Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, and fish rich in Omega-3
Fish and seafood is an amazing protein to add to our meals. They are rich in calcium and phosphorus while being also a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, potassium, and magnesium. Still, fish and seafood consumption are crucial for our diet since they are the main source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega 3 are essential nutrients that we are getting from food that help in the building and the maintenance of our body. They are very important for the good function of our cells, heart, lungs, blood vessels and immunity system.
Our body cannot produce these fatty acids, so it is crucial to take them through our diet since they also provide several health benefits.
Types of Omega-3
The three most important types of Omega-3 are:
- ALA (alpha- linolenic acid)
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
Which Food Contain Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids can mostly be found in
- Fish and other seafood, especially in fatty fish who live in cold water such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna.
- Nuts and seeds like flaxseed, walnuts, and chia.
- Plant oils as flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil.
ALA is mostly found in plants while we take EPA and DHA from animal sources. It is recommended to consume fish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids at least two times per week and when we do it is preferred to eat them non fried.
Omega-3 Health Benefits
New studies are constantly made to understand how Omega-3 fatty acids affect our health since it is observed that people who eat fish and seafood have lower risk of several chronic diseases.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating one to two serving of seafood every week to reduce risk of heart diseases. To those who already suffer from heart problems the AHA suggests the daily consumption of 1 gram of EPA and DHA, this could come from fish or fish oil.
It is also demonstrated that Omega-3 have a great impact to the baby’s health and development during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is recommended to pregnant women and young mothers to consume 8 to 12 ounces of fish and seafood per week. Fish like salmon, sardines and trout are preferred since they are higher in EPA and DHA while they are lower in mercury.
Omega 3 fatty acids also have a positive effect in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive function. Even though there is no significant evidence in this area, it has been observed that Omega-3 could slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease if it is still on early stages.
How could I incorporate more Omega-3 to my diet?
There are so many tasty fish that are rich in Omega-3 and accessible to everybody since we can easily find them in our local groceries store. Including more Omega-3 to our diet doesn’t has to be complicated nor expensive.
We could start by adding smoked salmon on our avocado toast or by preparing a grilled red snapper served along with some grilled veggies. An easy, affordable, and delicious every day recipe could be the well-known tuna salad with a twist:
Mediterranean Tuna- Spinach Salad
This recipe is an upgraded version of your classic tuna salad packed with nutrients, high in Omega-3 that will fill you up and you can either prepare it for dinner or bring it at work for lunch.
- 1 tbsp of tahini
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Lemon juice of ½ lemon
- 1 can of tuna in water
- Feta cheese
Add two cups of spinach to a bowl with the olives, feta cheese, tuna, and chop parsley. Make the dressing by whisking the tahini with the lemon juice and the olive oil. Give a good mix to the salad and enjoy. You could also slice half an orange and add it to the dish for the citric taste and the vitamin C.
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