Is salmon safe to eat raw?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is salmon safe to eat raw?”. We will also talk about the benefits of eating salmon, who should avoid eating raw salmon, and the nutritional value of raw salmon.

Is salmon safe to eat raw?

It is safe to eat raw salmon, but one should be mindful to eat salmon that are farmed and sold as sushi grade and flash frozen. Raw salmon like any other fish and seafood is prone to bacterial and microbial contamination. So where the salmon is farmed and if it was flash frozen or not are things to consider before eating it raw.

The buttery texture of raw salmon is something a cooked one can never fulfill. Eating sushi also consists of ingesting raw salmon in various forms. Raw salmon has been popular in Japanese and Asian cuisines such as sashimi, sushi, and ceviche. 

It is always safe though to eat cooked seafood including salmon so as to deter the risk of getting infected by the microbes and parasites that linger in the raw salmon. Bacterias such as listeria, vibrio, clostridium, and salmonella can cause various gastrointestinal issues and a risk of food poisoning.

How to reduce the risk of raw salmon?

  • Only buy and eat the salmon that has been flash frozen at -4F  which is effective in killing the parasites.
  • Always smell the fish that you are about to prepare or eat to if it smells normal fishy or smells sour or overly fishy.
  • Avoid keeping the salmon at room temperature for a long time as the bacteria can grow and multiply at room temperature as it is their breeding ground.
  • It is best to cook the salmon rather than eat it raw to avoid any risks of eating raw salmon. 

What is the nutritional value of salmon?

Salmon is a rich source of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants such as selenium, niacin, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

A 100 grams of farmed raw salmon consists of the following nutrient value.

  • Calories: 206
  • Protein: 22 grams
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 117% of the Daily Value
  • Vitamin B6: 38% of the Daily Value
  • Selenium: 75% of the Daily Value
  • Niacin: 50% of the Daily Value
  • Pantothenic acid: 30% of the Daily Value
  • Thiamine: 28% of the Daily Value
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the Daily Value

Who should avoid eating raw salmon? 

Raw salmon though tastes good and looks amazing, some people should opt out of eating raw salmon. Raw salmon can cause an array of food-borne diseases. People whose immune system has been compromised should avoid eating raw salmon as their system cannot combat any parasites, bacteria, or microbes that could be in the raw salmon.

These people include:

  • Pregnant woman
  • Children
  • Old aged people
  • People with weakened immune systems such as people suffering from cancer, HIV AIDS, diabetes, liver disease, and organ transplant patients. 

What are the benefits of eating salmon?

There are a lot of health benefits of eating salmon or its skin to human health. Salmon is rich in minerals like phosphorus, selenium, Vitamins B and D, and most importantly Omega-3 fatty acids.

Here we will talk more about the individual benefits of the nutrients that are abundant in salmon.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits from a healthy heart to good eyesight to the development of the brain to beautiful skin.

Omega-3 fatty acids combined with potassium help reduce artery inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure. 

Certain cancer conditions like colorectal cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and brain tumours may be treated with an intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the eyes too. They help cure dry-eye syndrome and age-related macular degenerative symptoms.

Selenium

Selenium is profoundly present in salmon and plays a vital role in maintaining proper thyroid functions. Selenium protects the thyroid gland from oxidative damage caused during the synthesis of the thyroid hormone.

Selenium along with omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin A and D helps improve brain function and is known to help treat psychological disorders like Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps promote strong and healthy bones as it regulates calcium in the body while strengthening your immune system.

Vitamin B 

Vitamin B is abundant in salmon and is essential to help stimulate the brain and nervous system, hormonal balance, and several metabolic functions. It helps lower cholesterol levels and improves brain health.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is salmon safe to eat raw?”. We also talked about the benefits of eating salmon, who should avoid eating raw salmon, and the nutritional value of raw salmon.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-raw-fish#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7

https://www.webmd.com/diet/is-it-safe-to-eat-raw-salmon

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