Salmon is one of the most preferred seafood in the world. While fresh salmon is a preferred option for many, smoked salmon does come with many health benefits. Smoked salmon, for example, is rich in vital nutrients, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants that come in handy in promoting good health and lowering the risk of terminal conditions, including cognitive decline, heart disease, and cancer.
Smoked Salmon: What It Is?
Fresh smoked salmon is often confused for lox. While they might seem similar, smoked salmon is simply that smoked, while lox has undergone a curing process. It is also worth noting that smoked salmon is high in essential nutrients and contains very few calories. To put it into perspective, 3.5 ounces (100gms) of salmon contains:
- Fat: 4.3g
- Calories: 117g
- Calcium: 11mg
- Iron: 0.85mg
- Sodium: 672mg
- Selenium: 32.4mg
- Zinc: 0.31mg
- Vitamin A: 26micrograms
- Vitamin b12: 3.26micrograms
- Vitamin E: 1.35mg
Benefits Of Smoked Salmon
The most commonly known health benefits of smoked salmon are:
- Improved brain health
- Reduces risk of heart diseases
- Fight anxiety
- Helps promote healthy weight
- Fight inflammations
Smoked salmon is rich in:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Smoked salmon is famous for its high content in omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fats play a crucial role in protecting brain cells, preserving brain structure and functions, fight off triglycerides and inflammation.
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Adding smoked salmon to your diet plan will also help reduce the risk of heart diseases. Rich in omega 6 fatty acids, consuming smoked salmon is good for your heart. Although omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are crucial for improved health, too many omega 6 fatty acids can trigger an imbalance or inflammation. Smoked salmon, however, helps regulate the presence of omega 6 fatty acids in the blood, thus making it safe.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin b12 is essential in promoting the production of red blood cells and DNA and boosts nerve function as well.
- Vitamin A and E
These are some of the most potent antioxidants commonly needed to fight off toxic compounds and free radicals.
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that helps improve HDL (good) cholesterol and fight off LDL (bad cholesterol). It is thus good for your heart health
- Rich in proteins
Proteins are the body’s building blocks. They also induce satiation, leaving you feeling full for longer. This comes in handy for those looking to shed a few pounds in weight.
In a study conducted on children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, children who received omega-3 supplements lost more liver and belly fat than those who didn’t.
- Fights Off Inflammation
Smoked salmon contains good amounts of antioxidants that help fight off inflammation caused by conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and ulcerative colitis. A study on women with inflammatory markers shows that eating 80gms of smoked salmon every day helps lower these markers significantly.
Disadvantages of Smoked Salmon
- It is high in sodium: Smoked salmon contains more sodium (672mg per 100gm serving) compared to fresh salmon (at only 75mg). Too much sodium increases one’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
- It may increase your risk of cancer: Overeating smoked salmon (and other meats) may increase your risk of colorectal cancer and other different types of cancer.
- It may contain harmful bacteria: Cold salmon may contain the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, hence not recommended for individuals with a weakened immune system. Health experts also discourage consuming too much-smoked salmon and other roasted/smoked meats.