If you are in a restaurant and are choosing between chicken and stew or salmon as your main course, we recommend choosing oily fish. Especially if you are trying to boost your immune system.
Believe it or not, salmon is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that help improve immune function. Whether you prefer smoked fish with cream cheese bagels or grilled fish with potatoes and asparagus, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of oily fish to boost your immune system.
Four key nutrients to help keep your immune system in top shape:
1. Salmon gives you a vitamin D boost.
Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system, and salmon is one of the few foods that contain a large dose of this vitamin – primarily wild-caught salmon. According to the USDA, half a fillet of red fish (198 grams) contains 815 IU (international units) of vitamin D. The US National Institutes of Health recommends that all adults consume 600 to 800 IU of this vitamin daily. However, several studies show that at least 1,000 IU is the optimal daily allowance. In fact, you can safely consume up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day, which can be especially beneficial for those who live in areas with little sunlight.
2. Salmon is high in vitamin B6
Salmon is also a good source of vitamin B6, which experts say is vital for supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. Oily fish is one of the highest concentrations of vitamin B6 available in food. Whether you cook fish, boil it, fry it, or bake it, there are plenty of ways to get all the benefits it brings.
3. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids
If you are looking for a product rich in omega-3 fatty acids, look no further than salmon. It is rich in docosahexaenoic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that research has shown to lower blood levels of triglycerides and harmful cholesterol particles, low-density lipoproteins. In addition to helping keep your heart healthy, omega-3 fatty acids have a host of other health benefits. As certified dietitian Sydney Greene explained, “Omega-3s are found in the cells of our bodies and we need them to make hormones, maintain immune function, and keep our heart and lungs healthy.”
4. Salmon is a great source of magnesium
Salmon also contains magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in supporting immune system function. Men need 400-420 milligrams of magnesium per day, while women need 310-320 milligrams. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a 100-gram serving of farm-raised Atlantic salmon contains about 26 milligrams of magnesium. While it’s relatively small, if you pair this serving of salmon with half a cup of brown rice and avocado slices, you’ll get another 86 milligrams of this mineral.