Salmon used to be as American as apple pie.
The fish, which swarmed the East and West coasts of America, played an important part in both local economy and culture. In Alaska for example, Salmon is known as “Alaskan turkey”, an allusion to the prized bird served during holidays and special occasions.
Salmon was such an intimate part of the American household, that early European pioneers and entrepreneurs quickly got tired of a salmon-rich diet. “One salmon dish a week” had soon become the norm.
Had these settlers realized how much nutrition they were losing by going easy on salmon, they would have changed their minds about the fish.
Rich Selenium Levels means Better Testosterone Production
Selenium is a trace mineral that is involved in 300 metabolic processes in the body including muscle growth and maintenance, and testosterone production.
Selenium plays a role in thyroid function, specifically in the conversion of the T4 hormone to the active T3 hormone. The T3 hormone is vital for testosterone production. This is why men with healthy amounts of selenium in their diet have healthy semen and balanced testosterone and estrogen levels.
High Dietary Cholesterol Content Leads to Lean Muscle Gains
Salmon is rich in dietary cholesterol that is associated with lean muscle gains. Dietary cholesterol also has a hand in testosterone production. This means that apart from the aforementioned muscle benefits, regular salmon consumption leads to improved sexual characteristics – better sexual drive, better mood, and optimum reproductive health.
Like selenium, dietary cholesterol’s effects is maximized with exercise, perfect for those who are looking to power-up their post-workout meal.
Protein for Max Muscle Gains, Better Mobility and Flexibility, and Insulin Effectiveness
Salmon is a protein bomb.
The fish contains 31.7 grams of protein per 124-gram serving, enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis post-workout.
Even better, the protein in salmon is rich in bioactive peptides. Bioactive peptides are small protein molecules that optimize joint cartilage health and insulin effectiveness. Healthy joint cartilage means better mobility and flexibility, a level-up if you’re an exercise buff.
Insulin effectiveness, meanwhile, means that your body is able to handle carbohydrate metabolism at peak levels. With this, you get the most out of your body’s energy metabolism – more “burn” and less fat storage.
High Amounts of B-vitamins Means More Muscle Power and Endurance
Salmon has significant amounts of Vitamin B12, important for maintaining healthy cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, and metabolic processes. A healthy dose of vitamin B12 also ensures fatty acid oxidation and energy metabolism in the liver and the heart.
Another B-vitamin found in salmon is Niacin. Niacin is also essential for energy metabolism at the cellular level, helping release energy from carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It’s such an important part of cellular function that scientists even refer to it as “the fountain of youth”.
People with low levels of niacin tend to feel muscle weakness, oftentimes leading into a spiral lethargy and eventual inactivity.
Eat your Salmon Fresh
Visit your local fish monger for fresh salmon. Wild salmon is better than the farmed variety, both in terms of overall nutrition and safety from contaminants. This comes with a little drawback though. Wild salmon, because they tend to burn their fat off when out in the cold ocean, has lesser omega-3 content compared to farmed salmon.
Then again, farmed salmon is still a healthy option. Despite the risks of contamination, fishery practices in the United States have improved over the years, lowering safety concerns when it comes to the fish. With this there should be not doubt that the immense health benefits of eating salmon outweigh the risks.
Try using salmon in this ceviche recipe. The recipe features blue marlin as the primary ingredient, but salmon should work just as well as blue marlin and other ocean fish out there.
Are you enjoying salmon as a great post-workout meal? Tell me what you think about this nutritious fish in the comments section below.