Yes. Wild salmon is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. And while there are plenty of anti-inflammatory diet foods to pick from, wild salmon should be a staple on every person’s shopping list. Here’s why:
The typical, modern American diet is an inflammatory one filled with processed and hormone-laden meats and dairy, trans fats, refined carbs, and sorely lacking in the good stuff — fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains. It’s characterized by an unhealthy, imbalanced ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s that can reach up to 20:1, or maybe even higher. This imbalance increases the odds that individuals will develop some of the major inflammatory risk factors for premature death like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Inflammation also fuels a whole host of chronic illnesses (1).
In contrast, our bodies function optimally when we are able to consume a diet that has a relatively balanced, 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio. Wild salmon, with its 10:1 ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s, can help bring that imbalance closer to equilibrium.
An anti-inflammatory diet should feature plenty of ALA, a plant-based omega-3 (flaxseeds are especially rich in ALA), but fish-based omega-3s like EPA and DHA are uniquely prized for their coveted anti-inflammatory properties, which go above and beyond plant-based omega-3s.
The strongest available evidence supports that EPA and DHA can help aid rheumatoid arthritis, while other studies hint at the potential use of these fish-based omega-3 fatty acids in treating lupus, cystic fibrosis, allergies, psoriasis, neurodegenerative conditions, and multiple sclerosis, as well as asthma in children and adolescents. Getting adequate amounts of EPA and DHA during pregnancy also may help develop strong immune systems in infants and children (2).
Wild salmon contain about 1000mg of combined EPA and DHA per three ounce serving. Although the National Institute of Health doesn’t offer specific recommendations for how much EPA and DHA a healthy individual should consume each day, they do recommend a combined intake of 1,100 to 1,600 each week for adults.
While you might be tempted to hit your recommended daily dose of omega-3s through fish oil supplements, one report pored through eight years of research and found that most studies could not support all the health claims of fish oil manufacturers, despite public enthusiasm for this easy-to-consume and relatively affordable supplement. Investing in wild salmon is by far the surest way for you to tap into DHA and EPA’s anti-inflammatory benefits (3, 4).
Click here to buy quality wild-caught, sustainably harvested salmon from some of the best fisheries in Alaska.
Most grocery stores across the country carry farmed Atlantic salmon, but its nutritional value is vastly inferior to that of wild salmon. That’s because farmed are actually the products of an inflammatory system. Farmed salmon are often raised in confined feedlots and forced to lead uncharacteristically sedentary lives, leaving them obese and riddled with their own inflammatory disorders.
Rather than being fed a diet rich in oily fish — salmon are carnivorous, after all — farmed salmon are generally given feed that predominantly consists of corn, soy, and vegetable oils. That omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio in farmed isn’t nearly as favorable as you’ll find in wild, so it’s better to skip farmed salmon if you’re shopping for anti-inflammatory diet foods (5).
Can’t find wild salmon in your grocery store, or not sure if it’s actually wild (fish fraud is real)? Consider ordering it online from a trusted source. Wild salmon from Alaska is some of the most sustainably caught and the purest in quality. Even if you do typically have access to “fresh” wild salmon at your fishmonger, ordering it straight from the source is a great way to ensure that you’re getting high-quality, once-frozen fillets.
Also, take a stroll through the canned section of your grocery aisle. Canned salmon is typically of the wild-caught Alaskan variety, which you can easily keep stashed in your pantry for a rainy day.
The easiest way to regularly incorporate sustainable seafood into your diet to help combat inflammation is to connect directly with a trusted supplier, such as the Wild Alaskan Company, a direct-to-consumer seafood membership service that takes the guesswork out of sourcing sustainable seafood.
Clicking here to buy your wild seafood!