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Posts Tagged ‘omega 3s’

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It’s been over thirty years since Chia Pets were all the rage, and today, chia is popular once again! This time around, though, chia seeds are trending in the food world because of their nutritional benefits.

Hailing from a plant in the mint family, chia seeds have long been cultivated and consumed in Central and South America, and they were once a major food source for people in Mexico and Guatemala.

These tiny seeds pack a nutritional punch as they are high in protein and fiber, rich in antioxidants, and a source of omega-3 fatty acids. A 2-tablespoon serving of chia seeds contains 190 calories, 4 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of fat, along with numerous vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are thought to help with weight loss because of their fiber and protein content; when added to foods, they can help you feel fuller for longer and eat less. However, nutrition professionals recommend substituting chia seeds for items in your diet rather than adding them to your diet, as even a small serving contains a significant number of calories.

So, what are some ways to incorporate chia into your diet? You could: chia-3297309_1920

For a seemingly indulgent chia-based treat, try this recipe for Mango-Vanilla-Chia pudding:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener of choice, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks
  • Fresh mint leaves and berries, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together chia seeds, 2 1/2 cups milk, vanilla, 1 teaspoon sweetener and a pinch of salt. Let sit 10 minutes, then whisk again. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Place mango,1/2 cup milk and 1 teaspoon sweetener in a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Scoop chia seed pudding into dessert glasses, then top with mango puree. Garnish with berries and mint if desired.

Do you have a favorite use for chia seeds? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!

 

Sources:

Point, C. (2018). Chia Seed Pudding 3 Ways. Food and Nutrition Magazine. https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/student-scoop/chia-seed-pudding-3-ways/

The Nutrition Source. Chia Seeds. Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/ 

The Nutrition Source. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

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A polyunsaturated fat that is needed for proper brain growth and development has really been in the news recently. Omega-3s are found in many foods but are most prevalent in fatty fish. Some of the fatty fish high in Omega-3s include: salmon, sardines, canned albacore “white” tuna, flounder, mackerel and anchovies. Omega-3s can also be found in nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, flaxseed, eggs and oils. There are three major types of Omega-3 fatty acids that we get from food. The three types used in the body are Alpha-linolenic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid and Docosahexaenoic acid or ALA, EPA and DHA. Once a food is eaten the body converts the ALA to the other two types of Omega-3 fatty acids so the body can use them more efficiently.
What are the benefits of these Omega-3s? Evidence from research studies show a healthy cardiovascular system is one area that can be helped by these fatty acids. Research has shown that the risk of abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias is decreased when foods or supplements containing Omega-3s are consumed. This condition of heart arrhythmias can lead to sudden death. Additionally, triglyceride levels have been shown to be decreased in persons who consume foods high in Omega-3s. . Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure slightly and may slow the growth of                          salmon prepared on a serving plateatherosclerotic plaque. This is why the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week.
Beyond heart disease other chronic diseases in which inflammation may be reduced by the intake of fatty acids/Omega-3s are cancer and arthritis. When someone doesn’t get enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids symptoms such as fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, mood swings, depression and poor circulation can occur.
So, if these Omega-3s benefit our body in these ways how much do we need to gain this benefit? According to the American Heart Association one should eat at least two three and one half ounce servings each week. The three and one half ounce serving is referring to a cooked serving. Flaked fish would be a ¾ cup serving.
People often have fish fried but there are many other healthy methods that can be used to prepare fish. Try a tuna or salmon patty, casserole or dish using canned fish such as salmon or sardines, fish tacos, sardines in tomato sauce or on crackers, salads with canned fish on them or pizza with anchovies. Many cooking methods can also be used to make tasty fish. Fish can be grilled broiled, baked, steamed or poached. Here is one example of a simple but good tasting recipe that includes fish.

Baked Salmon

1 ½ pound salmon fillet
1 ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
1 large lemon, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Place skin side down on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle with the dill weed. Place the lemon slices over the salmon. Bring the foil over the salmon and fold the edges together. Fold the foil ends together to create a sealed packet. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or to 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. Serve with additional lemon wedges.
Try some fish today for good taste, more Omega-3s and good health!

Author: Liz Smith, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Living Well- More Than a Cookbook, NEAFCS, 2010
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General
www. AMERICAONTHEMOVE.ORG

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