Fat and Happy

Does the word fat make you uncomfortable?

Don’t be afraid of it- fat is a very important and vital nutrient for your body, specifically your; brain, cells and hormones to communicate and function.

All fat is not created equal however. Clearly some fat such as; saturated and trans fats, are not so good for you. We can talk about those later….

Today, I want to specifically highlight Omega-3’s and their effect on improving your mood.

Who doesn’t love a good mood?! Let’s create more.

How? Read on…

*Tip: Feeling frazzled by scientific words and healthy mumbo-jumbo? There is a summary at the bottom of this page, you’re welcome.

Enter the good fats. The human body uses omega-3s in many ways. They seem to be especially important for a well-functioning central nervous system, for the transmission of signals from the eyes to the brain, for heart health (some omega-3s protect against abnormal heart rhythms, reduce triglycerides, lower the risk of blood clots, and discourage the growth of plaque in artery walls), and they even promote healthy brain development in babies during pregnancy and breast-feeding.3

While your body can synthesize other types of fat from dietary components such as carbohydrates and proteins, it can’t make its own omega-3s. We have to get them from food or fish oil supplements. Omega-3s come in three varieties:

• Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): Found in fatty cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring, DHA concentrates in the brain’s gray matter and the retinas in the eyes.

“DHA molecules are long-chain fatty acids. They’re fluid and flexible,” Vannice explains. “They become part of the membrane of brain cells and work at synapses, where chemical signals jump from cell to cell.”

• Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): Also found in cold-water fish, EPA seems to have a unique role in maintaining a healthy mood.

“EPA doesn’t become part of a brain cell’s structure the way DHA does. It seems to help by reducing inflammatory processes in the brain and by balancing out metabolic pathways,” Vannice says. “Many studies show that DHA alone doesn’t work for depression. You need a little more EPA than DHA to get results. We’re still trying to understand exactly why, but we know it matters.”

In addition, some EPA is converted to DHA in the body.

• Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): Found in flaxseed, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, purslane, and walnuts, and in small amounts in Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and salad greens, ALA doesn’t directly influence mood management although it may help with heart health. The human body converts a small percentage into EPA and DHA.4

While most Americans get plenty of ALA, we’re woefully low in the consumption of DHA and EPA. The American Heart Association recommends people eat fish twice a week, which, on average, would give you the recommended dose of 500 mg of DHA and EPA daily. But most adults and kids get closer to 100 mg or less, Vannice says. As a result, blood levels of these fats are low—and even lower in people with depression. (excerpt from Today’s Dietitian)

Summary:

Consumption of healthy fats like Omega-3’s will help you be healthier. Clear, simple, to the point.

Most American’s are low in DHA and EPA Omega-3’s so it would be a good idea to increase your weekly consumption of; salmon, tuna, halibut and other cold water fish. They will improve your brain and eye function. Don’t be surprised if you start coming up with amazing new ideas and can now find your way to the bathroom at night without stumbling on a shoe.

Most American’s are getting an adequate amount of ALA Omega-3’s but it doesn’t hurt to stock up on healthy servings of brussels sprouts, kale, spinach pumpkin seeds, walnuts and ground flaxseed. Sounds like tonight’s salad recipe right there to me!

Here’s a dinner idea to get the good mood food rolling…

Baked or grilled salmon with a side of roasted brussels sprouts and and large dark leafy green kale salad (click here to check out this one!) possibly topped with walnuts, pumpkin seeds and a balsamic vinaigrette!

For more healthy recipes please visit Organiglee

 

Here’s to healthy munching and a happier mood and Happy Healthy Eating!

Your Healthy Grocery Girl

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