Food that reduces stress: Salmon

Salmon fish

By K.b.cheng (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When I was a kid I hated fish, and there were two reasons for that:

  • I didn’t like how it had so many bones I needed to pick out.
  • I didn’t like how every time I visited my grandparents, I ‘had’ to eat fish almost every day.

You see my grandfather loves fish; he loves it so much that he used to ask my grandmother to make it almost all the time. Because of this I hated fish even more than I probably should have. I remember my grandfather, as if to soften the blow would go on and on about how fish is good for you, how the omega fatty acids in fish help develop your brain and what not. As I’ve grown older I have come to appreciate that more; however back then I didn’t care about my brain, all I cared about was that we were having fish for dinner, again! To be fair though, I was no different. I wanted to have chicken everyday, I was a silly child.

Of course now things have changed, now I actually like eating fish (every now and then though, not everyday), and one of my favourite types of fish is salmon.  It’s tasty as all heck and it doesn’t have that many bones. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s good against stress and anxiety too.

This article from whfoods.org aptly titled “Salmon,” talks about the fish as a food stuff; it goes into great detail about how salmon is beneficial for you, what type of salmon you should take, tips on how to cook it and much more.

An excerpt from the article, talks about how eating salmon can help improve your mood and your cognition. Like most fish, salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acid (the one fat my grandfather praised to high heaven and his go-to excuse for eating fish every day!). However, in salmon this particular fatty acid can be found in concentrated amounts, much more than most other fish. According to the excerpt, eating salmon is known to decrease certain brain related problems and help against depression, hostile feelings in teens and cognitive decline in older people. The entire article is very informative and it’s worth taking at least a quick look at, even if you don’t read the entire thing.

Here are some more articles that talk about how omega-3 fatty acids help fight against depression, just to drive the point home:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/02/14/omega-3-depression.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19499625

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/10/report_depression/Page-01

However, I should mention that even though salmon is beneficial in more ways than one, it is very important that you do not eat it too often; this is because most cultivated salmon (especially the canned type) has small amounts mercury inside it, which is harmful to your body.

Pouring liquid mercury bionerd
By Own work (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Also you should keep salmon away from small children and pregnant women; the small amounts of mercury in salmon can be deadly to little kids and can result in irreparable damage. It’s okay for adults, but keep that stuff away from the children. It is safe to eat salmon two times a week, no more than that.

If you want some more information on the subject here’s another article from whfoods.org titled, “Should I be concerned about mercury in fish and what fish are safe to eat?”Just like the last article I mentioned, they go into a lot more detail on the topic and it’s worth a quick read.

And so we now have another food on the list that can help us manage stress and fight against depression. If this post has gotten you to consider buying some salmon for dinner then I’ll consider this post a success. I’ll tell you this much, my grandfather is going to be really happy about this article, now he has a stronger excuse to stuff fish down people’s gullets (maybe I shouldn’t have posted this!).

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