Salmon's reputation as a healthy food is largely based on its unusual omega-3 fatty acid content.
It is normal for 114 grams of salmon to contain at least 2 grams of omega-3 fats – more than the average American adult gets from their total food consumption over the course of several days. This omega-3 fat comes in two forms: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
However, salmon is also rich in other properties, such as vitamin D and selenium, each of which have their own specific health benefits.
Interesting research conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) into the protein and amino acid content of salmon found that the fish also contains small bioactive protein molecules - bioactive peptides - that may provide protection for joint cartilage, support with insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.
However, an important consideration is that all of these benefits are derived from the consumption of wild salmon not the farmed variety.
Research on fish intake and joint protection has shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon can be converted by the body into three types of compounds that prevent chronic inflammation.
What's particularly interesting is that it combines these anti-inflammatory benefits with anti-inflammatory relief related not to fat but to protein.
Recent studies show the presence of bioactive peptides in salmon may support healthy joint cartilage and other types of tissue.
One such bioactive peptide, calcitonin, has been of special interest because it is also made in the human body by the thyroid gland, and it is already known that it helps regulate and stabilise the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue.
Such peptides may combine with salmon's omega-3 molecules to provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits for joints.
The incredibly high content of vitamin D and selenium found in salmon have also been shown to be key agents in preventing painful inflammation.
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