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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Salmon Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 68.5 g
Calories: 142 kcal
Protein: 19.8 g
Fat: 6.3 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B3: 7.9 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.8 mg
Vitamin B9: 25 μg
Vitamin B12: 3.2 μg
Vitamin A: 12 μg
Calcium: 12 mg
Iron: 0.8 mg
Magnesium: 29 mg
Phosphorus: 200 mg
Potassium: 490 mg
Sodium: 44 mg
Zinc: 0.6 mg

Salmon is the common name for a number of species of fish, renowned as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Due to high demand, many salmon are now intensively farmed, and there are even proposals in place to used genetically modified salmon in the large-scale fish farms. Despite this commercial pressure, or perhaps because of it, wild caught salmon is a delicacy. The salmon is native to the Atlantic and pacific tributaries, and is fantastic smoked, grilled or poached, and goes well with everything from light spring vegetables like asparagus to rice noodles and risottos. A fantastic nutritional profile, coupled with the high amounts of omega-3s for which it is renowned, make salmon a fantastic health food.

Nutritionally, salmon is essentially very high in protein and essential fats, making it an exceptionally balanced base to a meal. 100g of raw Atlantic salmon contains 208 calories, but for that you get a huge amount of protein (40% of your DV – Daily Value), in addition to large amounts of B6 (53% DV), B12 (30% DV), and potassium (10% DV). With lean protein sources being so important for weight loss, B6 and B12 being so important for everything from blood to brain function, and potassium essential for heart health, the salmon is a fantastic health food.

The main draw of salmon, however, is its huge amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. 55% DV of omega 3 fatty acids are contained in 100g of salmon, but what is actually most significant is the high ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 (the body can only absorb so much omega, so ratio is important). In fact, the only other sources of omega 3 that come close to salmon are walnut and flaxseed: and both of those are ALA (alpha linoleic acid), not EPA or DHA, the fats in salmon. ALA must be converted into EPA and DHA, and some of it is lost in conversion, so in real terms, salmon has the most omega-3s.

Omega 3 has a whole host of benefits. For example, omega 3 has been shown to lower blood pressure, help prevent breast cancer, and even delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration. It has even been shown to prevent the shortening of telomeres, associated with age-related diseases and early mortality. Finally, omega 3 has been shown to be instrumental in preventing or delaying neurodegenerative diseases. There is even suggestion that diets with a high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio run the risk of an increased risk of depression and inflammatory disorders.