There are many nutrients that the body needs in order to function well. One of the best foods that provide many of the nutrients that the body needs is fish. There’s a good reason why fish is promoted as part of a good and healthy diet: it is a good source of low-fat high-quality protein, vitamins like vitamin A, D and E, as well as Omega-3.
Our body needs protein in order to grow and build muscle. Fish provides a very lean source of protein. Salmon and farmed rainbow trout provide about 20 g of protein for every 100 g serving, and skipjack tuna, known as katsuo in Japanese (カツオ), contains 22 g of protein for every 100 g serving.
Vitamin A is important for brain health as we’ve highlighted before. It is also essential for protecting the eyes as it helps form a protective layer for the cornea. Vitamin A can be found in a lot of oily fish, and salmon is the most recommended among them. One 100 g serving of salmon contains about 15 μg of Vitamin A, while sardines contain about 10 μg for the same amount.
Vitamin D is generally known as the vitamin that the body can generate when one goes out under the sun. It is essential for helping the body absorb calcium, as well as promote bone growth, improve the immune system, and modulate cell growth. One 100 g serving of rainbow trout and salmon contain more than 15 μg of vitamin D, which is just the right amount of vitamin D that is needed by an average adult.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant and also a vital part of the immune function. As an antioxidant, it protects cells from damage that might lead to heart disease and cancer. Once again, among all fish, salmon and trout have the highest amount of vitamin E at around 3–4 mg per 100 g serving, while canned anchovies, known locally as ikan bilis, contain about as much vitamin E as well, though they are notoriously high in sodium, and 100 g of ikan bilis already exceeds the recommended daily intake of salt by more than 150%.
Finally, we come to one of the most well-known and essential nutrients of all, Omega-3. Omega-3 helps fight depression and anxiety, as well as promote both brain health and heart health, among many other health benefits. Fish that are high in Omega-3 per 100 g serving include mackerel (also known as ikan tenggiri in Malay), herring, salmon and anchovies, all of which contain between 2174 mg 2789 mg of Omega-3. A word of caution, however: mackerel contains significant levels of mercury, so doctors have recommended against having mackerel for more than three times a week, especially for pregnant women and young children. Salmon, however, is relatively low in mercury, especially for farmed salmon. With all that said, it is very clear now why salmon is one of the most popular health foods touted by nutritionists everywhere.
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