Omega 3s – they’ll give you wings. Well, almost
It is true to say that all fats are not created equal. In fact, fats such as cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats are detrimental to one’s health when ingested in large quantities. Conversely, omega 3 fatty acids are one type of fat that possess countless health benefits.
Omega 3s have been shown to improve heart rate, cut the risk of blood clots, decrease plaque in arteries, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol (HDL). It may all sound too good to be true, but the science overwhelmingly supports this. Also, Omega 3s are involved in the production of the “happy” hormones in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, and therefore they may be protective against depression. If you’re still not convinced, there is some emerging evidence that increased consumption of omega 3’s may provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Consider them a present for your brain, heart, joints and mind.
Great sources of omega 3 fatty acids: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, trevally, sardines and herring
Good sources of omega 3 fatty acids: Red meat, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil and eggs
These fats are termed essential fatty acids because the body is unable to produce them, therefore they must be derived from our diet. The National Heart Foundation of Australia recommends that:
- Women consume 430mg/day
- Men consume 610mg/day.
Consuming 2-3 servings of oily fish a week and regularly consuming eggs, meat and poultry, flaxseeds and chia seeds can meet these recommendations.
Be sure that you are getting your daily intake of omega 3 oils by using the Heart Foundation meal planner.
Here are some tips to boost your overall omega 3 intake
- Regularly include salmon in your weekly menu – check out this recipe for Salmon with beans and mango salsa
- Add tinned salmon to salads and sandwiches
- Get some eggs into you
- Cook with canola oil
- Sprinkle flaxseeds or chia seeds on your cereal
- Add sardines to your morning toast (remember to eat the bones, which are full of calcium for strong healthy bones)
- Nibble on some walnuts
- Include a piece of grilled fish as part of your Friday ritual
Omega 3’s – there’s nothing fishy about them.