Pink salmon, also known as humpback or humpy salmon, is a Pacific fish whose adult weight averages 3 to 5 pounds, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wild pink salmon live off the coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California. This fish is among the healthiest sources of protein you can choose as part of a balanced diet.
A 3-ounce portion of pink salmon provides 270 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and 495 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. EPA and DHA are omega-3 fats that may lower your risk of heart disease. To get this benefit, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests eating at least 8 ounces of seafood per week and regularly including choices with among the highest concentrations of DHA and EPA, such as pink salmon.
A 3-ounce serving of cooked pink salmon provides 647 IU of vitamin D -- 1162 percent of this vitamin's daily value. Vitamin D is essential for bone health because it improves your body's ability to absorb calcium from the diet and incorporate it into your bone mineral. Fish oils, such as from fatty fish like salmon, are among the few natural sources of vitamin D. Canned pink salmon further supports bone health because it is a good source of calcium because you can eat the bones.
Because of its natural oils, fresh pink salmon is easy to broil or grill without drying out. You can serve it plain, with lemon or with a sauce, such as a dill-based topping. Another option is to use a marinade, such as teriyaki sauce, before grilling. A green salad with grilled salmon is a healthy lunch idea. Canned salmon is an alternative to canned tuna in sandwiches and casseroles, and you can make salmon burgers with it, too.
Fresh and canned pink salmon both provide potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, but fresh salmon is higher in potassium. Furthermore, canned salmon can be high in sodium from added salt. A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for stroke. Mercury, an environmental contaminant in some seafood, is a concern because it can build up in your body; however, the Department of Health and Human Services reports that pink salmon is among the species lower in mercury.