Whether we’re talking about foods rich in vitamin D, foods that help lower cholesterol, or even foods that help you focus; salmon makes every list. This pale-pink fish is the definition of a superfood with a nutritional profile so robust you’ll want to incorporate it into every meal possible. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon is only 130 calories, but contains 22 grams of protein and sizeable quantities of vitamins A, B12, and D. Historically, salmon has been the foundation of some of the world’s most healthy culinary culture. It is a staple ingredient of both Mediterranean and Japanese diets, often consumed raw, poached, or lightly grilled.
But what pleases doctors, nutritionists, and healthy eating advocates most about salmon is its omega-3 fatty acid content. These essential fats can’t be manufactured in the body from scratch, and must be derived from foods such as walnuts, flax, and chia seeds, and they are most abundant in fatty fish, like salmon. There are three varieties of omega-3 fatty acids, but oily fish are especially rich in two of them: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Scientists have established a strong connection between omega-3 fatty acids and heart health. Large trial studies have found that heart attack survivors who took a 1-gram capsule of omega-3 fats every day for three years were less likely to have a repeat heart attack or stroke than participants who took a placebo, and the risk of sudden cardiac death was lowered by as much as 50 percent.
With all these benefits, it’s essential to fit some salmon into your weekly dining routine. But broiled or baked salmon can be a bore. Fortunately, salmon is quite versatile, and the fish can stand up to a number of bold flavors like horseradish, Marsala wine, or miso. Cooking it delicately “en papillote” (in parchment) keeps the fish moist, while serving it lightly cured in citrus creates a bright and flavorful ceviche.
Here are 10 recipes that will have you falling in love with salmon all over again.