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- Nutrivore Score for Wild Atlantic Salmon – 868
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Nutrition Facts
- Atlantic Salmon Nutrition Varies With Cooking, Processing, and Source
- Salmon Nutrition Varies With Type
Health Benefits of Wild Atlantic Salmon Nutrients+−
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 661% DV EPA+DHA
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 152% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 76% DV Selenium
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 56% DV Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 55% DV Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 52% DV Vitamin D
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 22.8 g of Protein
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 39% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 38% DV Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 34% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 32% DV Copper
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 23% DV Choline
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 23% DV Iodine
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 22% DV Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
- Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 21% DV ALA
- How Much Wild Atlantic Salmon Should We Eat Per Day?
Arguably one of the most well-known and popular fish on the market, salmon are recognized for their orangey-pink flesh (thanks to carotenoids obtained from krill) and their unique ability to travel upstream. This is a fish with versatility – working well in fancy, gourmet meals but also providing an affordable source of nutritious seafood when it comes to canned options. You could say this fish is the “reel” deal!
Salmon are a type of oily, cold-water fish that are closely related to trout and char, which are all members of the same family of fish (Salmonidae). The term salmon does not actually refer to one specific fish but to several species within the genera Salmo and Oncorhynchus. These fish are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and have been around in some form for 40 million years!
Salmon are famous for being ‘anadromous’ which means they can live in both fresh and saltwater – a feat possible by only 1% of fish species! They spend the majority of their lives in saltwater, but they hatch in fresh water and return there to reproduce. In order to do this, salmon undergo amazing physiological changes allowing them to adapt and survive in the salt waters of the sea. When it’s time to spawn, some travel hundreds of miles upstream against strong currents to return to the very spot where they themselves hatched – an exhausting journey and one that is spectacular to witness if you ever get the chance. (The word salmon is thought to come from Latin, meaning “to leap,” and leap they do!). Once they have spawned, salmon die shortly afterwards completing their lifecycle.
Salmon are considered ‘keystone species’ – not only critical to the aquatic ecosystem but also forming an important dietary component of many land animals, in addition to feeding the forest (animals, especially bears, discard salmon remains which provide nutrients critical for the forest ecosystem). Salmon have also provided an incredibly important food source for coastal communities throughout human history. Along most of the European coast and as far down as Spain, salmon has been fished since Paleolithic times. Salmon also featured prominently in the diet of Indigenous peoples of North America, forming an important part of their culture. Amazingly, there have been regulations to protect salmon stocks dating back to at least 1030 AD, with notable declines in salmon populations observed in the 1200s. Unfortunately, massive depletions in salmon populations have continued and they are still on the decline – today’s population represents only a small percentage of historical levels! This is why salmon are now fished from the wild and farmed. While the majority of Pacific salmon are wild-caught, Atlantic salmon are for the most part farmed. World-wide the commercial salmon industry exceeds one billion pounds every year, most of that coming from farmed salmon. Well-known commercial species include chinook (also known as king), chum, coho, pink, sockeye and Atlantic salmon.
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are present on both coasts of the northern Atlantic Ocean, in more than 2,000 rivers in North America and Europe. Sadly, these fish were once abundant, but it is estimated that over half of their original population was gone by the 1800s as a result of over-fishing and habitat destruction. That is why today, most Atlantic salmon available for purchase is farm raised but even though wild-caught fish tend to be more nutritious, both options offer healthy additions to our diet.
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Nutrivore Score for Wild Atlantic Salmon – 868
Wild Atlantic salmon has a Nutrivore Score of 868, making it a super nutrient-dense food! Plus, it is a low-carb food; wild Atlantic salmon has 0 grams of net carbs per 115 gram serving.
Per serving, wild Atlantic salmon is a best source (>50% daily value) of EPA+DHA, selenium, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and vitamin D; an excellent source (20-50% daily value) of ALA, choline, copper, iodine, protein, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin B7 (biotin); and a good source (10-20% daily value) of carotenoids, coQ10, monounsaturated fatty acids, phosphorus, potassium, and taurine.
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Wild Atlantic Salmon Nutrition Facts
One serving of wild Atlantic salmon is standardized to 115 grams (4 ounces). When you cook Atlantic salmon, it reduces in volume by approximately 20%: 100 grams raw wild Atlantic salmon is equivalent to 78 grams cooked wild Atlantic salmon.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Nutrition Facts Per Serving
|Atlantic salmon, wild, raw||Nutrivore Score: 868||Nutrient Density: Super!|
|Serving Size: 4 ounces (115 grams)||Protein: 22.8 grams||Net Carbohydrates: 0.0 grams|
|Calories: 163||Total Fat: 7.3 grams||Dietary Fiber: 0.0 grams|
|Vitamin A||13.8 μg RAE||2% DV|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||259.9 μg||22% DV|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||437.0 μg||34% DV|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||9.0 mg||56% DV|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||1.9 mg||38% DV|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||940.7 μg||55% DV|
|Vitamin B7 (Biotin)||11.7 μg||39% DV|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||28.8 μg||7% DV|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||3.7 μg||152% DV|
|Vitamin C||0.0 mg||0% DV|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||10.4 μg||52% DV|
|Vitamin E||0.8 mg||6% DV|
|Vitamin K||0.1 μg||0% DV|
|Choline||125.8 mg||23% DV|
|MUFA||2.4 g||12% DV|
|ALA||339.3 mg||21% DV|
|EPA + DHA||1651.4 mg||661% DV|
|Linoleic Acid||0.2 g||1% DV|
|Calcium||13.8 mg||1% DV|
|Copper||287.5 μg||32% DV|
|Iodine||34.5 μg||23% DV|
|Iron||0.9 mg||5% DV|
|Magnesium||33.4 mg||8% DV|
|Manganese||18.4 μg||1% DV|
|Phosphorus||230.0 mg||18% DV|
|Potassium||563.5 mg||12% DV|
|Selenium||42.0 μg||76% DV|
|Sodium||50.6 mg||2% DV|
|Zinc||0.7 mg||7% DV|
|AMINO ACIDS & PEPTIDES|
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Atlantic Salmon Nutrition Varies With Cooking, Processing, and Source
The Nutrivore Score of wild Atlantic salmon varies depending on method of preparation and the way in which it was raised (farmed or wild-caught). Typically wild-caught fish have higher levels of nutrients which results in higher Nutrivore Scores, but including any type of fish in our diet, farmed or wild-caught, will result in plenty of health benefits!
|Atlantic salmon, farmed, cooked, dry heat||723|
|Atlantic salmon, farmed, raw||673|
|Atlantic salmon, wild, cooked, dry heat||837|
|Atlantic salmon, wild, raw||868|
Salmon Nutrition Varies With Type
There are many types of salmon, each with their own unique taste and nutrient profile, which means their Nutrivore Scores also vary. To maximize all the benefits salmon has to offer, try incorporating different types into your diet. While some salmon are readily available fresh or frozen, other varieties may be easier to find canned, which gives the added benefit of including bones (a rich source of calcium).
|Atlantic salmon, farmed, raw||673|
|Atlantic salmon, wild, raw||868|
|Chinook salmon, Alaskan, raw||691|
|Chinook salmon, raw||775|
|Chum salmon, Alaskan, raw||855|
|Chum salmon, raw||646|
|Coho salmon, Alaskan, raw||1091|
|Coho salmon, farmed, raw||636|
|Coho salmon, wild, raw||724|
|Pink salmon, raw||625|
|Sockeye salmon, Alaskan, raw||786|
|Sockeye salmon, raw||750|
Impressed by all the bene-FISH-ial nutrition in salmon? Maybe your friends will be too!
Health Benefits of Wild Atlantic Salmon Nutrients
Let’s take a closer look at all of the best and excellent source of nutrients found in a 4-ounce serving of wild Atlantic salmon and see how they benefit our health.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 661% DV EPA+DHA
Wild Atlantic salmon is a phenomenal source of EPA+DHA, providing an astounding 661% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are long-chain omega-3 fats that play important roles in neurological health, immune function, eye health and vision, inflammation, pain signaling, gut health, fetal development, and some aspects of cardiovascular health (like triglyceride levels and blood clotting). They exert many of their effects by helping form chemical messengers called prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes. EPA and DHA also serve as a structural component of the cell membrane, influencing important properties such as membrane fluidity and permeability. Small amounts of them can be synthesized from a shorter-chain omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Learn more about EPA and DHA here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 152% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
This fish is also an outstanding source of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), providing 152% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for enzymes involved in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter production, nervous system health, and folate metabolism. As a result of these roles, vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining brain and nervous system health, and may have a protective effect against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. There’s also some evidence vitamin B12 may be cancer-protective, possibly through supporting folate metabolism (which then assists in repairing DNA damage). Learn more about vitamin B12 here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 76% DV Selenium
Wild Atlantic salmon is an exceptional source of selenium, providing 76% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Selenium is a trace mineral needed by all mammals to sustain life. It serves as a component of the non-proteinogenic amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine, and also helps form over two dozen selenoproteins involved in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense, DNA synthesis, and immunity. Observational research suggests selenium could play a protective role against cancer, heart disease, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease, although human trials have generally been lacking or contradictory. There’s also evidence that selenium can play a preventative role in asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, while also reducing mortality in patients with sepsis. Learn more about selenium here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 56% DV Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
In addition, wild Atlantic salmon is a wonderful source of vitamin B3 (niacin), providing 56% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Niacin is a water-soluble B complex vitamin (vitamin B3) that’s needed to produce two very important coenzymes: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). NAD and NADP are needed for over 400 enzymes involved in DNA repair, fatty acid synthesis, antioxidant systems, detoxification, and hormone synthesis, as well as the breakdown of fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol. Niacin has therapeutic potential for cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidemia, and may also be protective against cancer and type 1 diabetes. Some research suggests it could benefit health outcomes for patients with HIV or schizophrenia as well. Learn more about niacin here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 55% DV Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Wild Atlantic salmon is a great source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), providing 55% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a group of six water-soluble compounds with a similar chemical structure, all of which can be converted into their active form of pyridoxal 5’-phospate (PLP). Over 100 different enzymes require vitamin B6 in order to carry out their various functions in protein metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, neurotransmitter production, gluconeogenesis, hemoglobin synthesis, the release of glucose from glycogen, and energy metabolism (particularly the production of ATP in the Krebs cycle). Research suggests vitamin B6 may help protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, could reduce the risk of depression among the elderly, and even reduce symptoms of morning sickness and PMS. Learn more about vitamin B6 here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 52% DV Vitamin D
Wild Atlantic salmon is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, providing 52% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Rather than being a “true” vitamin, vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble steroid hormones that can be either obtained from the diet or synthesized from sun exposure. It plays a major role in cellular differentiation, immune function, endocrine health, cardiovascular health, and even the intestinal absorption of several other nutrients (namely calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus). As a result of these diverse functions, getting enough vitamin D is important for protecting against chronic disease (including diabetes, cancer, and degenerative neurological conditions), maintaining good gut health, and keeping a healthy immune system (including protecting against both infectious disease and autoimmunity). Learn more about vitamin D here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 22.8 g of Protein
Wild Atlantic salmon is an excellent source of protein, containing 22.8 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving!
Proteins are the molecules that actually perform most of the various functions of life. In addition to being major structural components of cells and tissues, they have incredibly diverse roles from driving chemical reactions (e.g., enzymes) to signaling (e.g., some types of hormones) to transporting and storing nutrients. Dietary protein is necessary to supply the amino acid building blocks for all of the proteins in our bodies. The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That amounts to 56 grams for a 150-pound person. However, it’s important to emphasize that this number is considered a minimum daily allotment, and there is no established upper limit. In fact, many studies have evaluated diets containing three to four times more protein than this minimum and proven benefits to weight management, body composition, hormone regulation, and cardiovascular health. These studies suggest that an optimal protein intake for most people is probably in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight (82 to 122 grams for that same 150-pound person), and that people who are very active may see the best results at even higher intake. Learn more about protein and amino acids here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 39% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
This fish is also an excellent source of vitamin B7 (biotin), providing 39% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin, also known as vitamin B7. Like other B vitamins, it plays an important role in energy metabolism (serving as a coenzyme for five carboxylase enzymes), neurotransmitter production, cellular function, and the function of various organs. Getting enough biotin can help support healthy nail and hair growth. It’s also particularly important during pregnancy, with low intakes increasing the risk of premature delivery and birth defects. There’s even some evidence biotin can benefit diabetics and reduce functional disabilities in people with multiple sclerosis. Learn more about biotin here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 38% DV Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Wild Atlantic salmon is rich in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), providing 38% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Pantothenic acid (or vitamin B5) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for coenzyme A—which itself is critical for metabolizing many drugs and toxins, as well as forming derivatives (acetyl-CoA and succinyl-CoA) that participate in the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, melatonin, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, steroid hormones, heme, and vitamins A and D. Coenzyme A is also needed in the Krebs cycle, giving pantothenic acid a role in energy metabolism. Research suggests that a pantothenic acid derivative (pantethine) can help improve blood lipid profiles and reduce fatty streak formation and lipid deposition in the arteries, giving it a cardio-protective role. Additional research shows that panthothenic acid can accelerate wound healing, boost cellular production of the important antioxidant glutathione, and possibly help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more about vitamin B5 here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 34% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
This fish is high in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), providing 34% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Riboflavin (or vitamin B2) is a vitamin that helps form two important coenzymes involved in oxidation-reduction reactions: flavin mononucleotide (FMN), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Collectively, these coenzymes are involved in antibody production, energy production, growth and development, skin and hair health, and the metabolism of several other nutrients (vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and iron). Research suggests a role for riboflavin in preventing or treating migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and preeclampsia during pregnancy. It also possesses some anti-cancer properties due to its involvement in folate metabolism and MTHFR activity. Learn more about vitamin B2 here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 32% DV Copper
Wild Atlantic salmon is also an excellent source of copper, providing 32% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Copper is a trace mineral that’s essential for all living organisms. Copper serves as a component of numerous enzymes and proteins in the body, giving it diverse roles in the growth, development, and maintenance of various organs (including the heart and brain), bone, and connective tissue. Copper is also involved in glucose and cholesterol metabolism, helps regulate gene expression, can scavenge free radicals, and is needed for the production of red blood cells. Learn more about copper here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 23% DV Choline
In addition, wild Atlantic salmon contains a significant amount of choline, providing 23% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Choline is often grouped together with B-complex vitamins, and sometimes referred to as vitamin B4. It plays an essential role in building cell membranes. Choline also serves as the backbone for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is involved in heart health, gut motility (the movement of contents through the digestive tract controlled by the coordinated contraction and relaxation of specialized gut muscle tissue), and muscle movement. Adequate intake during pregnancy can help reduce risk of neural tube defects.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 23% DV Iodine
Wild Atlantic salmon is a substantial source of iodine, providing 23% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Iodine is a trace mineral that serves as a structural component of thyroid hormones, giving it a major role in thyroid health and function. As a result, it’s involved in regulating metabolism, reproductive function, fatty acid release, carbohydrate absorption, growth, and development. Consuming adequate amounts is particularly important during pregnancy (for preventing complications like preeclampsia, preterm delivery, miscarriage, and stillbirth) and during childhood (where it supports central nervous system development). Untreated iodine deficiency can lead to goiter and hypothyroidism. Learn more about iodine here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 22% DV Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
This fish is a wonderful source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), providing 22% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Thiamin (sometimes spelled thiamine, and also called vitamin B1) is a water-soluble vitamin. In its active form of thiamin pyrophosphate, it serves as a cofactor for a variety of enzymes involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, RNA and DNA production, and generating energy for the Krebs cycle. Research suggests vitamin B1 could help prevent blood sugar and insulin increases in people with disordered glucose metabolism, reduce the risk of cataracts, and improve health and mortality outcomes in patients with sepsis. Because aggressive tumors have high thiamin demands, it’s uncertain whether supplementing with thiamin while having cancer is beneficial due to preventing deficiency, or harmful due to providing more fuel for tumor growth. Insufficient thiamin may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and when chronic, leads to a deficiency disease called beriberi. Learn more about vitamin B1 here.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Provides 21% DV ALA
Additionally, wild Atlantic salmon is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), providing 21% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the only truly essential omega-3 fatty acid. Like other omega-3 fats, it plays an important role in regulating inflammation, pain perception, and blood pressure. It’s also major structural component of the phospholipid layer of cell membranes. Getting enough ALA helps maintain cardiovascular health, while also potentially protecting against cancer, pneumonia, and some forms of depression. Learn more about ALA here.
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How Much Wild Atlantic Salmon Should We Eat Per Day?
Fish are nutrient-dense sources of highly-digestible complete protein and outstanding sources of important nutrients in which we are commonly deficient. Let’s just say this seafood is “off the hook!” (Pun intended.)
Fish and shellfish are not only nutrient-dense sources of highly-digestible gut-friendly complete protein and the best food sources of the very important long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, but they’re outstanding sources of important nutrients in which we are commonly deficient. Eating seafood reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer.
Fish is a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12 and E, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium and selenium, with oily cold-water fish also providing substantial amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. Fish with bones remaining, such as canned salmon and sardines, are the best dietary sources of calcium in the food supply. And marine fish are an excellent dietary source of iodine.
In fact, every 100 grams per day of seafood decreases all-cause mortality by 7%. And, every 20 grams per day of fish decreases cardiovascular disease mortality by 4%. Aim to eat three or more servings of seafood weekly (and up to every meal!). Learn more about seafood here.
Consumption of salmon is associated with a lower risk of heart attack, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes! It’s always best to mix up the foods you eat day to day (aiming for a wide variety of different fish and shellfish throughout the week), and salmon definitely has a place at the table.
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USDA Food Central Database: Fish, salmon, Atlantic, wild, raw
USDA Food Central Database: Fish, salmon, coho, wild, raw
Watanabe T, Kioka M, Fukushima A, Morimoto M, Sawamura H. Biotin content table of select foods and biotin intake in Japanese. Int J Anal Bio-Sci. 2014. Vol 2(4):109-125.