Discuss omega-3 supplements with your doctor before you self medicate.
Vitamins and supplements are generally not a quick fix for health issues or a sure fire way to make you healthier. Eating a well balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, lean proteins [including fish] and healthy fats is always the best way to give your health a boost.
Granted there are times when getting the proper nutrition from food is hard to do. In that case, talk to your doctor for their input and recommendations. The vitamin industry is an unregulated industry so what you intend to buy is not always what you get. Plus getting too much omega-3 or any other nutrients can have unintended consequences especially, if you’re taking other medications.
What’s are health benefits of omega-3?
People who eat a mediterranean diet rich in natural omega-3 fatty acids tend to have healthy hearts. Their diet includes oily fish, vegetable oils, walnuts and lots of vegetables. The latest research reportedly isn’t clear on whether other nutrients or a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in fish are responsible for the health benefits. That fuzziness in the science is the reason it’s better to get your nutrients from food rather than vitamins and supplements whenever possible.
There are several other omega-3 health claims that aren’t fully supported yet. If you’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for depression, dementia or something other than heart health, get your doctor’s opinion on the validity of the claim.
How much is the right amount of omega-3?
According to the Mayo Clinic, 1-2 small services per week is enough to get the benefits for your heart. Eating too much fish has risks too. Mercury is an environmental contaminant often found in fish. Mercury toxicity that builds up with time. The bigger the fish, the more mercury it likely contains and the more risk to your health.
If you’re thinking it might be better to be safe than sorry, it’s not a good approach in this case. Doctors still believe the health benefits of eating fresh fish outweigh the health risks of mercury toxicity.
What are the best ways to get omega-3 in your diet?
Unless you’re always eating something made from a package, box or can, you’re probably already getting at least some omega-3 in your diet. Some small changes to your diet might be enough to ensure you are getting the recommended amount.
Omega-3 diet changes:
- Buy fresh fish whenever possible.
- Eat the varieties that offer the most omega-3 per servicing. [aka: salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna]
- Limit canned tuna. Reportedly canned tuna has the most mercury content.
- Get adventurous with your greens for more nutritional value.
- Add walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds into your meals.
- Use vegetable and olive oil as healthy fats.
From the Camp Pono Kitchen:
We are learning to blaze some new trails with Salesforce and discovered a course on healthy eating made by their chef. Whether you’re entertaining or treating yourself to a delicious home cooked salmon meal, this one is sure to be a winner with your guests or family.
- 1 filet of salmon, skin and bones removed (your local fish monger can do this for you)
- 2 bunches chervil
- 2 bunches flat leaf parsley
- 2 bunches mint
- 1 lemon, sliced Fine
- sea salt
- Olive oil
- Set aside 1/4 of the herbs for the salad and garnishing the salmon.
- Preheat oven to 220°F.
- Lay out half of the herbs and the lemon slices on a sheet tray.
- Place filet on the herbs and lemon.
- Lightly coat the fish with olive oil and season with an even sprinkling of salt.
- Cover the salmon with the other half of the herbs and place in the oven.
- Bake for 45–55 minutes, until the flesh is firm when you gently press on it.
- Remove salmon from oven, clear off herbs and brush generously with lemon-caper vinaigrette (see below).
- Portion, garnish with reserved herbs, and serve
Lemon caper sauce
- 3 tablespoons capers, minced
- Lemons, for juice
- Olive oil
- Combine minced capers, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a mixing bowl.
- Mix and taste, adjust seasoning with more lemon juice and salt as needed. (Flavor should be bright, lemony and briny, a little on the sharp side of acidic.)
With that said and done, bon appétit!
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