(NaturalNews) Salmon is a species of fish that is commonly eaten for its nutritional properties. The fish live in both fresh and salt water, depending on where the salmon is in its development. Preparation methods for salmon vary, as some prefer barbequing, baking, or even sauteing their fish.
Vitamin D is obtained mainly through sunlight exposure, although some foods contain significant levels. Salmon has one of the highest vitamin D levels of all foods, containing 360IU in one three and a half ounce serving. Three quarters of American teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D, which is concerning because vitamin D plays such a crucial role in our health.
Bone health is very dependent on vitamin D levels, with diseases like rickets, osteoporosis (weak bones), and osteomalacia (bone pain) correlated with vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is also important for the heart and blood vessels. The immune system works much more effectively when the body has sufficient vitamin D levels, helping the body fight off illnesses and autoimmune diseases like cancer.
Besides vitamin D, salmon contains vitamins A and B as well as minerals like iron, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a nutrient that most Americans could use more of. An ideal ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is about 2:1 or 1:1. Because of the high processed food and vegetable oil consumption rates, many developed world citizens have a ratio that contains much higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids keep the arteries and veins flexible, and increase the strength of cardiac muscles. They also contribute to the prevention of macular degeneration, dryness in the eyes, loss of vision, and eye fatigue. Perhaps their best known attribute, omega-3 fatty acids increase the efficiency of the brain and improve memory.
Salmon is a delicious food to include in breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack or appetizer. The nutritional value of salmon is excellent on the whole, but what really sets salmon apart as a nutritional powerhouse is the high vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid levels.
About the author: Ben Hirshberg is a 21 year old student, author, and entrepreneur who studies the art of living well. Born and bred in Seattle, WA, Ben likes to read, cook, run, travel, and throw convivial parties. Ben has PFT, FNS, and YES certifications through WITS and NASM and is in the process of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and achieving board certification in Holistic Nutrition by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. He also writes regular columns for Paleo Magazine and is hoping to release several books in 2014.
You can get his book A Simple Guide to Mindful and Intuitive Eating for FREE at www.BenHirshberg.com