Superfoods part 7
In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.
Today’s post: Monday, 4-24-2006
Superfoods & Honor Roll Foods, part 7
Wild caught Salmon.
It’s becoming widely known that most people today take in too little Omega 3 oils & that wild caught salmon are high in Omega 3’s.
For people who don’t yet have severe cardiovascular disease, a diet high in Omega 3’s apparently reduces the incidence of fatal heart attacks. (Though one study reported to me suggests this may be less true for people who already have significant cardiovascular disease or heart failure.)
A robust intake of Omega 3’s apparently tends to prevent depression. It has reversed mild depression in many cases. And, when it does so, it can succeed in days where most anti-depression drugs take weeks to begin to work.
And, there are a surprising number of illnesses that are made less likely or improved by getting enough Omega 3’s.
There are purified fish oil capsules & DHA derived directly from the algae the fish get it from that you can take instead of eating salmon, however.
So why eat wild caught salmon?
When cooked properly it’s good to eat since it’s tender & has a very rich but mild taste. Some people like it just that way. And, there are many really great sauces that go well with salmon. Garlic works well with salmon; but to my taste, lemon juice by itself works much less well with salmon than it does with leaner fish like halibut.
And, a nice 6 to 8 ounce serving as much Omega 3’s as a weeks supply of Omega 3 supplements, unless you take them by the handful or several times a day. (So, for the same amount of Omega 3’s, wild caught salmon is not only more enjoyable to eat, it’s actually cheaper than the supplements.)
(Many health writers recommend eating wild caught salmon once or twice a week AND taking the Omega 3 supplements.)
And, there’s more. In addition to being high in Omega 3’s, salmon is low in saturated fat. So for a big dose of high quality protein that is OK for your heart health to eat, salmon is a superb choice to replace meats that are high in saturated fat & low in Omega 3’s.
In addition, salmon is high in CoQ10 which increases your energy level making the mitochondria in your cells more active -- & which is beneficial & protective to your heart. Plus, like Omega 3’s, it has many other health benefits.
Lastly, salmon is high in creatine, that many vegetarians or mostly vegetarians, tend to be low in & which speeds healing of muscle strains & increases the strength & speed of fast twitch muscle fibers. (Body builders & athletes take creatine as a supplement for those reasons.)
Important note: If salmon is NOT labeled as wild caught or Alaskan or both, there’s a 98 to 100 percent chance it’s farm raised.
And, at this writing, farmed salmon rank somewhere between -- eat only two or three times a year & avoid completely -- in how often health writers recommend eating them.
The reason is simple. They have pollutants wild caught salmon do not have or have only a few percent as much.
Wild caught salmon have no or very little mercury. Farm raised tend to be high in it.
The same is true of man-made organic pollutants like PCB’s, DDT, & dioxin.
And, two other reasons I just learned today are that:
1. Farmed salmon are very high per pound in their antibiotic content. (This can cause allergic reactions or cause the bacteria in your body to become antibiotic resistant.)
2. Since the farmed salmon are fed corn & soy meal passively, they are often too high in Omega 6 oils & have far less of the Omega 3’s many of us are eating salmon to get.
Virtually all restaurants serve only farm raised salmon. And, to the best of my knowledge, any canned salmon labeled as Atlantic salmon is farmed.
Wild caught salmon is available from Whole Food Market, at least it is in the San Francisco Bay Area.
And, as I understand it, all Alaskan canned salmon is wild caught. And, I myself buy canned salmon that not only is labeled as Alaskan but is also labeled as wild caught.
What if you want the benefits of wild caught salmon; but you want some variety or you want something a bit cheaper?
Sardines have all the benefits of wild caught salmon; & canned sardines are available in almost every grocery store. (And, as far as I know are all wild caught.)
And, they are often less expensive than canned salmon.
Their drawback is that the canned variety have a much stronger fishy taste & odor than fresh or canned wild caught salmon.
But if you are OK with that or use them in a salad with enough other strong flavors, they are a legitimate Superfood.