4 Reasons Salmon Is A Dr. Weil Favorite (Plus What Kind To Choose)

This tip is courtesy of Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging: Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. For more nutrition and health guidance, start your 14-day free trial now!

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is one of my favorite foods. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Evidence indicates omega-3s may offer lowered risk of:

  1. Heart attack and stroke
  2. Cancer
  3. Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
  4. Mental and emotional problems

When buying salmon, it is important to know its origins: when it comes to protecting the environment, farmed fish is not a better option than wild-caught fish. Fish farming is resource- and energy-intensive (it takes several pounds of fish feed to produce one pound of farmed fish) and does not protect dwindling wild stock. Further, farmed salmon is likely to contain residues of pesticides, antibiotics and other synthetic compounds used to control diseases that occur when fish are crowded in pens. Farmed salmon also has less flavor and protein and more fat than wild salmon, and its ratio of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids may not be as favorable.

I suggest you choose wild-caught salmon, especially from the Pacific fisheries – they are more sustainably fished and have a larger, more stable population. If wild-caught salmon is cost-prohibitive, canned salmon (choose products containing salmon from wild, not farmed, sources) is a good alternative.

Keep in mind that how you store and cook salmon can affect its essential nutrients. Avoid cooking methods such as deep-frying, blackening or sautéing at high temperatures. Instead, preserve the omega-3s in salmon by trying various preparation methods:

Baking: Hot and Sour Salmon with Greens

Broiling: Salmon Kasu

Poaching: Poached Salmon

Steaming: Salmon in Parchment

Grilling: Grilled Salmon in Mustard Sauce

Aim for two to six servings of salmon per week, and enjoy!

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