WHAT'S COOKING... Why salmon is so good for you!
This week the spotlight is on salmon. Salmon is a great food to cook with as it is full of nutrients and vitamins which are essential to the body’s well-being.
Salmon is probably most known for its high content of omega- 3 fatty acids which are associated with maintaining a healthy heart. These are unsaturated fats, so eating these instead of the saturated fats found in meats could help to lower cholesterol. One of the main benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is that they can help to reduce the risk of arrhythmias. These are irregular heartbeats which mean the heart is either beating too rapidly, or too slowly. This means blood is not pumped around the body effectively which can lead to sudden death. As well as this, omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce the buildup of plaque in your arteries, lower levels of triglycerides, lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting. If you weren’t already convinced of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, they have also been found to potentially reduce the risk of several eye conditions, those being macular degeneration and chronic dry eye. In fact, they are so good for you that the American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least two portions of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids every week.
As well as benefiting your heart and eyes, salmon is a great source of protein which the body needs to build new cells, repair tissue and build muscle mass so you can stay physically active. According to recent studies, bioactive protein molecules found in salmon may help to provide support for joint cartilage, and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Another way it can help the joints is its content of selenium, which can decrease the risk of joint inflammation, as well aid the prevention of certain types of cancer. Selenium also plays a role in thyroid function and immune system activity. Vitamin B12 is another important nutrient found in salmon. It is essential for blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and maintains proper brain function.
With all these health benefits to offer, this tasty fish is a great choice for meals. In this week’s recipe it has been used to create a spread, which is great for entertaining, or can be used as a sandwich filling. However, there are many ways you can enjoy salmon. To keep fat levels low, try to choose cooking methods which don’t require you to add fat or oils such as baking, grilling or microwaving.
Cooking salmon doesn’t have to be difficult either, take a look at the following pages for some great simple and healthy recipe ideas: