When you eat salmon every day, this is what happens to your body

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and we're not talking about your dating prospects. But among all of the diverse sea life that's swimming around out there, salmon has a distinct color and flavor that sets it apart from the rest. It also has a rich, fatty texture, which rounds out the flavor profile of this unique fish.

Additionally, there are a wide variety of health benefits you reap from eating salmon, according to the Mayo Clinic. That makes the pink fish an excellent addition to your diet, and something you should work into your meal planning on a regular basis. It's also something that's easy to prepare, as you can grill, bake, pan sear, or smoke salmon. There's lots of great ways to cook salmon perfectly. And if it's high enough quality, you don't have to cook it at all! And yes, it's safe to eat every day, according to Harvard University.

So if you're someone who eats salmon every day, do you wonder how it's beneficial to your body? And did you know there may be some negative effects that you might be at risk of? Read on to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly about what happens when you eat salmon every day.

Are all salmon created equally?

If you're not a big seafood eater, you might not know that you can get salmon either farmed or wild. But if you are a fish aficionado, it's likely that you know several forms of salmon exist, and you might even have a preference for one or the other. But in both cases, trying to get intel regarding the different types of salmon might deluge you with misinformation.

Fortunately, there are experts out there who know the facts on fish, including Molly Kimball, registered dietitian for Ochsner Health System. "Wild-caught is the gold standard, but I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from eating farmed salmon," she explained in an interview with Nola.com. "From a cost perspective, it might be hard for people to pay the price of wild-caught." So depending on your budget, you can choose which works best for you.

As far as environmental concerns, Tim Fitzgerald, director of impact in the oceans program at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Time magazine that several companies – Atlantic Sapphire, Kuterra, and Verlasso, for example — are farming salmon sustainably, which is an improvement in the industry. So opt for those purveyors if you're able.

Your eyes will thank you for if you eat salmon every day

The eyes are the window to the soul, or so goes the old adage. So if you're interested in keeping your peepers as healthy and happy as possible, chowing down on salmon every day might help you do just that, says Dr. Jonathan Wolfe, an optometrist in Ardsley, N.Y. "Your eyes will feel less dry because the Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can improve the quality of the oil layer in your tear film," he told The List. "This important oil layer is produced by small glands on the margins of our eyelids, and serves to prevent the tears that lubricate our eyes from evaporating too quickly."

In addition to keeping your eyes properly lubricated, eating salmon every day can also be a boon for your retinal health, as noted by Healthline. Those omega-3 fatty acids can also help to contribute to your visual development, making it an overall win-win for your ocular health in more ways than one. So, why not try to eat salmon every day for your eye health?

You'll feel more energetic when you eat salmon every day

Always on the go because of work and family commitments? Perhaps you're training for that half marathon and want to make sure your energy levels are at peak performance? Consider adding salmon into your daily diet, as it could help keep the pep in your step, says Kylie Ivanir, a registered dietitian at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. "You will feel more energetic due to the high B12 content," she explained to The List. "Half a filet can provide you about 80 percent of the recommended daily intake of B12. Salmon is also high in the rest of the B vitamins, which provide your cells with energy."

In addition to the benefits you get from the B12 in salmon, the protein boost will help you recover from any injuries you might have sustained, according to dietitian Cynthia Sass, a sports dietetics specialist in Tampa, Fla. "We tend to forget that healing really means building new cells," she shared in an interview with Runner's World. "And your body needs protein to make those new cells." So, if you eat salmon every day, you may just help yourself achieve fitness goals.

You might lose weight if you eat salmon every day

Some people are able to eat whatever they want and maintain a slender figure, as they're naturally blessed with a fast metabolism. For the rest of us, however, that's just not the case, and often we'd like to lose a couple of pounds. If that sounds like you, consider making salmon a central protein in your diet as it can help you lose weight, says registered dietician Kylie Ivanir. "You will lose fat because salmon is a high protein/low calorie food," she revealed to The List. "A serving size (approx three to four ounces) is only 200 calories and about 25 grams protein. Eating high protein foods increases your metabolic rate and keeps you full." Sounds like a solid strategy!

Making salmon your protein of choice is especially advantageous if you usually eat red meat, according to the American Heart Association. That's because the fat in salmon is healthy for you, whereas red meat is high in saturated fat — and that's not good for you in excess! If you want to try to eat salmon every day and lay off the beef, you should know what happens to your body when you stop eating red meat.

If you eat salmon every day, you can improve your cholesterol levels

According to the CDC, 95 million Americans who are age 20 and over have total cholesterol levels over 200 mg/dL, which is considered elevated. Additionally, almost 29 million American adults have total cholesterol levels over 240 mg/dL, which is considered very high, and can have serious consequences for your health.

If you're included in either of those statistics, choosing to eat salmon every day might just be a good idea. That's because the fish, when prepared in a healthful manner, can help you get your levels in check, according to Kylie Ivanir, a registered dietician. "Your bad cholesterol (LDL) will drop due to the low saturated fat and high Omega-3 content in salmon," she shared with The List. "Low LDL is critical for optimal artery function and heart health."

Once again, this health benefit will likely be amplified if you swap in the salmon and swap out red meat on a regular basis, as noted by the American Heart Association.

Your brain reaps rewards when you eat salmon every day

Curious about what foods you should eat for healthy brain function? Well, good news: if you eat salmon every day, you're going to be less at risk for brain diseases. That's thanks to specific omega-3s in the fish, says Christie Naze, a registered dietitian with The Heart's Kitchen. "Consuming EPA and DHA supports the health of the brain at all stages of life," she explained in an interview with Chicago magazine. "It is beginning to become clear that low DHA status may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, and with cognitive impairment associated with aging."

That's not all, either, as eating salmon can help you beat the blues, according to Marcy Kirshenbaum, a clinical nutritionist with Enhance Nutrition. "By supporting the brain with healthy anti-inflammatory fats, depression may decrease," she added. "Omega-3 is an important part of healthy cell membranes, which must be fluid and flexible to function properly. Nerve cells depend on membrane fluidity, so a reduction in fluidity can impact behavior, mood, and mental function."

Your skin will be happy if you eat salmon every day

Arguably one of the best things that salmon can do for your appearance is help your skin be radiant, according to Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist based in New York. "I consider salmon to be one of the superfoods for skin health," she revealed in an interview with HuffPost. She added that the benefits from the fish are so good that if it was low enough in mercury, she'd eat salmon every day. That's quite the endorsement!

Once again, it's the healthy fat in salmon that's so good for you, and that gives you the best health benefits. "When you have a high level of good fat in your body it feeds the skin and allows the skin to make this healthy oil and allows the skin to be healthier," she continued. "That's what gives skin the glow." 

There's one more reason that salmon is great for your skin, according to Nazarian: It contains astaxanthin, "a chemical compound known as a keto-carotenoid," which boosts collagen production and has anti-aging effects. Salmon's also a food that'll help you achieve better hair.

When you eat salmon every day, you may strengthen your immune system

Nobody likes getting sick. On top of feeling terrible and worrying about making the people around you suffer the same fate, it's also a drain on your time and bank account. Well, if you're looking for ways to boost your immune system, consider your vitamin D sources, says Pamela Nisevich Bede, a registered dietitian. "Research has found that adults with low levels of vitamin D in their system were more likely to have recently suffered from a cough, cold, or upper respiratory infection," she penned in an article in Runner's World. "And because you can't get the vitamin D you need from the sun in the winter months, diet is extra important." 

What's there to do then to combat the dreaded cold? "Fill your plate with fatty fish (salmon, herring, and tuna), fortified foods (dairy, breads, cereals, and orange juice), eggs, and supplements," she continued. Notice how the first thing she mentioned was salmon? So if you eat salmon every day, chances are you'll be feeling better.

If you eat salmon every day, you may keep your bones in top shape

Bone health is important, especially as you age and especially for women, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. And while you might immediately think of milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt as the best foods to eat for your skeleton, they're not the only ones, says Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian. "Fish, in general, has been associated with better skeletal health," she explained in an article in The Washington Post. "And high-fat fish like salmon and sardines, in particular, is thought to be beneficial thanks to its wealth of high-quality protein, trace minerals, omega-3 fat and vitamin D." 

The proof is in the pudding, too, as there's an established correlation between eating salmon and bone health. "In one study, a team of Spanish researchers found that women who ate fish five to seven times a week had significantly more bone mass and higher vitamin D intake than those who ate it two or fewer times a week," she added. Sounds like choosing to eat salmon every day is not a bad choice.

You may experience anti-inflammatory benefits if you eat salmon every day

Are you familiar with how inflammation can have an impact on your body? According to NPR, it can play a role in a variety of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, depression, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Fortunately, if you're concerned about inflammation, eating salmon can help, says registered dietitian Lona Sandon, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at UTSW. "Salmon is arguably the best food source of omega-3 fatty acids," she shared in an interview with Share Care. "And omega-3s are one of the most researched food components in terms of anti-inflammatory benefits." 

So if you struggle with inflammatory conditions, consider adding salmon into your daily diet — and maybe even eat salmon every day. After all, salmon is one of the foods dietitians recommend specifically for women. "Some studies have shown omega-3s help ease symptoms, such as morning stiffness and pain, in people with rheumatoid arthritis," Sandon continued. "It may even help reduce your need for anti-inflammatory medications. Foods high in omega-3s may also help lower the risk of heart disease in people with inflammatory conditions like RA."

Your heart will thank you if you eat salmon every day

If you weren't already aware, a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women is heart disease, according to the CDC. To that end, one of the most important things you can do to prevent that outcome is to eat a heart healthy diet, which includes salmon, says Jaclyn London, a registered dietitian. "The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in salmon can help improve serum cholesterol, a key indicator of cardiovascular disease risk," she wrote in an article in Good Housekeeping. "Plus, salmon is a source of potassium, an important mineral for balancing blood pressure and benefiting heart health."

Additionally, consistently eating omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon, have been shown to decrease your risk of both strokes and heart attacks, as noted by the American Heart Association. That's a pretty good reason to eat salmon every day — and maybe occasionally start your day with a bagel and lox! Yum!

If you eat salmon every day, you can help ward off disease

Chronic diseases like diabetes are on the rise, according to the World Health Organization. Whereas 108 million people around the world had diabetes in 1980, 422 million people were diagnosed with the condition in 2014 — and that's a staggering rise in the prevalence of the disease.

Once again, however, a diet that includes salmon regularly can help ward off chronic diseases like diabetes, as noted by registered dietician Jaclyn London. "Studies suggest that the combo of omega-3s and vitamin D in salmon may reduce risk of cancer and heart disease," she penned in an article in Good Housekeeping. "While the research is ongoing, diets that include lots of fish, veggies, fruit, 100 percent whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds have been overwhelmingly linked to improved health and weight control overall."

So if you find out that you're pre-diabetic, or want to stop the onset of chronic diseases before they start, make salmon a staple in your household. Choosing to eat salmon every day just might do the trick!

You might live longer if you eat salmon every day

In 2017, the average life expectancy in the United States was 81.1 years for women and 76.1 for men, according to the CDC. Additionally, the average life expectancy for all genders dropped from 78.7 to 78.6 years in 2017 from 2016, which isn't exactly a positive trend — ideally, life expectancy should increase over the years.

But if you're reading this now, there's hope that you can beat the odds and live a longer life. One important way to do that? Eat more salmon on a regular basis, says registered dietician Jaclyn London. "Research suggests that people who eat the fish regularly — especially baked or grilled versions — may live longer than those who eat more of other protein sources (like red and processed meats and fried foods)," she revealed in an article in Good Housekeeping. So once again, you're going to benefit if you swap out the beef and pork for omega-3 rich salmon, and deciding to eat salmon every day may be a great dietary choice for you and your family.

Here's the bad news if you eat salmon every day

Although there are many, many well-documented health benefits for when you eat salmon every day, there are also some drawbacks that come with making the fish a part of a daily meal. According to Kylie Ivanir, a registered dietitian, some farmed salmon may have artificial coloring, omega-6 fats, and any toxins that may be present in the ocean.

But experts agree that eating fish like salmon every day is better than eating beef every day, as noted by Harvard University. That's echoed by Serena Ball, a registered dietitian. "Occasionally, I hear concerns about mercury. However, many of the most popular fish (like salmon, trout, tilapia, and most shellfish) are low in mercury, so people who eat a variety of seafood (especially choices low in mercury) need not fret," she explained in an interview with Oldways. "According to researchers, because seafood is such a rich source of the mineral selenium, the benefits of eating it can outweigh the potential risk." She added that the real risk is not having enough seafood in your diet. Sounds like a green light, for sure!