How Salmon Benefits Your Health: Eating Fish is Better Than Ever

By: Dr. Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Dr. Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM


Tasty salmon benefitsEating fish is becoming more popular in America due to the growing desire to eat healthy and nutritionally beneficial food. While there is a large variety of fish to choose from, salmon is popular because it is known for having higher nutritional value. Eating salmon benefits our health since it is loaded with high quality protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Salmon Benefits Your Brain

Salmon fish are known as anadromous. This means they are born in fresh water and then spend a large bracket of their lives swimming around the open sea only to go back to their place of birth to spawn eggs. This extraordinary feature is due to their great sense of smell, and it is why the salmon is considered brain food.

Salmon Benefits Your Muscles

The flesh of salmon is usually pink but can also differ in range from orange to red. The pink and orange color could be attributed to an ingredient called astaxanthin. According to some published studies, astaxanthin is what gives salmon its antioxidant effects. A study was done on a team of soccer players, taking a look at how astaxanthin was helping with reducing inflammation and damage to their muscles. Adding salmon to the diet for any athlete or anyone who participates in continuous physical activity can help with reducing muscle damage and the resulting inflammation that can come from a hard workout.

Salmon benefits have also been discovered in terms of helping out the immune system and those with a mucosal immunity impairment. After an exhaustive work out, your body produces a reaction that causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is when there are too many free radicals produced, which can harm and damage your muscle tissue. The body doesn’t have the ability to remove the harmful effects of it with antioxidants. Since there are more free radicals in your body, it begins to harm your muscles and allow injuries that cause soreness, fatigue along with a reduction in your physical ability and performance. This is where salmon benefits come into play in providing the body with those needed antioxidants to improve your physical performance; it is also why it is included in many diets of professional athletes.

Astaxanthin is not only found in salmon; it is a common antioxidant found in the red color of crabs and shrimp as well. It is known to provide strong antioxidant properties to remove the harmful free radicals from your body, with a dose of at least 8 milligrams a day showing similar benefits across all patients studied. The salmon benefits of astaxanthin provide increased strength in immune systems and the maintenance of cellular health for women.

Check out this easy to understand infographic about the top 6 salmon benefits

Top 6 Salmon Benefits

Inflammatory reduction

Eating salmon has the benefit of improving any inflammation occurring in your body. It is helpful in treating osteoarthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions because salmon benefits include nutrients that have the ability to develop and increase your bone strength and density.

Cardiovascular health

Salmon and fish are well known for containing a high volume of omega 3 fats, which are great supplementation in improving your cardiovascular health. When eaten regularly – two to four times a week, salmon benefits can prevent you from having complications such as a stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and heart attack.

Vitamin D supplement

Vitamin D and salmon benefitsFor many of us, our source of vitamin D comes from the sun. For individuals who may be more sensitive to sunlight, salmon benefits you by being a supplement of vitamin D. Having a low amount of vitamin D has been related to increasing your risk of getting cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. It’s as simple as a can of salmon a day, which will carry vitamin D that is necessary for your daily recommended intake.

Depression reduction

Another of salmon benefits includes omega 3 fats which reduce your risk of having depression. Our brains are made up of 60 percent fat, and eating salmon regularly has been linked to reducing your risk of getting depression, as well as improving the mental function for the elderly.

Pregnancy/child benefits

Eating salmon moderately can be beneficial for your child, as it can improve the mental capacity of the developing baby through increased performance in academia and capability to learn. This is due to salmon benefits including a component referred to as docosahexaenoic acid, which is the main building block of fatty acid in our central nervous system and eyes. It can also help prevent ADHD in preschool children.

Prevent damage of cells

As well as having astaxanthin, salmon benefits include other powerful antioxidants that help in keeping your immune system and thyroid working properly, which keeps your tissues healthy and prevents damage to your cells. You might be concerned with the mercury levels found in salmon that are commonly found in other fish. Heavy mercury volumes are usually found in larger fish such as tuna, golden snapper, or golden bass. These fish should be best avoided to prevent mercury poisoning. The good news about salmon is that it is a smaller fish that eats plants and therefore has a very low volume of mercury content.

As an additional note on safety is that you should also watch out for salmon sold from farms. Some of the farms use a dye to make the fish look fresher with a new ‘paint’ splash of pink. The dye, known as canthaxanthin, is found in many fish foods and many consumers do not know that the sellers have added the dye. The information is not provided on the label. The pink dye is used on pale looking salmon to make them look brand new and fresh to the market. It would be in your interest to eat salmon that is either wild or organically farmed to avoid the usual fungicides and pesticides found in mass commercial farms.

Salmon Benefits Support Your Adrenal Function

Support the adrenals with salmon benefitsOne of your most important organs, when it comes to adrenal fatigue is your liver. Your liver is responsible for detoxifying – removing toxins and other harmful chemicals from your body. So it’s important you support its function by assisting in this detoxification process. This is done by following a specifically detailed diet to help detoxify your liver – so it can be healthy and assist in your adrenal function. There are certain foods that can be eaten that enhance your liver’s detoxing ability, but you need to be aware that your tolerance for certain foods will depend on how far along you are in the stages of adrenal fatigue. Typically, if you are into the far advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, your body will be less likely to tolerate these foods.

Selenium is one of the most important salmon benefits, because it breaks down toxic objects in your liver. Another one of the benefits of salmon is that it can be a great way of boosting the function of your adrenal glands, because salmon are packed to the brim with calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, and a load of protein. When you have adrenal fatigue, your brain isn’t communicating well with your adrenal glands – as if they just recently broke up.

One of the most important hormones produced and released by the adrenal glands is a stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol plays a role in maintaining balance in your body when it responds to stress by regulating different organs and systems. If you could imagine a perfect world, no such imbalances would exist and your level of hormones would be in balance and correct rhythm throughout the day. To balance, our body produces just the right amount of serotonin in the gut to counter cortisol for better management of our sleep cycle. This enables us to fall asleep at night easier and wake up with the morning sunshine feeling fresh and having more energy. The problem is when stress takes over your life, this perfect balance is lost, and you may develop adrenal fatigue. When you have adrenal fatigue, the brain is cursing at your poor adrenal glands, shouting and then whispering at the wrong times, thereby causing your cortisol levels to jump around between high and low levels. This leads your body to feeling exhausted and drained, or you may even be feeling depressed as you crave sugar and salty foods. So healing your adrenal exhaustion can be focused on healing that communication pathway between your brain and adrenal glands, also known as the HPA axis. You can do this by changing your diet to have foods that support your adrenal function and improve your brain health, which reduces inflammation in your brain and begins healing the HPA axis and maintaining a healthy hormonal balance. It could be as simple as adding salmon benefits to your diet, with a basic recipe such as a lightly grilled salmon served on a bed of greens such as spinach.

Salmon Benefits Stress Levels

Salmon benefits and stressStress can come in many shapes and forms; it’s your body’s response to something interacting with you, such as pain or fear for your life. It disrupts your healthy, normal mental equilibrium. It can be a physical, mental, or emotional stress. It can occur after surgery as your body heals or it can be a factor of a disease. One of the organs responsible for responding to stress are the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are one of the organs in the hormonal portion of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress complex. These glands are important because they release the anti‐stress hormone known as cortisol – along with other hormones that play a role in responding to stress. When it comes to reducing stress, salmon benefits include maintaining healthy and normal levels of cortisol and adrenaline – preventing these from spiking up and down when you’re feeling stressed or tense. If normal levels are not maintained, these imbalances can lead to adrenal fatigue. Thanks to the salmon benefits that include high omega 3 fatty acid content for keeping your cortisol levels at the right amount. If your cortisol or other hormones level spike up in a confused way, not only can you experience adrenal fatigue but you may have other ill-affecting symptoms – such as intolerance for exercise, infertility, loss of hair, having a loss of energy in the afternoon, dry skin, irregular menses, low thyroid function and low libido. As your NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response becomes disrupted, more serious concerns may arise if this continues – such as amenorrhea and miscarriage. So it’s important that you support your body as best you can by improving adrenal function and stability through eating salmon, as well as reducing or removing stressful impacts in your life.

The astaxanthin content found in salmon also shows evidence of reducing the physical stress that is caused from intense physical exercise. Just another benefit of consuming salmon. A study published on 40 professional soccer players – with half the patients taking astaxanthin over a period of 90 days – demonstrated improvements in reduction of physical stress from training activities such as resistance, strength, cardio and flexibility. The consumption of salmon benefits our health also through our metabolic response of the NeuroEndoMetabolic stress structure.

The benefit of consuming salmon containing omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and selenium – in combination – is in its contribution to managing insulin levels throughout our systems. It does this by assisting the absorption of glucose and sugar in our blood and therefore reducing our levels of blood sugar. If the metabolic response to stress is left unchecked, harmful symptoms can occur that affect your quality of life negatively, such as stages 1 and 2 of adrenal fatigue and weight gain that can result in type 2 diabetes. In developed cases that are severe, patients may experience weight loss and loss of muscles in the body as it is surrendering to an attempt to restore balance.

Tasty salmon benefitsThe salmon benefits the body in many ways: supporting your adrenal glands, reducing inflammation, improving physical performance, reducing muscle soreness, reducing cardiovascular risk, helping the development of a baby or child, reducing depression, as a vitamin D supplement, preventing damage of your cells, and helping your body deal with stress. Salmon is readily available at most grocery stores, supermarkets and fresh fish markets. Add fish to your list, hit them up for a nice freshly caught salmon, and enjoy a nutritious and delicious dinner tonight.

 
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Tasty Salmon benefits