Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to find one way to increase your omega-3 intake this week, and for bonus points, make it a habit.
Read about the incredible health benefits of omega-3 fats here, but remember this: our brains and hearts NEED omega-3s, and most American’s aren’t getting enough. This is a big deal worth a little of your time, especially moms of young children.
Practical Ways to Increase Omega-3s
- Eat more fish, especially salmon (once a week is great!)
- Add flax to your diet (oil or seeds)
- Eat more walnuts
- Ask your doctor about fish oil supplements (see below)
My fingers are literally dangling over the keyboard; I have nothing else to add! This almost seems cruel, to give a Monday Mission without a wealth of information (for the wealth, see the Food for Thought, actually!). I have lots of tips for you to implement the four ideas above, but they’re coming later in the week. Patience is a virtue, right? So maybe this isn’t so cruel, just something to whet your whistle for the week’s posts. Here’s what I have in store:
- My favorite (read: “only”) salmon recipe
- How to Use and Store Flax
- Banana Flax Muffins Recipe
- How to Buy Salmon Safely
- (Walnuts coming in July – they’re a Super Food, too!)
My “Eat More Fish” Tip
The only tip I have that isn’t included in the above posts is one way I try to eat more fish: since I never prepared it at home before my husband gave the okay this winter (he hates fish!), I try to almost always order it when given the opportunity at a restaurant. You may not want to do this with salmon, unfortunately, unless you have the nerve to ask your server every time: “Where is this fish caught?” See Friday’s post for details!
Until then, you can always consider making an “eat every week” list in your meal plan that includes fish, broth, beans, a meatless meal, and other items of importance for your family (beef, chicken, pasta, salad, eggs, etc.).
An Important Note About Supplements:
If you’re thinking that maybe the easiest and most low-cal way to get omega-3s is with fish oil capsules, not so fast. Many nutritionists say it’s a bad idea.
“There is something about whole food that when it goes into the body it’s more than 90% absorbed, while [with] a supplement you absorb only about 50%,” says Sandon.
Moreover, says Sandon, because the components of different foods work together, they may offer a more complete and balanced source of nutrients.
“It could be something more than just the omega-3s in fish that make it so healthy,” says Sandon. “It could be the amino acids that provide benefits we are not going to see in fish-oil supplements alone.”
And if you’re thinking fish-oil capsules will help you avoid the contamination risks of fresh fish, think again. Because supplements are not regulated in the U.S., Sandon says, some may contain concentrated amounts of the same toxins found in fresh fish. And because the oil is so concentrated, the supplements can also produce an unpleasant body odor.
More important, experts say, there is a danger of overdosing on fish-oil supplements, particularly if you take more than the recommended amount. Doing so can increase your risk of bleeding or bruising. This isn’t likely to happen when you get your intake from foods.
The one-time fish oil supplements can really help is if you need to reduce your levels of triglycerides, a dangerous blood fat linked to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that people with extremely high triglycerides get 2 to 4 daily grams of omega-3s (containing EPA and DHA) in capsules — but only in consultation with their doctors.
“The key here is to never take these supplements without your doctor’s consent,” says Magee. “This is not something you want to fool with on your own.”
From Web MD
Don’t forget about the great Bugaloo shoe giveaway, ending Thursday!
I’m pleased to participate in Homemaker Mondays at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven and Happy Homemaker Mondays at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
Looking for other Food for Thought?