The real superhero of the sea is laid out in your grocery store: Protein-packed, stripey cuts of salmon. According to Science Daily, scientists found that fish reduced the risk of cardiac death by 10 percent. And the fatty acids and other nutrients in salmon do more than that: Recent studies have also shown the many benefits of salmon— finding that eating fish once per week may be connected to a lower risk of multiple sclerosis, and a protein in salmon may help lower your risk of Parkinson’s.
It’s not just disease prevention, either; the benefits of salmon are countless. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 113-gram salmon filet delivers 23 grams of protein for just 145 calories. And that isn’t just good for building muscle. Protein digests more slowly than carbohydrates, so you feel fuller for longer, aiding in reaching your weight loss goals. On the Nutrisystem program, two ounces of salmon counts as one PowerFuel serving.
So get some more super salmon in your life. Try these four simple recipes from The Leaf to reap the many benefits of salmon :
1. Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups >
This is the kind of appetizer your taste buds and waistline can agree on: Cream cheese and chives complement the flavor of slivers of smoked salmon, while cucumber gives a satisfying crunch with fewer calories than a cracker—and vegetable nutrition as a bonus. In about five minutes of prep, you’ve got a party-worthy app that you don’t have to share—and all for 101 calories.
2. One-Pan Salmon, Brussels Sprouts and Squash >
If your kitchen isn’t super-stocked or you just don’t want to make a big ole’ mess, you can still create a hearty, home-cooked meal with just one pan. Simply mix the vegetables with spices on the pan and bake, then add the salmon on top for 12 more minutes in the oven. In less than a half-hour, you’ve got a colorful meal with the flavors and nutrients to satisfy the whole family, all while keeping you on track to your weight loss goals. And if you put some foil on the pan before cooking, clean up is a snap!
3. Salmon Burger with Herb Cream Sauce >
You’re going to love this salmon burger, and the secret is the sauce: The easy-to-prepare salmon patty is delicious on its own, with spices like paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder to kick the flavor up a notch. But topping the burger with a homemade herb cream sauce of cream cheese, yogurt, lemon, dill and parsley takes this sandwich from good to gourmet—it’s as creamy and delicious as the type of sauce they’d add at a fancy fish restaurant, but this burger is nutritionist-approved.
4. Pistachio-crusted Salmon with Asparagus and Rice >
Ready to get really fancy? How about a filet of salmon that’s coated in crushed pistachios—it’s the kind of dish you’d find at a five-star restaurant, but it’s easier than you believe to craft at home. With a mixture of Dijon mustard and lemon juice acting as a delicious, spicy mortar, just press the chopped nuts on top of the fish filet. After 15 to 20 minutes in the oven, you’re ready: It’s nutty, it’s crunchy, it’s smooth, it’s peppery … and with the asparagus and brown rice, it’s just 340 calories for a filling, delicious Flex dinner.