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18 November 2010 ~ Comments Off on The Healthiest Foods: Salmon

The Healthiest Foods: Salmon

The healthiest catch?

Let’s kick off our series on the foods you should be eating with the “king” of meats: wild-caught salmon. I can’t get enough of this “fatty” fish with its tender texture—and the raft full of nutrients in each serving doesn’t hurt either.

What is Salmon?

Salmon is a large fish with a unique lifecycle: born in fresh water streams, young salmon swim downstream to the sea, where they live most of their lives. after between one and four years, the mature fish return to the streams to spawn and ultimately die. Salmon live in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but the most sustainable wild salmon habitat is in the Gulf of Alaska.

Salmon Nutrition Facts

Salmon are packed with protein (18g in a 3oz serving), vitamin D (up to 90% of daily recommended value) and omega-3 fatty acids that can greatly reduce the risk of disease and boost immunity and brain function. In its wild-caught form it’s about the healthiest animal protein you can consume. Other nutrients in salmon include potassium, selenium and vitamin B12. However, farmed salmon is prone to a much higher mercury and PCB content, as well as diminished nutrients and flavor. Look for wild-caught Alaska salmon such as sockeye, king or chinook.

How to Eat Salmon

With a lighter taste than other fatty fishes, even my picky friends who can’t stand anchovy or mackerel love salmon. Grill it and serve with lemon and peppercorns for a natural flavor, bake and serve it with a sauce, or use it with pico de gallo in spicy tacos. Blackened, cooked with rosemary or fennel (use many of the same spices you would with chicken) or mashed and mixed into a sandwich filling, salmon is versatile.

Although salmon is more expensive than other fish, you get great bang for your buck: just a 3-ounce serving is enough to offer its nutrient benefits. You can buy it in bulk and freeze it until you need it—some stores even carry frozen salmon in individual portions, ready to thaw and use.

Other fatty, healthy fish you might try include mackerel, trout, herring, anchovy and tuna, but salmon leads the pack.

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