Sunday, April 04, 2010

Mango And Black Bean Salsa With Honey Lime Baked Salmon - Fish And Pregnancy

Makes a great vegetarian salsa or salad all by itself.

Fish and Pregnancy
There is a misconception that pregnant women shouldn't eat fish. The facts are that the EPA and especially the DHA omega 3 fatty acids in fish is critical for the development of the baby's brain, eyes and central nervous system. EPA and DHA make up almost three quarters of a newborn's brain, retina and nervous system and must get these nutrients from the pregnant mom. Studies have shown that mothers who supplement with fish oil during pregnancy have children with higher intelligence, better eyesight and fewer behavioral problems after birth. Mom's enjoy a lower risk of postpartum depression, reduced breast cancer risk, and less chance of a cesarean and pre-term labor.

Other studies have shown that absorption of this omega 3 fatty acid is better when you eat salmon than when you take a cod liver oil supplement. Salmon is one of the very best sources of these important omega 3's and is very low in mercury and can safely be enjoyed frequently. Unfortunately some doctors are still misinformed about the safety of fish and pregnancy. At a medical conference I recently attended, they were all in agreement that pregnant and lactating women should eat low mercury fish like salmon. Vegans should supplement with DHA supplements derived from Algae however these do not contain EPA. Unfortunately plant based omega 3 (from foods like flax seed) does not convert efficiently enough to provide sufficient amounts. A significant number of people cannot do this conversion at all.

Many Health Benefits
You need not be pregnant to enjoy the many health benefits of salmon. Besides EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids, salmon is an excellent source of selenium, protein, niacin and vitamin B12. It is excellent for hearth health, lowering triglycerides, controlling high blood pressure, protecting against stroke, heart attacks, colorectal and prostate cancer, reduces the risk of macular degeneration and dry eye and reduces depression. Although my diet is plant centric and I eat large quantities of raw vegan food, I consider salmon to be a true "Food For Long Life" and enjoy it regularly. Here's a recipe that combines this healthy fish with a vegan salsa with mostly raw ingredients. One serving provides over two grams of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids.


Mango and Black Bean Salsa
[serves 4]
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced jicama
1 California avocado, diced
1 can organic black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro plus some for garnish
2 tablespoons minced red onions
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Black pepper to taste

Place mango, jicama, avocado, black beans, jalapeno, 3 tablespoons of the cilantro, and red onions in a bowl. In a small bowl mix lime juice, salt, garlic, cumin and black pepper. Gently stir the lime dressing into the mango mixture and serve. Top with a serving of Honey Lime Baked Salmon (below), extra cilantro and fresh black pepper.

Per serving (salsa only): 173.6 calories, 5.3 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.8 g protein, 28.4 g carbohydrates and 8.3 g of fiber.

Honey Lime Baked Wild Salmon
[serves 4]
1 pound wild salmon cut into 4 slices
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon raw honey
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place salmon in a lightly greased shallow pan just the size of the 4 pieces of salmon.
Mix oil, lime juice and honey in a small bowl and spoon over the salmon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Do not overcook. Serve over Mango and Black Bean Salsa.

Per serving (salmon only): 208 calories, 10.2 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 62.7 mg cholesterol, 22.7 g protein, 4.6 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 2.3 g omega 3 fatty acids, (2.1 g EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids).


Jenna said...

Great recipe! I am linking to this recipe from a blog I am writing about pregnancy nutrition. Can I use the photo of the meal in my blog post as well?

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Jenna,
Sure, you can use the photo!