Saturday November 1, 2014
From Alpha to Omega-3s
Q: I keep hearing about omega-3 fatty acids and how good they are for you, but I'm not quite sure what they are. What exactly are they, what foods have them, and what can they do to help me?
A: Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats (one of the "good " fats) that are essential for human life but not created by the body, so they must be ingested. Research suggests that these compounds may play a role in a wide variety of health conditions from reducing risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's to increasing memory and brain function, improving mood and helping depression, reducing allergies, promoting eye health, and strengthening hair and nails. Omega-3s are found mostly in fatty fish, grass-fed beef, and natural eggs, and there are great choices suited for each GenoType.
- Hunter- Fish are typically thought to be a great source of omega-3s, but since one of your Superfoods is beef, try getting yours from grass-fed cattle. Visit a health-food or specialty store if you can't find it in your local supermarket.
- Gatherer- For you, Gatherer, look to the streams and lakes for your omega-3s. Salmon, flounder, and mahimahi are all good choices that are low in calories and fat but high in these life-giving compounds.
- Teacher- Eggs can teach you a thing or two about omega-3s, Teacher. Just make sure that you're going to an organic co-op or health-food store to get natural eggs. If these white guys aren't farm fresh, they lose some of their potency.
- Explorer- The historical explorers must have spent a long time on the ocean, so they are used to getting their fatty acids from fish. Try whitefish, pompano, and turbot next time you're looking for a healthy boost.
- Warrior- Warriors should avoid most types of meat, but they can check out flaxseed, one of the few plant sources of omega-3s. Try some flaxseed bread or add the ground seeds to a smoothie or shake.
- Nomad- Nomads can eat more varieties of fish than any other GenoType, so live it up. Whether it's swordfish, smelt, salmon, mackerel, grouper, or orange roughy, many of your Superfoods are great sources of this heart-healthy compound.