Wow have I fallen off the face of the Earth or what? One of my friends from California is in town, so my past few weeks have been full of working mixed with coffee shop runs, a couple parties, and a whole lot of eating out! My little brother also had his first violin recital– so proud of him! He’s still a beginner but I feel like he has some serious talent in him 🙂
I often set myself huge lofty goals that I later have to go back and make realistic… including the idea of making an infographic for this post. Back in the day I loved making computer graphics, but to be honest I have kind of lost my touch. And my free time. Either way, I have all the info here, so read up and enjoy!
Eat Live Austin presents:
What You DIDN’T Know About Omega 3s
First, a little background info
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA) found primarily in coldwater fish. It is especially
important for brain function, the immune system, and cardiovascular health. EFAs are vital for life but can’t be made by the human body, so they have to be obtained from the diet. Men need at least 1.6 grams of omega 3s per day while women need 1.1 grams per day.
There are three kinds- EPA and DHA are found in animal sources. ALA is found mostly in plant sources and converted by the body into the other two forms.
What you DIDN’T know
- Omega 3s are used by *every single cell* in the human body.
- Most American’s are deficient in this EFA.
- A deficiency can cause little problems like dry and itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, and constipation.
- However, a lack of omega 3s can also cause depression, fatigue, frequent colds, poor concentration, lack of physical endurance, and joint pain. Some doctors even prescribe omega 3 supplements for people with depression.
- Eating an adequate amount of omega 3s can help with the most prevalent health problems today:
*inhibits proliferation of cancer cells in prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
- CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS
*prevents irregular heartbeat, lowers plaque in artery walls, lowers blood clotting, lowers triglycerides, lowers cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure. It also lowers the risk of sudden death from heart attack.
*reduces the risk of diabetes and reduces insulin resistance in those who have diabetes.
- INFLAMMATORY DISORDERS
*lowers inflammation and helps with inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
- IT ALSO
*enhances bone density
*improves conditions for those with psoriasis
- Omega 3 intake needs to be balanced with the omega 6, another EFA, intake. When these fatty acids are eaten in the wrong ratio, essential body functions are thrown off balance. Since most processed foods contain omega 6, it is more than easy to eat way more omega 6s than you need. Ideally, the ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s should be around 1:5, but up to 1:10 is also perfectly acceptable. Some sources even suggest a ratio as low as 1:2.
- On the other hand, eating too much omega 3s will also throw off the balance. Overdosing on omega 3s is rare unless you take supplements.
- Research indicates omega 3 is absorbed better from whole foods than supplements.
My favorite sources of omega 3s are:
Walnuts: 2 tablespoons of walnuts provides about 1 gram.
TIP: Try topping off your salads with a handful of walnuts, dried cranberries, and parmesan cheese.
Salmon: one 3 oz portion of this fish provides .5 gram.
TIP: To cook salmon without adding any fat, try poaching it.
Flax seed oil: 1 tablespoon provides 7 grams.
TIP: Replace half to all of the oil in homemade salad dressings with this nutty tasting oil.
- Other good sources:
*Sardines, halibut, shrimp, snapper, and scallops
*Soybeans and tofu
- Grass fed beef has twice the amount of omega 3 and less saturated fat as grain fed beef. Another great reason to support the organic, free-range movement.
- Beware of food products advertising omega 3 content. It’s a huge buzz word used to lure in those that don’t know better.