Posts Tagged ‘omega 3’

6 Reasons To Eat More Sardines

Fresh sardines are showing up on menus in restaurants from San Francisco to New York. So what are sardines, exactly? The term means slightly different things in different countries, but in the US it denotes any of several species of small, oily, silvery fish related to herring.

What all types of sardine have in common is that we should be eating a lot more of them.

6 Reasons To Eat More Sardines

1. They’re good for you.

Sardines pack an awesome nutritional punch. A single serving has around 23 grams of protein and is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and potassium, and only 200 calories. And even with canned sardines, all this goodness comes with only around 400 mg of sodium, which is relatively little for a canned product. Plus, they’re often packed in olive oil, itself an important component of a healthy diet.

2. They aren’t bad for you.

Sardines are low on the oceanic food chain, and therefore contain low amounts of mercury, PCBs and the other toxins that accumulate in longer-living marine predators such as salmon and tuna. This makes them a particularly good choice for children and pregnant women.

3. They’re sustainably fished.

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s SeafoodWATCH rates sardines as a “Best Choice”. Sardine stocks are, once again, abundant, healthy and are now well-managed.

4. They’re affordable.

Prices per oz. of canned sardines are on a par with canned tuna, poultry, ground beef and other supermarket protein sources. Prices of fresh sardines vary with availability, but they are usually among the less expensive fresh fish on display.

5. They taste like fish.

In a supermarket landscape dominated by bland, artificially dyed salmon fillets, pale tuna steaks, frozen fish sticks, artificial crab meat and other attempts to sell seafood as generic chicken-like protein slabs to people who aren’t sure if they actually like it, sardines stand out. You simply can’t ignore the fact that they are, well, fish. They look like fish, being too small to fillet or grind up. They smell like fish. They are oily. They have heads and tails, scales and bones. And they taste fishy.

This is, as most people who genuinely enjoy food know, a good thing.

6. They’re delicious.

This is ultimately the most important point in favor of consuming more sardines: they are a pleasure to eat. Simple, easy to prepare and downright delicious.

If you get your hands on some fresh sardines, they feature in fabulous recipes originating from all over the Mediterranean basin. But sardines are so simple and basic, you really don’t need a recipe to get the best out of them. Just scale and gut them, brush them lightly with olive oil and coarse sea salt, or whatever marinade you make up, grill them for around 5 minutes per side, until the skin is crispy, and serve them up with a drizzle of lemon juice and your favorite fresh herbs.

And if you can’t be fussed to cook, there are few pleasures greater than mashing canned sardines, bones and all, onto buttered toast, or perhaps over a slice of camembert.

The sardine is dead. Long live the sardine!

What are your favorite sardine recipes?

By Darya Pino at Summer Tomato

How To Enjoy Fresh Fish Without A Hefty Dose Of Mercury

How To Enjoy Fresh Fish Without A Hefty Dose Of Mercury

You’d have to be living in a junk food bubble not to have heard health concerns about mercury levels in fish. We all know that (in theory) fresh fish is an excellent way to increase your omega 3 intake, vary your protein sources and basically just round out an already healthy diet. I’ve found that many health conscious women in particular aim to include fish at least 2 or 3 times each week, and it’s also an obvious choice if you feel like you don’t do well on red meat.

But regardless of the freshness of your catch or just how perfectly you’ve grilled it, you have to admit that this whole mercury issue is a bit of a downer. If you have indeed just stuck your head out of that bubble, here’s a quick heads up –

  • Mercury accumulating in your body is a serious health concern recognized by conventional and alternative health practitioners alike
  • It is fast becoming linked to increased cancer risk
  • Clinical evidence indicates that mercury ramps down your thyroid – the gland that governs your metabolism. This can cause unexplained weight gain and the inability to lose body fat regardless of exercise or nutrition. I’ve personally witness this situation in several so-called healthy people whose only failing over the years was to routinely eat a tin of tuna with lunch – a very popular food amongst gym junkies and fitness types!
  • Blood mercury levels are frequently linked with neuro-degeneration, the most common links being to Alzheimer’s and autism (mercury is still used as a preservative in many childhood vaccines, despite the FDA in the US having released ’safe’ levels well below the amounts used. Problem is it’s too costly and time-consuming to patent new vaccines).
  • While omega 3 supplements are recommended for pretty much everyone seeking weight loss, ideal health and mental acuity, one of the worst things you can do is purchase any old off-the-shelf supplement. Many cheaper fish oils are chock full of mercury, meaning you’re actually doing yourself more harm than good. A quality fish oil should be sourced from Norway or Canada, and should not cause reflux when taken with food.
  • If you go to pubmed.com and type in ‘mercury toxicity humans’ you’ll find 1507 studies just from the past 6 months. 13 of those show a connection with Alzheimer’s.

Still thinking that eating fish a couple times each week is a good idea? Maybe not, huh? In fact, some health experts recommend eating fish no more than once a fortnight, and at a maximum of 150g. Pregnant women and children are advised to half this number. But before you high-tail it to the butcher and throw out all your fresh fish cookbooks, let me offer you a glimmer of hope. You see, not all fish are high in mercury. According to Naturopath Leah Hechtman, “mercury occurs naturally in the environment, can be released into the air through industrial pollution and accumulates in streams and oceans, where it is turned into methylmercury. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters, it accumulates in the fish and then we consume it. (Whilst) nearly all fish and shellfish contain levels of methylmercury, fish that are more likely to have higher levels are the larger, longer-living or predatory species.”

Now I know this might hurt, but the sorry news is that one of the most toxic fish (whose name in French, by the way, actually means ‘bottom feeder of the sea’), is the tuna. Add a tin can lined with estrogen-loading BPA to that dirty fish and you’ve got a recipe for weight gain and health problems. Leah also recommends to limiting or avoiding the following high-mercury offenders:

Billfish, flake, orange roughy, catfish, barramundi (:-(), gemfish, ling, all tuna, halibut, mahi mahi, pike, ray, seabass, tilefish, walleye and white croaker

So, given that fish can be so tasty, and given that it is a great way to increase healthy fats, what should you eat?

Most smaller fish are lower in mercury, and some of your best options include blue mackerel, herring, John dory, ocean trout (yum!), salmon, sardines (try them fresh, grilled in a little coconut oil. Probably one of the cheapest protein sources you’ll find. Add sea salt to taste), silver trevally, silver warehou, anchovy, blue-eyed cod, bream, flathead, garfish, mullet, snapper and whiting.

And finally, if you’re concerned that you may be a walking mercury-mine due to previous fish choices, then check out this great article on detoxing mercury and other metals. Alternatively contact me here to find out how a healthy eating plan can identify these and other systemic problems causing your body to resist weight loss and ideal health.

By Kat at Body Incredible

7 Food Groups That Will Help Boost Your Mood…

SEVEN FOOD GROUPS THAT WILL HELP BOOST YOUR MOODhappy-person-200X200

This is the time of year when days begin to feel shorter and shorter. We see the sun much less, and when we do, it’s often fighting a battle of gloominess with an impending cold front.

This gloominess hits us all pretty hard. In fact, if you’ve ever believed that you had a case of the Winter Blues, this is what we’re talking about. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is no laughing matter because these dark-gray-rainy days have a huge impact on your mood and energy level. The good news is that we can all partially escape this mental zapping.

By now it’s common sense to us all that our bodies are fueled by what we put in it. While most of us often think of this as it pertains to our physical traits or appearance, it’s important to know that there is a connection with food when it comes to boosting your mood. If you’ve been feeling blue lately or if you are expecting an annual visit from the Winter Blues, here are 7 food groups that might actually help boost your body and your mind:

  1. Eat your greens and your grains
    The University of Kuopio in Finland conducted a study with 2,313 men for more than 10 years and they found that leafy greens and whole grains are good for your brain.
  2. Vitamin B 12 should not be ignored
    The study of the University of Kuopio also showed that dairy, shellfish and eggs can help your mood.
  3. Increase your intake of folate
    The same Finnish study found that increasing your intake of lentils, spinach, berries oranges and avocados will have a positive effect on your mood.
  4. Orange is a great color
    Orange vegetables are high in beta carotene and they are not only highly recommended to maintain proper eye sight, but they are excellent for your brain.
  5. Drink tea
    Nothing is more soothing that a cup of tea during the colder months of the year. Another study from Finland shows that 2,000 surveyed Finns who drank tea every day reported less incidences of feeling down or depressed compared to Finns who weren’t regular tea drinkers. The study also shows that the theanine naturally found in tea helps calm you down.
  6. Vitamin D
    They don’t call it the “sunshine vitamin” for nothing. Most people living in parts of the world that has winter are deficient in vitamin D. In fact, Dr. Mehmet Oz declared that 100 million Americans were deficient in D in a recent episode on his new TV show “Dr. Oz” (think about it, that’s about 1/3 of the American population)!A 2008 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed there is a direct link between deficiency of vitamin D and depression. Milk and milk products are the obvious source of vitamin D, but if you are lactose intolerant that won’t help you. Some people simply don’t like the taste of milk and milk products and that’s where a daily supplement of vitamin D comes in so handy. If you can afford it, choose a liquid vitamin D which is immediately absorbed into the body!
  7. Fish is good for your mood
    If you don’t like fish, don’t worry, omega-3 might become of the best supplements you can take to enhance your mood. The University of Arizona’s scientific review concluded that omega-3 fatty acids eicosapenta-enoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna helped people with major depression and people who suffered from bipolar depression. The study is so compelling that the American Psychiatry Association endorsed the review and now recommends that adults eat fish twice a week and that people with mental health issues consume at least one gram of omega-3 a day to help with their disorder.

Written on 11/2/2009 by Krizia, an international author of an acclaimed food guide and she’s also a former self-taught personal chef.

Here is a recipe to help you incorporate both whole grains and greens…
Barley Risotto with Wilted Greens
You can turn this into a main course by stirring in roasted chicken or turkey at the end. Do not use pearl barley, which is more refined and cooks very quickly.
Serving Size  : 6    
 
   1      tablespoon      extra virgin olive oil
   1      large                  yellow onion, chopped
   1/2  cup                    carrot, finely chopped
   1/4  cup                    celery, finely chopped
   3      cloves               garlic ,minced
   1/4  cup                    white wine
   1      cup                     hulled barley
   3 1/2  cups              organic chicken or vegetable broth
   2      teaspoons      fresh thyme or 1teaspoon dried thyme
   4      cups                 spinach leaves or torn leafy greens like swiss chard
   2      tablespoons  freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
                                      sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onion, carrot,
celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the
vegetables are softened. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring constantly,
until the liquid is completely absorbed. Add barley and stir well.
2. Carefully pour in 2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the
heat medium low and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, stirring
frequently. This will take about 10 minutes.  Add the thyme and the
remaining 1 1/2 cups broth. Turn up the heat until the broth comes to boil,
then reduce to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the
barley is tender but still al dente.  Stir in greens.
3. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute or two until the greens wilt.
For a brothier risotto, add extra broth. Add cheese if desired.  Season with
salt and pepper.
Author Note: Hulled barley is the least processed of the grain.  It takes slightly longer to cook, but has more texture, fiber and antioxidants than pearl barley.
Recipe Source: Positively Ageless                 

The Startling Truth About Grass Fed Meat

The Startling Truth About Grass Fed Meatcows-on-grass

If you are after weight loss, greater mental acuity, healthy cell and hormone development, or just plain old better health and energy, you need to be getting enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.

There is a source of omega 3 you probably haven’t even heard of.  It tastes great and comes with a whole host of other big health bonuses. I’m talking about grass fed beef, along with other grass fed red meats like lamb and wild game.

Here are EIGHT great reasons to buy grass fed meat:

  1. Contains healthy omega-3 fats.  Studies clearly show animals reared on grass have higher levels of omega-3 and a lower amount of omega-6.  Most people consume way too much Omega-6 causing inflammation and inflammation-related illnesses.  Omega 6 is in most packaged foods in the form of vegetable oils such as corn, sesame, soy, sunflower and safflower further causing the imbalance.
  2. Contains conjugated linolenic acid (CLA).  A good fat which has been shown to fight off cancer, promote fat loss, and assist in lean muscle gain. CLA all but disappears in meat raised purely on grain and soy.
  3. No antibiotics added.  Antibiotics are given to grain fed cattle, because of the digestive problems brought on by their eating corn and soy, rather than their normal food of grass and clover. Their poor living conditions are another factor.     
  4. No steroids or growth hormones.  Steroids and growth hormones are routinely given to commercial meat to speed up growth and weight gain for faster “finishing” times.  These hormones actually make it into your body and have been implicated in a number of health problems including early puberty and acne.
  5. Treated more humanely. To minimize stress and trauma and I believe the animals stress affects us when we eat it on the cellular level too. 
  6. Cleaner and more wholesome. They are not fed any contaminated animal by-product feed like chicken manure, chicken feathers, cardboard and municipal waste.
  7. Minimal risk of E. coli.  Grain-fed animals have a much higher level of acidity in their stomachs, which E. coli need to survive, while pasture-fed animals do not have an internal environment that is hospitable to E. coli.
  8. Leaner than grain fed beef and has up to 15% fewer calories  

  So why don’t the farmers just feed them grass?

* Grain and soy are both super cheap food sources – especially those grains deemed not fit for human consumption

* Eating this way fattens them up far quicker than a grass-based diet

* It doesn’t require lots of expensive land

* The typical consumer has no idea how important it is to eat grass fed meat, and probably doesn’t know or care how their food has been raised

* The food and restaurant industry even supports the rearing of grain-fed meat by highlighting it as a good thing on many fine-dining menus!

Of course you could always up your intake of green vegetables, eggs and walnuts, but few people eat enough on a regular basis. According to strength/conditioning coach and hormone expert Charles Poliquin, you need between 35-40 grams of omega-3 every day. A typical salmon steak has less than 5 grams, so even if you’re not concerned about mercury and genetically modified or farmed fish, the reality is that your diet is most likely lacking in this important fat.

So how to access this all-important fat and protein source?

It’s not usually as simple as hitting your local supermarket. I buy all my meat, eggs, and dairy organically, which by definition should be free-range. Unfortunately, it’s no guarantee, which is why when it comes to meat – check to be sure it’s grass-fed. Some of the best places for organic meat include farmers markets, specialist organic butchers, and Whole Foods.  For an excellent source for grass fed meat in Washington state, click here.

Its does take more effort to eat this way, but I’d say it’s a helluva lot greater inconvenience to deal with the long-term health and weight consequences of poor dietary choices. Wouldn’t you?

Here is a great recipe using grass fed beef or you can substitute lamb or bison.

Beef Satay Stir-Fry

Serving Size  : 6     
                        * 1 1/2 pounds organic grass-fed beef cubes
                        * 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
                        * 3 small red chilies
                        * 4 garlic cloves
                        * 2 teaspoons cumin
                        * 2 teaspoons ground coriander
                        * 4 well-rounded tablespoons organic
                        — crunchy peanut butter
                        * 2 tablespoons raw honey
                        * 1 rounded tablespoon molasses
                        * 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
                        * 1 14 oz can organic coconut milk
                        * 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
                        * Handful of green beans, heads and tails
                        — removed, and chopped into thirds
                        * Top third of a half celery – including
                        — the leaves, chopped fine
                        * 8-10 large mushrooms, sliced
                        * Half bunch of Chinese greens or English
                        — spinach, washed and torn
                        * Fresh parsley, chopped roughly
                        * Plenty of ground pepper
                        * Organic sea salt to taste

 1. Chop your garlic and chili (leave the seeds in if really hot is your
thing), and then heat the coconut oil in a large stainless steel pan, on
medium.

2. Add the garlic and chili, sauté for a minute or so, then add the herbs
and stir for 30 seconds or so before tossing in the beef. Keep an eye on it
and toss constantly with a wooden spoon. It will only take a few minutes to
brown.

3. Add in the peanut butter, honey, molasses, sweet chili, and coconut milk.
Stir through and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, and
green beans, followed by the mushrooms. Mix well and allow to cook for a
minute or so (this is a good time to add salt and pepper) before adding the
leafy greens and parsley. Allow to cook with the lid half on for 5 minutes
or so and then check the veggies. This dish shouldn’t need to brew for ages,
as you don’t want to kill your fresh produce.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Kat at Body Incredible  

Author Note: This dish is great for freezing and there’s no better feeling than heading home from a long day knowing dinner is already pre-prepared and brimming with health.