Salmon is probably one of the more famous fish types around the world. Known for its iconic pink flesh and health benefits – this fish available from a fish farm or from the wild. They have also been around for a long time. In fact, their existence dates back 7 million years ago as evidenced by fossils found in North America. This ancient specie is named “Saber-Tooth Salmon” with a recorded size of 3 meters long – sort of like the dinosaur of salmons.
But not all salmon species are big. There are smaller salmons like Sockeye and Pink salmon which rage in size from 4.2kgs to 8.7kgs. While the larger salmon species are Huchen, Atlantic and Chinook Salmon which range in size from 26kgs to 34kgs.
They are anadromous which simply means that they thrive both in fresh and saltwater. Unlike fresh water fishes whose cells would shrivel in salt water or salt water fishes whose cells would burst when exposed to fresh water.
They begin their life in fresh water where they mature for months or years (depending on their species) before moving out into the open sea. When it’s time for to spawn, they swim back to fresh water whence they came – some salmon species die after their first spawn.
Another unique characteristic of this fish, is that they can swim up a river fighting against the currents with the urgency to spawn – adamant to fulfill a duty that they were born into regardless of the consequences. This is how many believe salmons got their name. “Salmon” comes from the Latin “Salmo” or “salire” which means “to leap”.
It is unclear on how salmons find their way back to their fresh water home. Some experts say they navigate by using the Earth’s magnetic field, some say they trace the “pheromones” of their home stream, while others say they use their very keen sense of smell.
The sad thing is that climate change and human activities alter their habitats and can cause them to lose their way – this is one of the biggest threats to their population. This is of great concern to environmentalists, since salmon are considered a keystone specie. This means that their existence or even their carcasses have a major effect in the ecosystems they encounter.
Big Benefits from a big fish
Salmon don’t just taste good and look good, they are really good for us too. Here’s a rundown on their fishy benefits healthline.com:
- Great source Omega 3 Fatty Acids – salmon is known as one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These two fatty acids, helps decrease inflammations, improves arterial functions, reduces the risk of cancer, and even lowers blood pressure.
- High source of Protein – Protein helps builds muscles and heal the body from injuries. It also helps fight against the effects of aging on muscles and maintains muscle mass in case of weight loss. Salmon is also perfect for those who want to lose weight – in a delicious way.
- Loaded with B Vitamins – Salmon meat provides the following B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12. These help your body turn food into energy the body needs. It also maintains DNA and facilitates its growth. Plus, B vitamins are also known for helping ease inflammations which lead to heart disease.
- Rich in Potassium – This helps control blood pressure which also prevents excess water retention, and even reduces the risk of stroke. In fact, a serving of salmon gives you more potassium than a banana.
- Packed with Astaxanthin – This compound is responsible for the pink color of salmon meat. It’s an antioxidant that lowers bad cholesterol and works with Omega-3 to fight against inflammations of the brain and nervous system. And if that’s not enough, they also give you beautiful and youthful skin.
As you can see, there are many benefits to eating salmon. So if you are considering getting some, check out here on Amazon:
A Healthy Meal for every occasion
Salmon is very versatile and delicate. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. With the right ingredients, it can even be the star of your dinner spread.
Here we share recipes of salmon served as the main dish. Have them for lunch or dinner, or both!
- Miso Salmon (best served lots of sauce and rice) by JustOneCookbook.com
- Simple Baked Salmon by JessicaGavin.com
- Simple Baked Salmon by JessicaGavin.com
- Baked Salmon with Spinach by Yummly.com
Perfect Sides for salmon
As we all know and would probably agree, the side dishes give us as much excitement as the main dish. Here are good sides that must go with that salmon:
What to do with left-over salmon
If by some miracle, you have left-overs of your baked salmon. That’s like the gold standard of leftovers. You can turn it into any of these amazing dishes!
- Salmon patties from RecipeTinEats.com
- Baked Lemon Butter Salmon Pasta
- Salmon Sandwich – Flake the leftover salmon, then add some mayonnaise, pepper, salt, mustard, and chopped onions. Tada! You can use this a filling for your sandwich along with some lettuce and tomatoes.
- Salmon with Rice – Flake up the baked salmon, put it on top of cooked rice. Heat in the microwave. Then, top with Japanese mayonnaise or kewpie dressing, a bit of wasabi, and sprinkle Japanese rice seasoning on top.
- Salmon Salad – You can also use it as the protein for your tossed salad!
Who can blame bears for loving salmon?
Salmon is tasty even if raw and hosts a lot of good stuff for the body. It is most definitely something I would binge on before I doze off for a long winter. But unlike bears, I’d like a variety of salmon dishes to wolf down, not to mention those must-have salmon side-dishes!