Salmon has long been known as a great heart-healthy food choice because of its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Find out all the benefits of incorporating salmon into your diet below!
Recipe: Maple-Mustard Marinated Salmon
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 (6 oz) salmon filets (if frozen, thaw before use)
Combine Dijon mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag; add salmon. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
Remove salmon from bag, reserving marinade. Place salmon on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
Cook for 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily. Baste salmon occasionally with reserved marinade while cooking.
Salmon can be served cold with a fresh salad or served warm with rice and steamed vegetables.
Nutrition information per serving:
299 calories, 34 g protein, 11.2 g fat (3.9 g monounsaturated fat, 4.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 350 mg sodium, 12.7 g carbohydrates
Salmon's Heart-Healthy Benefits
The American Heart Association highly recommends people eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. A rich source of this heart-healthy fatty acid is most commonly and abundantly found in salmon. Salmon is known for its unsaturated fatty acids that may help lower cholesterol when substituted for other proteins high in saturated fat. Omega-3 is known to reduce inflammation throughout one's entire body. Inflammation can damage one's blood vessels, and reducing one's bodily inflammation through the consumption of salmon may reduce one's risk of heart disease. Other heart-healthy benefits from omega-3 consumption include lower blood pressure, decrease in stroke and heart failure risk, reduction in blood clotting and irregular heartbeats.
Salmon is not just a great food choice for those with pre-existing heart problems. It is an excellent food choice for all people looking to protect their heart health. It may help lower one's risk of arrhythmias, or abnormal heartbeats, which are some of the most common heart diseases and can lead to sudden death.
Other Salmon Health Benefits
Salmon is also rich in many other vitamins that promote overall health and well-being. Salmon has an abundant source of vitamin B12, which is needed for normal red blood cell formation. Vitamin B12 functions as a coenzyme in DNA metabolism and is necessary for proper growth and division of all cells.
Another great vitamin found within salmon is vitamin D. This vitamin not only helps reduce one's risk of developing heart disease, vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and regulation of the immune system.
Purchasing and Preparing Your Salmon
Now that we know all the ways salmon can improve our heart and overall health let's talk about the ways to properly store and cook your salmon for making our new heart-healthy recipe!
Which salmon should I buy? Wild or farmed? Go for the wild salmon. When salmon are raised in pens and fed soy, nutritional value plunges. Another reason: many farms use crowded pens where salmon are easily infected with lice, and then may be treated with antibiotics.
It is always best to purchase salmon fresh the day you wish to prepare it, but if you are planning ahead for the week, raw salmon will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to store the fish in airtight containers. Cooked salmon will last about the same amount of time in the refrigerator as raw salmon, as long as it is stored properly.
When freezing raw salmon, it will last up to 2-3 months. The optimal temperature to freeze salmon is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Frozen cooked salmon, when kept at the same temperature, will be good for up to 4-6 months, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The best ways to prepare this heart-healthy fish is to bake, broil or grill it. None of these cooking methods require any extra cooking oils be used, thus maintaining the salmon's natural, unsaturated fat levels. For this recipe, we suggest broiling or grilling the salmon.
Many people feel the risk of mercury in salmon outweighs the health benefits. Studies are beginning to show otherwise. The health benefits of eating salmon, specifically wild salmon, outweigh the negative effects of mercury. Those who should be cautious of consuming too much seafood are those who are pregnant or nursing.
#EatWellLiveWell with UnityPoint Clinic
Now that you know how salmon can improve heart health, try our new Maple-Mustard Marinated Salmon recipe today. This flavorful recipe will make eating salmon new and exciting. Plus, it will help you reach the goal of eating 2-3 servings of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids a week.
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