Sunday, January 18, 2009

Salmon: Super Seafood

My introduction to salmon dates back to 2nd grade when a little redheaded girl from Alaska was a new student in our class. Embarrassing as it was, whenever you were the new kid in class, the teacher would point you out and make you introduce yourself to the rest of your classmates. Reluctantly, the girl introduced herself and told us she was from Anchorage. Her father was a fisherman and smoked salmon was a specialty of his. She passed around a tin of Indian hard smoked salmon to share with us. I examined my piece of fish jerky. The orangey pigment and oily texture didn’t really appeal to me. Then I took the dried piece of meat and tugged at it with my teeth. The salty flavor perked up my taste buds. The salmon was delightful.
Salmon has been hailed as the best source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Wild, cold water fish like salmon are the best source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) both of which the human body does not produce. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are very beneficial. These acids promote cardiovascular health, regulate blood pressure, and protect against stroke. Salmon contains a healthy balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats making it the perfect low calorie and low saturated fat source of protein. It is also brimming with nutrients like selenium, niacin and vitamins B12 and B6. It is also an excellent source of phosphorus and magnesium. Eating salmon regularly generates great health benefits from cancer protection to inflammation reduction to improving brain function.
My palate was deprived of salmon until about 6 years ago when I was reintroduced to the wonderful seafood. It was an Atlantic salmon that my mom marinated in a secret spice recipe and baked in the oven. The fish was made to perfection. The tender meat fell right off at the natural grooves as I poked it with my fork. The zest from the marinade beautifully enhanced the salmon’s natural flavor. Cold smoked salmon was a late entry on my menu but it’s been a regular part of my diet ever since I discovered its buttery sweetness. The versatility of cold smoked salmon is infinite. One of my favorite midday meals is a slice of multigrain toast topped with cottage cheese, tomatoes and smoked salmon. Another favorite is avocado slices on a butter croissant layered with fresh smoked salmon. I make sure to stock my fridge with this healthy fish because not only is it delicious, it is the healthiest form of lean protein and essential fatty acids. Learn more about the benefits of salmon.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Flickr

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