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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Omega 3 fatty acids-The wonder of Flaxseeds.




I will be honest here. I had no idea about Omega 3 fatty acids. It's just when my son was born that I started hearing from the pediatrics just how important omega 3 fatty acids are. Then my own reading started for providing for my son the best possible and thus I came to an understanding about Omega 3 fatty acids.

In a layman's language - This is one good and important fat for the body which it cannot make itself and hence has to rely on food sources from outside. It basically a form of fatty acids which helps in keeping the brain healthy and avoiding cardiovascular diseases and lowering triglycerides. For growing children, it helps in their brain development.

Research has shown that Omega three has been linked to a variety of benefits ranging from eye function to certain behavioral and psychological well-being too. While these are part of various studies with varying degree of success, what is important to note is that it is an essential nutrition for the kids and adults and we should be incorporating it in our diet.
The types of omega-3 fats are: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).


EPA and DHA are found mainly in certain types fish, as well as chicken and beef.  Animals that feed on grass tend to have a higher amount of Omega 3 fats in their milk or eggs(in case of chicken). ALA is found primarily in plant sources, but also in some fish and meat.

Why FISH- A very interesting part is that fishes do not themselves produce omega three. These fish obtain EPA and DHA by eating algae (found in water bodies) that have the flax-type omega-3s typical of plants. The fishes then consume these algae and thus the EPA and DHA concentration occurs in their body tissues. Not all kinds of fish have been beneficial here. Salmon by far is the best source if eating fish.

For Vegetarians- Since my family is a vegetarian family I shall talk about the sources of food which we eat and how these can be incorporated in our daily recipes. I shall be devoting this article to a wonder food called
FLAXSEEDS. Its new to me and it is my favorite.
Flaxseed- Has won the accolade for being one of the world’s healthiest food. There are three important nutritional elements to it along with others that makes it a wonder food. It has Omega 3 fatty acids as well as high fiber and is rich in antioxidants. We have golden flax seeds and brown ones. I have found the brown ones readily available in the supermarket. Nutritionally, it doesn't matter really.
Flaxseeds are a regular at my home. Since Flax seed, when eaten whole, has a tendency to pass through the intestinal tract undigested. Then the body still doesn't get all the benefits. Grinding the flaxseeds is the best option and adding it to a wide variety of food a healthy choice. They do not have a very strong flavor. If you eat them by itself, you would find it pretty bland. That’s why it can be added to various recipes and we can accrue the benefits.
In case you are buying products containing flax seeds, make sure to check the label that ground flax seeds was added in that cereal or pasta or snack items. I normally tend to mix flax seeds in various moist dishes such as sprinkle on a sandwich, Poha, Upma, rice items, custard, smoothies, milkshakes and the like. It can also be used in baking breads, cupcakes and cookies.
I store ground flaxseed in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Ensure that the ground flax seeds do not form lumps due to exposure to air and moisture.
On a regular day if I am serving milk to my little one, I add one, I add one tsp flaxseeds. Not every day though is a flaxseed day. There are other sources too which I rely on for the healthy dose of Omega three.



Don't forget to check out the Indian favorite snack-Namak Paare with flaxseeds which I made for my little one yesterday. When he happily started munching- I gave a pat on my back J.



1 comment:

  1. Worth reading it:-)
    I'll also go for flaxseeds!

    ReplyDelete

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