Superfood Spotlight: Salmon
We think this heart-healthy fish deserves a place on your plate. Here’s why.
Salmon has earned a permanent spot on the superfoods list thanks to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acid—a type of good-for-you fat that has a long list of health benefits going for it. Where to begin: Omega-3s may help reduce inflammation throughout the body. They have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes, lower bad cholesterol, decrease triglycerides, and help lower blood pressure.
On top of all that, research has found that they also help keep your brain sharp as you age and could ease arthritis pain. And it’s not just the omega-3s in salmon that are good for you; researchers now believe that it’s the combination of omega-3s and other nutrients that account for salmon’s many healthy attributes. Best of all, you can reap those rewards by simply eating a 3-ounce portion of salmon, which packs nearly 2 grams of omega-3s, twice a week. That’s not so difficult, right?
Before you imagine getting into a salmon rut, know that there are countless, delicious ways to get your salmon fix. When you’re in a Sodexo Café, for example, try the Mindful Smoked Salmon Spring Rolls or Mindful’s Citrus Grilled Salmon with Couscous and Green Beans. Salmon is also easy to prep at home. The salmon available in fish markets and grocery stores usually falls into two main categories: wild and farmed. Wild salmon tends to have fewer calories overall, while farmed salmon may have more fat. At the store, be sure to choose salmon steaks or fillets that are firm and have been kept well chilled.
How to Serve It Up
- Smoked salmon. Smoked salmon, sometimes called “cured salmon” or “lox,” can be found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. It is ready to eat out of the package. Try pieces of smoked salmon in some scrambled eggs for breakfast. For lunch of dinner, toss smoked salmon with pasta and roasted vegetables—a dish that’s great hot or cold.
- Pan roasted. Cooking salmon in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil can achieve a crispy outside without the extra calories of deep-frying. Cook the fish over medium-high heat for about four minutes per side, or until it is no longer translucent. It’s ready to eat as-is, or try it in a fish taco. If there are any leftovers, simply roll them into a whole grain wrap along with some salad greens for a quick and tasty lunch.
- Try rubbing salmon with your favorite herbs or spices, then wrapping it in tinfoil to create a pouch. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes in a 400 degree F oven until the fish is cooked through and flaky but not dry. Serve it alongside steamed or grilled vegetables, or atop a no-fuss brown rice or whole grain couscous.
- Poaching salmon is a great way to cook up the fish and keep it tender and moist. Don’t be afraid to play around with the poaching liquid, whether it’s water or broth—or a combination. Heat the liquid in a wide pan on the stove until just boiling, then add pieces of salmon and reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Add fresh herbs or garlic for extra flavor. Cook until the fish is opaque (about 15 minutes). There are very few side dishes that don’t go with poached salmon—we like the simple flavors of sautéed kale and roasted Brussels sprouts.