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Prof. Dr. Osman Muftuoglu’s comment

A healthy food: SALMON

Fish is a healthy and popular food with its Omega-3 fatty acids, high quantity of quality protein and low fat content.

Quality and enough protein taken with foods underlie healthy growing and quality life. Fish is a quality protein source. When compared to dairy products, meat types and egg, it has low calories, high protein and the healthiest fat content.

Fish matter in nutrition with its iodine and selenium content in addition to protein. Fish fat makes a big contribution to nutrition as being sources of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E.

The most important feature of fish today is that it contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA (Eicosa Pentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosa Haxaenoic Acid). EPA and DHA do not exist in herbal foods. These fatty acids are found more in fatty fish. Salmon is also a fatty fish. 100 g salmon contains approximately 4-14 g of fat. 0.62 g of EPA and 1.29 g of DHA is found in a 100 g salmon fish meat which contains 10 g of fat. 0.42 g of EPA and 0.59 g of DHA is found in a 100 g salmon fish meat which contains 4 g of fat.

DHA plays an important role on development of baby brain and retina. It has big importance that pregnant takes these fatty acids in enough amounts. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take at least 2.6 g of Omega-3 fatty acids per day. Need of the baby in mother’s womb and during breast fed is additional 100-300 mg of DHA per day.

Consumption of fish and especially fatty fish like salmon at least 1-2 times a week is protective against cardiovascular diseases. It reduces sudden death risks related to heart disease. This effect is explained more with its anti-arrhythmia feature than its plaque stabilizing and anti-thrombotic feature. Consumption of fish at least 1-2 times a week (350-650 g according to fatty acid content of fish) reduces the risk in the ratio of 50 %. In recent years, a bioactive substance named resolvin produced from EPA is found. This substance has reducing affect on inflammation during treatment of inflammatory diseases. It is stated in recent studies that Omega-3 fatty acids might have preventive affects on psychiatric disorders from stress to dementia.

Salmon contains astaksantin unlike many fish species. This substance is a powerful antioxidant. It can be said that protective effect of salmon fish against heart diseases strengthens with astaksantin. Astaksantin which shows protective effect against lipid peroxidation reduces LDL oxidation in direct proportion to amount it is taken. One portion salmon fish contains 0.5-4.5 mg of astaksantin according to its growing region and technique.

Cooking technique should be taken care of to preserve the beneficial effects of fish. Structure of Omega-3 fatty acids spoils when fried, for this reason steamed, baked, grilled fish should be preferred. Omega-3 fatty acids are reduced in half in smoked salmon. Salmon is a healthy food. It is like a protein, Omega-3 and astaksantin source. It is beneficial to benefit this health miracle.

Prof. Dr. Osman Muftuoglu

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