Why sporting champions eat Salmon

Posted on
September 30, 2017

Who ever said healthy food doesn’t taste good? Salmon not only tastes great it is good for you. Salmon boasts nutrients that are beneficial for our heart and brain health and is a regular feature of one of the AFL's  sporting champions, Tom' Mitchell's diet!

The health benefits of fish, including salmon,  have the National Heart Foundation recommend eating fish two to three times fish serves a week. One of the player's I work with at Hawthorn Football Club, 2018 AFL Brownlow Medalist Tom Mitchell reports in his winning speech that he, 'is on a strict salmon diet.' He obviously eats salmon regularly, is this his winning ingredient?

Salmon contains around 20 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, with protein being important for cell repair and muscle growth and maintenance. This protein level is similar to that in red meat however, the popular oily fish has the benefit of a higher omega 3 fat content. These healthy polyunsaturated fats are best sourced from seafood and can not be made by the body.

Omega 3 fats have been shown to reduce blood pressure and the build up of plaque in arteries and decrease the risk of blood clotting. They have anti-inflammatory properties and may assist with relief of joint pain and are important for brain health.

Salmon also contains iron, zinc, some B group vitamins such and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B12, important nutrients for our overall health and immune system.

Salmon is easy to cook and prepare. You can:

  • Bake it in the oven
  • Grill
  • Pan fry in extra virgin olive oil
  • Cut up into a pasta sauce
  • Steam with some herbs and spices and a sauce
  • Throw on the barbeque
  • If you have very fresh fillets cut it finely for sashimi

Look for fresh fillets, the flesh should spring back when you prod it and it shouldn’t smell too fishy.  Salmon is a fish that also freezes well. I sometimes buy a big fillet at the market, cut into portions and freeze. The oil in the fish helps keep the flesh nice and firm when it defrosts.

With all these nutrients and a champion footballer behind it how could you not include salmon as part of your regular diet!