This is the first of many posts in the Quick Tips Series!! These posts will give you:
- Basic information about a certain nutrient
- Five tips on how you can easily start adding that nutrient into your diet.
To start off the Quick Tips series will be Omega-3s, the healthy fatty acids! As you may have heard, not all fats are bad for us. In fact, Omega-3s are essential to our health and should be part of a healthy diet. As with most nutrients, whole food sources are preferred over supplements since the nutrients in whole foods have a synergistic effect.
Five Tips for Getting More Omega-3s
- Eat fish at least twice a week. Salmon, tuna (albacore), trout, halibut, anchovies, mussels, and oysters are all great sources of Omega-3 fats (contain over 500 mg per serving)! On a side note, deep frying fish does cancel out the health benefits so stick with pan searing, grilling, or baking.
- Add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed per day to your diet. Ground flax seed is versatile in the kitchen, easy for the body to absorb, and is much cheaper than flax seed oil. I add ground flax to oatmeal, smoothies, and basically any baked goods. Check out this link to learn how flax can replace flour or even eggs when baking.
- Eat more walnuts! English walnuts have about 2.5 gram of Omega-3 in a 1 ounce serving (about 14 walnut halves). Add walnuts to salad, roasted vegetables, cereal, and desserts for an extra crunch!
- Make the switch to grass fed beef! The typical US diet is contains too many Omega 6’s and not enough Omega 3’s
- Grass fed cows: omega-6 : omega-3 ratio of 2:1
- Grain fed cows: omega-6 : omega-3 ratio of 4:1
- Eat an egg a day! Eggs that are omega-3 fortified, meaning that the chicken was fed something that contained omega-3s, have >100 mg more omega-3s than non-fortified eggs where the chickens only eat corn and/or soybean.
Why do we Need Omega-3 Fats?
- Heart health: reduces blood pressure, helps lower triglycerides & cholesterol, and lowers risk of heart disease.
- To decrease inflammation in the body – this is good for everyone!
- For brain and eye development in infants and pregnancy
- Promising research for: cancer prevention, protection from cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s & Dementia), reducing symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and more.
A Note for Tubies:
- These high omega-3 foods are great for blenderizing and can easily be added to any tube feed regimens. Grinding the flax seed and walnuts before blending them with other foods can help to prevent clumps and clogs.
- Many commercial formulas contain Omega – 3, but check the manufacturers website to make sure that your formula’s volume is providing you enough of this essential nutrient.