Recipe, photography and words by: The Nutrition Guru
A Recipe Health Benefits and Weekly Challenge
I grew up as a young girl eating fish and seafood. I have fond memories of going fishing with my father and grandfather, and coming home with our bounty which we would pop on the BBQ. I consider fish, and particularly oily fish a delightful ‘health food’. Many people pop vitamins, minerals and fish oils from a bottle, but really all we need to do is add more fish to our diet. Not only does it taste good, but it’s good for us too.
So what if I asked you these questions:
Would you like your brain to work better?
Would you like to have sharper memory?
Would you like to be in a good mood?
Would you like to prevent having a heart attack or stroke?
Did you answer yes to any of these questions? Then read on….
The health benefits of salmon
Salmon is a great source of protein, vitamin B12 and tryptophan, an amino acid. When we eat foods with tryptophan, our body converts this to the hormone ‘serotonin’ which is responsible for making us feel happy. The more fish we eat, the more happy we feel.If you eat salmon in a tin with the bones, you will have the added benefit of Vitamin D.
Salmon contains high levels of Omega 3 oils, a polyunsaturated fat in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). What’s so special about these? Well, amazingly they have been found to reduce inflammation in our body and protect our joints which is helpful for arthritis sufferers. These omega 3’s have also proven to be good for the heart, as they assist in reducing tryglycerides (fats) in the blood, reduce blood pressure and in this way they can reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
My mother used to cook me fish the night before every single school exam when I was younger. “Here’s your fish Tara, to make your brain big for the exam”. You know, my mum was onto something.The Omega 3 oils have proven to improve brain function (make you think sharper) and regulate mood.
So, salmon is a simple answer to all the questions I asked above. Would you like to prevent your heart from disease? Eat salmon. Would you like to be in a good mood and impress all your colleagues with a clever brain? Eat salmon…..
Salmon is classified as an ‘oily fish’. Other oily fish such as blue mackerel, sardines, tinned salmon, blue eye trevalla and gemfish also possess the health benefits listed above.
To reap the benefits for our joints, brain and heart, The Australian Heart Foundation recommends consuming 3 serves of oily fish per week (1 serve = 150 grams).
I’m all about simplicity and ‘throwing things together’. This is how I ate my salmon today:
- Smoked salmon (or you could use tinned salmon)
- Coriander leaves
- Natural yoghurt
- Dukkha (Middle eastern spice mix available in most deli’s or supermarkets). If you can’t find, crush your favourite nuts with sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle.
- Orange or lemon zest
- Olive oil
What to do:
- Lay smoked salmon on the plate. Drizzle with yoghurt. Place coriander on top. Add a sprinkling of dukkha and orange zest and drizzle with olive oil to finish.
- Serve on its own, or with quinoa, rice, cous cous or mixed salad leaves.
- Take a peek at The Chefs recipe for salmon skewers here Something Fishy (thenutritionguruandthechef.wordpress.com)