Omega-3: The Fat You Need
Studies show that a deficiency in omega-3 fats can have devastating affects on health, and can be more serious than actually consuming too many bad fats.
Looking at 2005 data from the National Health Center for Health Statistics, researchers mathematically determined that nearly 100,000 deaths could be prevented each year if people would be consuming more omega-3 fats, such as EPA and DHA.
Omega-3 fats can help prevent a number of diseases including:
· autoimmune diseases such as lupus and nephropathy
· breast, colon and prostrate cancers
· Crohn’s disease
· coronary heart disease and stroke
· rheumatoid arthritis
Consuming too little of it can cause inflammation, arthritis, digestive disorders, allergies, joint and muscle pain, high cholesterol and depression. So don't take this lightly if you suffer from any of these.
Aside from physical health benefits, omega-3 fats can also be beneficial for your mind. Studies show that omega-3 supplements have therapeutic benefits for depressed patients by elevating moods.
But here's the problem - how does one get sufficient amount of omega-3 fats daily, especially when the best kind is found mostly in wild fish like red Alaskan salmon. Who eats wild red Alaskan salmon on a regular basis! While you may have probably heard that omega-3's are highly effective in reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke, normalizing and regulating your cholesterol triglyceride level, and improving your child's learning and behavior, you are probably at a loss to figure out how to get the best supplement, especially if you're vegetarian.
Being part of a vegetarian family, I researched the foods with the highest amount of omega-3 fats that I could eat. I'd like to share this short and simple list with you so you can remember to pick up these items on your next run to the grocery store.
Walnuts: 2,664 milligrams in 1/4 cup (66 percent DV)
Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
Hemp Seeds: 1,000 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (25 percent DV)
All other good sources are certain fish and fish oil, which rank higher than all above
If you heard that eggs are a good source, well not really. They have very little amounts of omega-3 in comparison. If you are not vegetarian, I highly recommend adding fish oil (or even better, krill oil) supplements to your daily routine, especially if you're over age 50. (Talk to your physician first before taking any supplement.)
Every night I add a tablespoon of chia seeds to a cup or more of soy or almond milk and leave it overnight in the fridge. In the morning, it becomes like a pudding. I add a spoon of maple syrup and vanilla extract and give it to my kids with breakfast. For us parents, we keep raw walnuts at work and eat a handful during snack time. Another option is to add any of above to your smoothie or shake. You probably won't even notice it's in there, and you'll satisfy the need for omega-3 healthy fat in your diet.
If you'd like suggestions on a good quality oil or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To your good health....and good fat!