benefits of salmon are especially important for men over 50 years old.

Fish has a high percentage of selenium. It has been proven that this mineral protects the health of the bone system, facilitates the course of thyroid diseases and prevents cancer.

Salmon contain astaxanthin, a compound that brings significant health benefits. Since it is an antioxidant from the carotenoid group, it is he who gives the fish a red hue.

Astaxanthin reduces the risk of developing heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol (“harmful”) and increasing HDL (“beneficial”). It is believed that the substance has the property of reacting with Omega-3, protecting the brain and nervous system.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Who needs salmon?

It is unequivocal that ideally this fish should appear in the diet of all people. But there are some circumstances in which salmon turn from healthy food into medicine. For this reason, red fish is indispensable for people with problems such as:

  • inflammation of the arteries;
  • digestive disorders;
  • increased risk of colon, prostate, kidney cancer;
  • dermatitis and other skin problems;
  • weakened hair and nails;
  • deterioration of vision.

How to choose a fish

For supermarket customers, salmon is presented in the form of fillets, steaks, fresh, ice cream, smoked or canned. Fresh salmon should have smooth and moist skin, silver scales, bright red gills. White, gray or green gills are evidence of a very old fish. The eyes of the newly caught carcass are shiny, without a cloudy coating. The freshness of the fish is indicated by its smell: the carcass should smell of the sea. The color of the fresh fillet is pale pink. Brownish shades in the flesh indicate the age of the fish, the meat is too red – the carcass was artificially colored. Salmon steaks should be elastic, fillets – with light streaks. After pressing on the pulp, it should quickly regain its shape. It is important to eat fresh salmon within a few days after the catch. If this is not possible, it is better to freeze the carcass.

If the choice fell on smoked or salted fish, it is advisable to give preference to the product in vacuum packaging, but do not forget to check the composition – there should be nothing else besides fish and salt.

Adults are recommended to eat up to 150 g of the product per day. Children — no more than 70-100 g, elderly people — up to 100 g. Salmon is consumed at any time of the day up to 3-4 times a week.

If the fish is purchased in a vacuum package, it must be opened and held in the air for about 20 minutes. This will dispel the pungent smell that has accumulated under the plastic.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Fresh fish is stored in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days. In freezing, the shelf life is up to 2-3 months.

It is important to defrost the fish properly. It is left in the refrigerator overnight, and then they start cooking.

If it is necessary to marinate the product, it is left in the marinade for 30 minutes. During this time, the salmon will completely absorb all the spices, flavors and salt.

In order for the fish to have a crispy crust, it must be rolled in flour before frying. To make it juicy, it is recommended to add butter to the vegetable oil.

In cooking

Salmon can be used to cook a variety of dishes: fry, stew, bake, salt, make pates, add to salads and pies, cook first courses.

  • You can cook salmon in cream. Fry grated carrots, onions and small cubes of salmon in vegetable oil in a frying pan. After 5-7 minutes, melt 100 g of butter in the ingredients, add 2 tablespoons of flour. Mix everything and then cook over low heat. Then add salt, mustard, spices and pour in the cream. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • To fry the fish, you need to cut it into slices. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs, add to them 1 tablespoon of flour, salt, spices and a little mayonnaise. Mix the mixture. Roll pieces of salmon in it, fry in a frying pan for 10-15 minutes.

For weight loss

Salmon is useful for those who want to get rid of excess weight. The main thing when cooking dishes is to bake, cook or stew the product. The caloric content of boiled salmon is 181.2 Kcal. Frying is not recommended. The daily allowance should not exceed 100 grams.

Folk recipes

Salmon due to the presence of Omega-3 has a beneficial effect on the body.

Therefore, it is indicated in violation of the vascular and cardiac systems, in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, as a prophylactic against strokes, heart attacks, atherosclerosis.

  • Boil the delicacy and grind it in a meat grinder. Add parsley and dill to the mixture. Mix everything and add salt. There is a pate 2 times a day for 1 tablespoon.
  • During illness, cook fish soup from a delicacy and eat 100 grams per day to increase immunity, improve the digestive tract, strengthen strength.

Salmon: benefits and nutritional value

Recommendations for use

The fish must undergo heat treatment. It must be boiled, baked, fried, smoked or steamed. It is also possible to subject the product to salting.

  • Boil a couple of slices of salmon and chop in a blender. Add an egg. Apply the gruel on the face for 15 minutes.
  • Mix salmon pate with tomato, parsley, and a spoonful of mayonnaise. Mix the mixture and apply it to the face for 10 minutes.

Salmon is a unique product in its composition. Therefore, its regular use will have a positive effect on the body, restore immunity, enrich all organs and systems with the necessary nutrients for high-quality functioning.

Possible dangerous properties of the product

The main danger of any marine fish is the presence of mercury in it (it is contained in seawater, especially a lot in polluted waters). As a rule, the larger the carcass, the higher the level of harmful substances in it. High concentrations of mercury are usually recorded in such fish as shark, tuna, tile, swordfish. Salmon, on the contrary, belongs to the gifts of the sea, which do not harm the body, since there is almost no mercury in it. However, when it comes to the diet of children and pregnant women, it is important to be completely confident in the environmental friendliness of the product.

But salmon grown on fish farms should be treated, if not with caution, then choose the carcass very carefully. Often, genetically modified products containing pesticides are used as food for such fish. The water in ponds often contains fungicides, and dyes are added to fish food (so that the carcass resembles wild salmon in color).

It is undesirable to abuse the product for people with chronic disorders of the digestive organs or with obesity.

Danger and contraindications

It is recommended to exclude fish from the diet for people suffering from allergic reactions to seafood.

Since the product contains purines, people with gout should not eat the delicacy. This can exacerbate the disease. You can not eat the product fresh, as it may contain parasites.

Harmful fish in which dyes are introduced. This can be determined by its rich red color.