We hope that you are enjoying our 7 Foods That Fight Fat Series. Next on our list is Salmon.
Research suggests the omega-3s in Salmon and other fatty fish help build muscle-and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to lower triglycerides, which are a type of fat in the bloodstream (experts aren't sure of the exact mechanism).
Omega-3 fatty acids may also slow down the growth of plaques in the arteries and reduce inflammation throughout the body. "Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant," says cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.
One fascinating new area of health benefits involves the protein and amino acid content of salmon. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.
Cooking Tip: It's always best to broil, grill, or steam these foods. Any health benefits from fish are cancelled out if you deep-fry them in a vat of vegetable oil.
Try to get two 3oz servings of fatty fish per week. Here is a recipe to try. Enjoy!
- 4 ounces soba buckwheat noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
- 5 ounces asparagus, cut in thirds
- Cooking spray
- 1 (6-oz) salmon fillet, skin off, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Zest and juice of 1-2 limes (3 TBSP juice)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
- 4 ounces cucumber, skin on, cut into medium pieces
- 1/2 small avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
Preparation1. Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft (about 6 minutes for soba, 8 for spaghetti). Transfer with tongs to a strainer. Add asparagus to same boiling water. Cook until al dente (about 2 minutes); rinse under cold water.
2. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Cook the salmon until cooked through, turning pieces (about 2-3 minutes per side). Reserve.
3. Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together sesame oil, lime zest and juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Combine the noodles, asparagus, and vinaigrette in a medium serving bowl.
4. Add the cucumber and avocado; toss to coat. Just before serving, add salmon. Serve warm or at room temperature, or make up to 4 hours ahead and keep refrigerated in an airtight container.