|Cheers to Good Health: Drink Your Omega 3’s With This Smoothie Recipe
by Carolyn Burris
MS, Nutrition Counselor at
Forum Health Knoxville
You’ve most likely run across an article or news story recently that highlights the incredible benefits of omega-3s. But why are these little nutrients so popular? Omega-3s are one of the most studied nutrients in the world and a growing body of scientific research indicates that these healthy fats are helping to prevent a wide range of medical problems.
So what are omega-3’s? Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids necessary for our health. Because our bodies don’t produce them, we must get them from our diet.
Why do we need omega-3’s?
1. Reduce Inflammation
Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders, dementia, and arthritis.
2. Improve Mental/Neurological Health
Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain which indicate that it is important for cognitive (memory and performance) and behavioral (and mood) function. Researchers have found that cultures that eat foods with high amounts of omega-3s have lower levels of depression and that fish oil may help minimize the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
3. Benefit Female Health & Reproduction
Studies have shown the EPA and DHA supplementation during pregnancy boosts the health of pregnant women and the development of their babies. In fact, infants who do not get adequate omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems.
4. Improve Heart Health
Omega-3 fatty acids appear to lower the overall risk of death from heart disease. Fish oil may reduce arrhythmias and those who take fish oil supplements after a heart attack cut their risk of having a repeat heart attack. Eating fish (a good source of omega-3s) once or twice a week may significantly lower the risk of stroke.
How much omega-3 do we need?
It is important for you to know that you need to have a proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in your diet. The typical American diet (high in meats and processed foods) most often tends to contain 14-25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. A good balance of omega-6 to omega-3 is 3:1 or better yet, 2:1.
If you decide to supplement, discuss this treatment with your doctor first for the recommend dosage based on your deficiencies.
Flax and chia seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Here is a breakfast smoothie recipe packed with omega-3s, protein, antioxidants, and more!
- 2 ½ cups flaxseed milk, unsweetened
- 1 small banana
- 1 cup frozen organic raspberries or strawberries
- 1 scoop grass fed whey protein or chia/hemp plant protein
- 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon raw honey or stevia to sweeten (2-3 packets)
- Place in blender on high until well mixed. Enjoy!
|This Nutrition Update is brought to you by Forum Health Knoxville. For more information about the Forum Health Knoxville’s approach to wellness, call 865-675-9355.
Carolyn Burris, an east Tennessee native, earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Community and Public Health Nutrition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her passion for helping those with nutritional needs brought her to Forum Health Knoxville. Carolyn particularly loves encouraging those struggling with food intolerance, obesity, fibromyalgia, and fatigue.
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