By: Kennedy Shelley
Heck, I don’t care if a cow is wild caught, why would I care about a fish?
You may have seen it at the store, “wild caught salmon.” Does it taste better? Is it different than farm-raised?
There is a difference, and the surprising reason is algae.
Wild caught salmon looks different, it’s pinker. Farm-raised looks pale by comparison.
Wild salmon has access to krill, algae and plankton. That makes for a healthier salmon and that will make a healthier you.
The micronutrient that wild salmon have that farm-raised do not have is astaxanthin. This important nutrient is why wild salmon is so good for your heart.
This powerful compound is just fantastic for your health. It strengthens your mitochondria at the cellular level, improving your overall energy level.
As a matter of fact, when it was used as a supplement, it’s increased strength by up to 50% in one study. The manufacturer of the supplement paid for the study, but it does have all the appearances of being double-blind. You can see it here.
While wild salmon have this astaxanthin, some species have more. Especially Pacific Sockeye Salmon because they eat almost exclusively on plankton.
Why don’t the farm-raised? Well, because their “salmon chow” diet doesn’t include astaxanthin.
While some farmers use an artificial form of it made from coal, it doesn’t pack the same punch.
Their salmon food for farm-raised also includes fish meal and oils that unfortunately too often contain high levels of mercury and dioxins that are concentrated in other parts of the ocean, making the fish parts unsuitable for humans, but it is fed to other fish.
And then the fish farmers feed their salmon soy and corn proteins, which are not part of the salmon’s natural diet.
Then the concentrated fish are pumped with hormones and antibiotics which are in trace amounts in the farm-raised salmon meat.
And while there was concern for many years about the amount of mercury found in fish, the great news is this has not been the case for wild salmon. The FDA says that it is safe to eat multiple times a week.
Unless you are a fisherman, you may not realize there are many types of salmon.
Each of them presents a different nutritional profile based on their natural diet.
Sockeye are the only plankton eaters. As a result, they are difficult to farm and are almost all wild caught. This is chock full of astaxanthin and Omega 3 fatty acids.
This salmon has a rather strong flavor, so be aware of it.
King salmon are the highest in Omega 3’s because it favors cold water and the fatty acids prevent this cold-blooded animal from freezing.
But this is the breed that is most likely to be farm-raised so you have to look for the wild caught label.
Coho salmon is the lowest in healthy fats, but it is still respectable in vitamin D as well as Omega 3’s.
So, don’t fool yourself into thinking there is no difference in salmon. While all of it is good for you, the wild caught is so spectacularly better that it is worth searching for.