02/19/2013 06:55 EST | Updated 11/22/2013 04:16 EST

Heart Health: 5 Reasons You Should Eat Salmon For Your Heart


By Helen Vong for

Now that Valentine’s Day is over, show your heart some love by eating a salmon meal this weekend. With February being heart health month, you’ve probably heard that the healthy fats found in salmon are good for your ticker, but did you know that salmon is also good for your epidermis?

According to Joy McCarthy, Toronto-based holistic nutritionist and owner of Joyous Health, ”I suggest fish once per week. Salmon is a wonderful source of omega 3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA. These healthy fats lower inflammation, promote hormonal balance and help to moisturize from the inside out. Eating a well balanced diet that includes healthy fat sources helps to reduce a variety of skin problems including eczema and acne.” Need more convincing? Here’s a closer look at the beautifying benefits of salmon.

LOOK: 5 ways to boost heart health:

5 Benefits Of Salmon

Moisture Magnet:

Those mega omegas reduce inflammation on the cellular level that can cause redness, acne, and loss of firmness. These essential fatty acids replenish the lipids in the skin, which helps keep skin flexible, helps reduce moisture loss. This can help minimize the look of wrinkles. Some research suggests that omega-3 fats may help keep eyes healthy by protecting against dry eye syndrome.

Wrinkle Fighter:

Salmon is one of the best sources of high-quality, easily digested protein that is low in artery-clogging saturated fat. Protein plays an big role in the production of skin-plumping collagen and elastin, which gives skin its flexibility – that ability for your skin to snap back from stressors like a taut elastic band. Antioxidants probably don’t come to mind when you think of salmon, but they’re in there: that reddish colour comes from a powerful free-radical buster called astaxanthin (the same compound that makes lobsters red). Recent studies suggest astaxanthin to be even more potent than beta-carotene and vitamin E, the famed skin healer.

Waistline Whittler:

With age comes stress and we all know the familiar calling of the vending machine when we’re too frazzled to eat well. Lean protein from salmon helps to keep ward off sugar cravings as it suppresses appetite because it is digested slowly and does not spike blood sugar levels.

Edible Sunscreen:

A number of studies have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s can decrease the redness and burning associated with UV exposure as well as lower your risk of developing certain types of skin cancer.

Memory Booster:

There’s no point in being a beauty if you've got no brains. Salmon’s anti-inflammatory fats have been shown to protect your noggin from cellular damage that can mess with cognitive function, reducing your risk for a stroke, which is essentially a heart attack in your brain. Salmon is also a rare source of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a substance that is a precursor the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical that boosts mental alertness.