Skin-Saving Suppers: Salmon Fritters
Why do I consider salmon fritters (like crab cakes, but made with salmon) to be a great example of a skin-saving food? Because this tasty dish (for those who eat seafood) makes great use of multiple ingredients that are known to promote healthy skin, and meets the three main criteria for a skin saving recipe. 1. Eat power. This recipe uses several skin saving ingredients. These include antioxidant-rich foods (red peppers, sweet potato, cilantro, turmeric) and power fats (salmon and olive oil).
Salmon is a rich source of nutrients, one of which is omega-3 fatty acids. These are known to help calm down inflammation, and can also protect against oxidation.
Preliminary research has shown promising results for the treatment of different inflammatory skin diseases with a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, although more research is needed to determine who might benefit and how significant the benefit is.
In one interesting study, mice were exposed to a hefty dose of UV radiation, and all of them developed skin cancer. Researchers wanted to see if a change in their diets would be enough to reduce cancer risk, so they fed one group of mice a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids. The other group was fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids. This one change had a big impact: the omega-3 group actually developed fewer skin cancer lesions. 2. Stop sugar spikes. The combination of protein and fat along with fiber-filled carbs in this recipe helps to keep down blood sugar elevations. 3. Stop skin sabotage. This is a recipe based on whole, unprocessed foods. There's no trans fats, no added sugar, and no deep frying. To make this into a skin saving supper, serve these salmon cakes on a bed of mixed greens, which provides a strong extra boost of nutrients.
One large sweet potato 10 ounces cooked, flaked salmon (for a shortcut, you may use canned or sold in pouch) 1/2 orange or red pepper, diced 1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon turmeric One egg, beaten
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs (optional)
1. Poke holes in sweet potato and microwave on high for 6 minutes. When cool, scoop out flesh and add to mixing bowl.
2. Mix next 6 ingredients together and form patties
3. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat
4. If using breadcrumbs to create a crisp coating, gently press patties into breadcrumbs
5. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes
Dr. Rajani Katta is the author of Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. To receive future updates on preventive dermatology and the role of diet, sign up here.