Did you know that salmon is one of the most popular fish choices in the country, and one of those reasons is that it has a ton of benefits for people who love all things fitness and exercise. Salmon has a rich, buttery flavor that is sure to please after any sort of workout but more importantly, it’s one of those superfoods that can help positively impact your overall fitness. You barely need any marinades, extra calories or seasoning because it’s so naturally delish. Salmon is an excellent addition to any diet, as it is nutritionally dense with tons of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein.
Protein to Build and Repair Muscles
According to the USDA, just one fillet of wild-caught salmon can have up to 20 grams of protein – this is about 50% of your daily value! Protein is an essential building block of each cell in your body and is necessary for the creation and repair of muscles. Piedmont tells us that protein is key to staying in shape because it reduces muscle loss, promotes faster recovery after exercise, reduces hunger, helps to create lean muscles, and can help promote a healthy weight. Protein is also great for hormone and digestion regulation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Aid in Exercise
Salmon is loaded with healthy omega-3 polyunsaturated fats like EPA and DHA. According to the University of Western States (UWS), these fatty acids can improve performance in routine exercise as well as endurance and strength training. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent exercise-induced muscle damage and reduce post-workout inflammation or soreness. UWS also tells us that omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon can contribute to better nerve conduction, muscle activation, and the healthy growth of new muscles. As we age, consuming omega-3 fatty acids becomes more and more essential to prevent muscle decay and stiffness. Research from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) shows that getting your daily value of omega-3 fatty acids can also help improve cognitive function and manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Niacin to Transform Food into Energy
Salmon is a great source of niacin, otherwise known as vitamin B3. Niacin is essential to many bodily processes that contribute to overall fitness. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, niacin is important for converting nutrients to energy, creating and repairing DNA, creating good cholesterol and fats, and exerting antioxidant effects. They also state that niacin is useful in the prevention of some heart diseases, strokes, and heart attacks.
Iron to Support Muscle Metabolism
Iron is an essential piece of the puzzle for many processes that occur in the body and is found in most high-quality fish, including salmon. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), iron is required for healthy growth and development and is responsible for distributing oxygen to all the parts of your body, especially muscles. The ODS states that iron directly contributes to muscle metabolism and promotes the creation of healthy connective tissues. Iron can also positively contribute to hormone synthesis, neurological development, and proper cellular functioning.
Glutamine for Energy Production
Glutamine is found in most meat including seafood like salmon and cod. According to WebMD, glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in our body. It directly contributes to the creation of protein that builds up our muscle tissues and can thus promote faster recovery after muscle damage or injury. WebMD also states that glutamine may have positive effects on the immune system, gut health, and liver health.
How Can Salmon Benefit Your Fitness?
As you can see, there are many ways that salmon can help you maintain, or even improve, your fitness! On top of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, niacin, and glutamine, salmon also contains magnesium, calcium, and vitamins C, D, and B6. If you’re looking to ramp up your fitness, consider incorporating high-quality salmon into your diet more often. There are tons of unique ways to cook salmon, and here at Oshēn Salmon, we have a whole library of awesome salmon recipes you can check out for inspiration. Not used to cooking salmon. No worries! We’ve got you covered with plenty of tips about how to cook salmon at home.