The Legend of Salmon

Salmon is known to have many health benefits, which include:

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation
  • Provides 22 - 25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving; protein is essential for the body to heal, bone protection, and muscle loss prevention, among other things.
  • Contains high levels of several B vitamins, which are essential for the production of energy and keeping the heart and brain healthy
  • Promotes weight loss by enhancing insulin sensitivity, boosting metabolic rate, and reducing belly fat.
  • An excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and inhibit excess fluid retention.

But, do you know that there are interesting tales that surround this healthy type of fish?

One such tale is a Scottish one involving the Queen of Cadzow. She gave her lover the ring that her husband-to-be had given her. While out hunting, the king caught sight of the ring on the lover’s finger. He then removed it while the lover was asleep and threw it into the River Clyde. He demanded the ring from the queen. Because the queen could not show him the ring, he imprisoned the queen and promised that he would only set her free if she could produce the ring. As the queen was desperate, she asked St. Kentigern for help. The king then asked one of his monks to catch a salmon in the river. The belly of the fish was slit open, and lo and behold, there was the ring! Glasgow’s patron saint is Kentigern, and a salmon can be seen in the coat-of-arms of the city.

Another salmon tale is about Loki, the trickster god in Norse mythology. He tricked Hod, a blind god, into killing Baldur, the most beloved of all the gods. Naturally, the gods were mad, so Loki had to escape their wrath. He did that by transforming himself into a lithe salmon and leapt into the pool. Unfortunately for Loki, Thor was quick enough to catch him. And, as the legend has it, the taper towards the back of the body of a salmon is said to be the result of Thor’s grip.

As abovementioned, one of the benefits of salmon is keeping the brain healthy. Indeed, salmon is associated with wisdom. An Irish myth tells the story of a salmon of knowledge that swam in the Well of Segais. It consumed the magical hazelnuts that fell into the water. It was prophesied that Finegas would one day catch and eat it, and consequently, he would gain all knowledge. An unfortunate thing happened, though. Fionn, his apprentice, roasted the salmon and burnt his thumb while turning it. So as to cool his burnt thumb, he put it in his mouth and received the power of the salmon. Since then, if he wished to gain knowledge of the future, all he needed to do was chew his thumb.

Indeed, salmon is as rich in tales as it is rich in health benefits. The next time you dine on salmon, you may find yourself recounting the tales surrounding it while boosting your health at the same time.