Are you able to notice the difference between good salmon and bad salmon? Let’s start by saying that good salmon is incredible, packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, bad salmon is usually rich in toxins and other harmful compounds. If you want to learn more about the differences between these two types of salmon keep reading.
When did you eat your last salmon?
There are many people who eat salmon once a week. There are many reasons behind their practice, but they consume it mostly because it is tasty and provides a myriad of nutrients. In addition, cooking salmon is very simple. In case you’ve found fresh salmon, you can consume it in its raw form too.
It is always a good idea to buy high-quality salmon. There is a good reason why there are such drastic changes in the prices of different pieces of salmon. The presence of good fats, the taste, and the number of nutrients are closely related to two things – where was the salmon are grown and what kind of life it had.
As you can see there are a lot of things that we don’t know about this fish. This article will reveal more about the healthy substances found in this tasty fish, information about selecting the salmon with the highest quality, and how to prepare it in the right way.
Natural food coloring with anti-aging effects – astaxanthin
It turns out that color can tell us many things about the food we eat. Just take a close look at these images.
The left image shows us farmed salmon while the right one is an image of salmon grown in the wilderness of Alaska.
The wild salmon comes with specific, rich red color. This is obviously how every salmon should look like. You can notice the difference between these two samples right away. The farmed one is pale and looks a little bit ill.
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The reason why salmon meat comes in different colors is simple – the presence/absence of astaxanthin. This red molecule is present in salmon, plankton, algae, and krill. It turns out that astaxanthin is very powerful. It has the ability to:
- Enhance blood circulation
- Provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
- Boost the production of energy in mitochondria
- Keep the mitochondria safe by making the cell membranes stronger
- Improves strength endurance by more than a half in case you use it as a supplement. This fact was confirmed by a scientific study organized by a company that produces astaxanthin supplements. This means that we should be a little bit skeptical about the final results.
Salmon found in the wilderness takes astaxanthin in large amounts through its specific diet. This is especially true for sockeye salmon whose diet is based on planktons packed with astaxanthin. On the other hand, farmed salmon consumes specially created food pellets that don’t have astaxanthin in its natural form.
Breeders use a synthetic form of this food coloring. The vast majority of synthetic astaxanthin is based on petrochemicals including coal and the chemical structure is different than the one that comes in a natural form.
The fish bred in captivity also consume fish oils and fish meals and there are high chances for this food to be polluted with mercury and dioxin. In the last decade, breeders have started replacing fish oil and meal with vegetable oil and corn protein and soy, in order to lower the level of heavy metal pollution.
However, salmon is not supposed to consume corn and soy, so breeders now have to use antibiotics in their diet too. Without any doubt, some traces of these drugs enter our bodies when we consume farmed salmon. In addition, vegetable oil reduces the natural presence of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and often creates mold toxins in the meat.
Conclusion: Avoid farmed salmon. Choose wild salmon.
Mercury found in wild salmon
The diet of farmed salmon is not promising something good. However, the authorities (the EPA and FDA) have started doing research related to mercury pollution in fish and it turns out that there are very small chances for wild salmon to be polluted with mercury. These agencies have concluded that it is perfectly safe to eat wild salmon more than once a week.
Is there are a best wild salmon variety?
There is no general answer to this question. The answer is related to the type of nutrients you need.
For example, sockeye salmon is packed with the largest quantity of astaxanthin, vitamin D, and cholesterol. This variety follows an uncommon diet that consists almost entirely of plankton. This practice makes sockeye salmon almost impossible to farm, so you can rarely find farmed sockeye. In addition, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Another thing that makes this fish interesting is the specific strong taste. In other words, sockeye salmon is good for our health and tastes interesting.
King or Chinook salmon comes with two times more omega-3 fatty acids than sockeye salmon or any other species. This salmon is fond of cold and relatively deep waters. They also have more omega-3 fatty acids that helped them stay warm. It is very easy to farm Chinook salmon, so be careful and find out whether you are looking at wild or farmed variety.
Coho or Pacific Coho salmon is another popular choice. This fish has excellent omega-3 fatty acid content and a good amount of vitamin D.
These three salmon varieties are great options, but only if they are wild. Since each of them comes with a different taste, try them all and select the one you find the best.
There is no doubt that smoked salmon comes with a specific flavor and it is also very healthy. The only disadvantage is the fact that smoking meat of any kind leads to the production of histamine which can ultimately result in inflammation especially if you are histamine-sensitive. You can always try smoked salmon and see how it goes. It is a better option to use a cold-smoked version of this fish. If the temperature is lower, you can expect to get more omega-3 fatty acids.
Ideally baked salmon – Recipe for two persons.
Many nutritionists consider salmon to be a type of superfood, but only if you prepare it in the right way. If you cook it for a long time, it won’t do much good. The following recipe will show you how to get the most from salmon.
- One teaspoon of brain octane oil (you can also use coconut oil or MCT)
- Two eight-ounce salmon fillets (wild salmon)
- One tablespoon of fresh herbs like dill, parsley, and chives.
- One tablespoon of unsalted butter
- Sea salt
- Turn the oven to 160 C (320 F)
- Take a piece of parchment paper, put the salmon on it, and put everything on a regular baking sheet. Use the brain octane oil to rub each fillet. After that, use some sea salt and add butter on top.
- Carefully cover the fish with the parchment, creating seams and pressing them in order to keep the steam inside.
- Keep baking the fish until it gets a point (medium rare) – firmer, warm red center. It will take less than 20 minutes to achieve that. Put some herbs and squeeze some lemon juice.
- That’s it! Enjoy your meal and share this recipe with your friends.
Via Natural Ponics