Research has found that omega 3 supplements are not likely to provide the same health benefits as consuming omega 3 rich whole foods. Victoria Beckham has suffered with skin problems and as a result has been told by her dermatologist to eat salmon every single day in at least one of her meals.
As well as the benefits it has on our skin, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Amy Wright working with itsu, the healthy pan-asian eatery reveals how increasing our intake of salmon can improve our overall health…
Transform your skin
Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which assist moisture retention in the skin barrier. Dry skin can have a multitude of causes, however it can also be a telltale symptom of omega-3 deficiency. For vegans, a recommended source of Omega-3 is flaxseed.
“In addition to its omega-3 content, salmon is a very heart-healthy form of protein. Protein is essential for skin repair, particularly as we age and lose elasticity in our skin. I don’t believe that any one food is a miracle cure for anti-ageing and everyone is unique. However, having a varied diet inclusive of vegetables, carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats (e.g. salmon, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds) all contribute to thriving health as we age.” Amy told us.
“My favorite skin-friendly lunch is sushi, because it contains a mix of nutrients and keeps my skin healthy and my hunger at bay. I love the Omega 3 box from itsu because it also contains seeds and leafy greens, which are ideal for skin and hormonal health.”
Kiss stress goodbye
Eating a variety of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats also helps to stabilise blood sugar, which means you are less prone to energy spikes and slumps during the day and more resilient to everyday stressors.
“The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help to boost our “good mood” serotonin levels and protect the nervous system. It’s B vitamin content also helps to support brain function, energy, memory and fight stress.” Amy explained.
Healthy happy hair
“Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for scalp and hair health. Salmon also contains vitamin D. The role of vitamin D in the human hair cycle is still unclear, however vitamin D deficiency has been linked to female hair loss.”
Maintain that weight loss
“If you’re looking to healthily lose weight, I’d recommend ditching strict diet rules or restrictions, and instead focus on feeding your body a variety of high quality foods, everyday. One of the reasons salmon can influence weight loss or maintenance is due to its protein content. Eating protein can reduce your appetite in comparison to the same amount of calories from fat or carbohydrates. Protein is high on the satiety index, so it keeps you fuller for longer.” So if you are a yoyo dieter or you’re struggling to shred those pounds in the first place – start introducing salmon into your diet and the benefits will follow!
No more afternoon slumps
Salmon is a vitamin-dense food and its omega-3 fatty acids are not only beneficial for your wellbeing, but also for your brain. “A healthy brain influences many aspects of our wellbeing, including our energy, mood, mental health and motivation. Eating a variety of healthy foods and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats) helps to support optimum brain function, energy and your overall wellbeing. As well as this, protein and fats help stabilise our blood sugar levels, which mitigates those harsh energy spikes and slumps throughout the day.”
Slow down the process of needing specs
Salmon may also support eye health. Salmon is a rich source of antioxidants, carotenoids and one of the key omega-3 fatty acids, DHA. All of these contribute to optimum function of the eye. Some studies have even shown a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration in those with a high dietary intake of omega-3.
Feel like a spring chicken
Our bones play many roles in the body – they provide structure, protect organs and anchor muscles, this is why it is so important that we take care of them. “A balanced diet with sufficient calcium and vitamin D, from foods such as salmon, are one of the building blocks for healthy bones as we age. Physical activity is also essential, however many people spend their days in artificially-lit offices, sat at desks and lead largely sedentary lifestyles. If you’re looking to optimise your bone health, I suggest focusing on a varied diet rich in vitamins and incorporating movement throughout the day.” Amy told YCB.
Heart friendly fish
“Salmon is often referred to as one of the “heart friendly” fish and rightly so. Don’t let the high calorie content scare you – it’s full of healthy and essential fats and nutrients. In fact, a study concluded that a diet high in essential fatty acids (and low in carbohydrates) was most effective for lowering cardiovascular risk in overweight participants. Salmon provides a decent amount of protein, in addition to essential omega-3 fats and vitamins that support overall well-being and heart health.”
Fuel your concentration
Amy finally said: “The brain has a high concentration of fats and therefore consumption of healthy fats, particularly DHA, is crucial to cognitive health. The keyword here is ‘healthy’ fats. Eating essential healthy fats promotes optimum memory, concentration and mood, whilst overconsumption of omega-6 fats or “trans-fats” can contribute to disease and inflammation. Some studies have indicated that essential fats can play a supplementary role in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and depression.”