Recipes

Easy Teriyaki Salmon Omega Bowl

This easy teriyaki salmon omega bowl will satisfy anyone in your household, especially if you are short on time.  It’s as easy as roasting whatever vegetables you have on hand while preparing a quick and easy sauce.  The best part is that this teriyaki salmon bowl contains omega-3 fatty acids!

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

First, let’s mention the different types of fatty acids that can make up a triglyceride.  They can differ in chain length, level of hydrogen saturation, and shape.  Consequently, these variables influence how it is used in the body.  For example, chain length can determine how the fatty acid will be metabolized. Additionally, the saturation level can determine how it can affect one’s health.   

Now, let’s move on to the question at hand.  Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA).  This means carbons share a double bond instead of bonding with hydrogens at more than one location.  Omega-6 fatty acids are also a type of PUFA.  The body can’t synthesize either of these fatty acids because of where these double bonds are located within their chains.  Therefore, they are both considered essential fatty acids (EFAs) and must be acquired from food.

What is the difference between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids?

Structurally:

The “3” and “6” tell us where the first double bond occurs within the fatty acid structure.  That placement, along with the length of the chain, determines the function of the fatty acid within the human body. 

Omega-6 fatty acid:

Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid and tends to be plentiful in a western diet.  It can be found in a lot of processed foods.  It can also be found in vegetable and nut oils like sunflower, safflower, or peanut oil.  Omega-6 fatty acids can help improve blood lipid levels and keep blood sugar steady.

Omega-3 fatty acid:

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid.  ALA’s are found in flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, in addition to dark, green leafy vegetables.

The ALAs in plant-based food are precursors to two other omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  These two omega-3 fatty acids play a huge role in reducing inflammation, blood clotting, and triglycerides, which, in part, can help reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease.  EPA and DHA can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and fish oils. 

Is one “omega” fatty acid better than the other?  

They are both beneficial and should be part of a healthy diet.  What should be considered is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.  Western diets tend to have an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio closer to 15:1. Compare this to when humans evolved genetically on a ratio closer to 1!  

Excessive omega-6 fatty acids can promote cancer and inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune and cardiovascular. This might seem counterintuitive since I mentioned earlier that omega-6 fatty acids can benefit our hearts and body.  But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!  A lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is necessary in disease prevention and treatment.

So, what is the magic ratio?

The ratio for everyone is different and will depend on their health status, genetic predisposition, and health goals.  For example, someone trying to prevent cardiovascular disease might be working towards a 4:1 ratio.  Compare this with someone with rheumatoid arthritis who might work towards a 2:1 ratio to help quell their inflammation. 

It's easy to start! Try eating more omega-3 fatty acids.

An easy way to start getting more omega-3 fatty acids is to eat more fish.  Fatty fish to be exact, like salmon.  For this recipe, I used a can of salmon and paired it with vegetables that are always on hand – broccoli and sweet potato.  The teriyaki glaze is optional, but it really ties everything together.

When buying canned salmon, be sure that the ingredients are just salmon and maybe salt.  Also, choose companies that source fish sustainably and are transparent around their practices.  Finally, check to see that the company tests for mercury and their levels are well below the FDA limit.

Other Easy Recipes

Easy Teriyaki Salmon Omega Bowl

This easy teriyaki salmon bowl will satisfy anyone in your household, especially if you are short on time. It's as easy as throwing whatever veggies are on hand into the oven and preparing a sauce.
Keyword AIP, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Low Sugar, Lunch, Meals, Quick & Easy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Robin

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables

  • 4 cups salad of choice I used a spring mix
  • 1 can salmon I love wild planet!
  • 1 head broccoli florets with or without stems, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, any color will do chop into small cubes, about 1in or less
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos I prefer coconut secret, no added sugar!
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder use less if you prefer a sauce to be more drizzly
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Optional Toppings

  • 1/4 cup scallions, green tops chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 small avocado cut in half and sliced

Notes

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Prepare large sheet pan with parchment paper or leave bare if preferred.  
  3. Chop vegetables and place onto sheet pan. Lightly massage olive oil onto vegetables and top with sea salt.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes or until the potatoes or fork-tender.  
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to desired consistency.  If it gets too thick, you can incorporate a little bit of water to thin it out. 
  6. Once the vegetables are done, place half of them on top of 2 packed cups of spring mix.  Then follow with a half can of salmon, preferred sauce amount and any optional toppings.  

References:

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12442909/ 

2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/no-need-to-avoid-healthy-omega-6-fats

3. Thompson, T, Manore, M, Vaughan, L 2020, The Science of Nutrition, 5th Ed, Pearson, USA.

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