Omega-3s - Why flaxseed, walnuts and chia don't quite cut it.
Omega-3s are my favourite fat. It's almost like they can do no wrong.
Studies show omega-3s are beneficial, or at least may help with a whole range of illnesses and issues including:
- brain health - memory, dementia, Alzheimer's
- gut health
- eye health
- skin, hair and nails
- joint care
- autoimmune diseases
- heart health
Sure you can get them from flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and other plant foods. But there's a slight issue……….
So here's why I love salmon. I love it because it tastes great and it's versatile. But my love for salmon extends beyond the plate. Here's the main reason why.
Salmon contains long-chain omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They’re essential because we can’t make them from scratch in our bodies. We must consume them. These omega-3 fats are found in this form only in animal products, especially oily fish, and are the ones showing practically all the health benefits in human studies.
Plant based sources of omega-3 are called alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and require our body to convert them to the other beneficial forms. If our diet is low in the animal forms, our bodies work hard to get what it needs from the plant sources, converting ALA to EPA and DHA. Unfortunately aging, a poor diet and ill health can reduce our conversion rate, which is already very low to begin with!
Salmon’s omega-3 content is much more readily available for us to use as it’s already in the EPA and DHA forms. Add to this its high protein content and vitamin and mineral mix, and you’ve got yourself a true “super” food.
Wild salmon is best nutritionally, but it's not cheap and can be difficult to find. Aim to include oily fish in your diet at least 2 times a week and boost your intake by supplementing with fish oil.