You’ve probably heard that you should be getting enough Omega-3, but do you really know what it’s benefits are? Last night we made a delicious dinner that was definitely high in Omega-3: Baked Salmon with a delicious soy ginger garlic marinade and polenta. Before I give you the recipe, you first have to learn a little bit about Omega-3.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid or EFA – a fat that is essential for many important body functions; however, your body doesn’t make it, which means you have to get it from your diet and supplements.
Here’s why it’s important to get enough:
-It’s vital to the health of your brain. Your brain is made up of cells called neurons, which resemble electrical wires whose function is to send signals to the rest of your body. To ensure that things don’t short circuit, and messages are sent properly; the wires need proper insulation (the myelin sheath). An adequate supply of EFAs contributes to the health of the myelin sheath, and helps your brain function properly.
-Improves circulation, which can help prevent the development of atherosclerosis (a disease that leads to heart attack).
-Helps prevent a build-up of belly fat by reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when you’re stressed out. If you’re constantly under stress, cortisol signals fat to be deposited in your abdominal area.
-Too much cortisol also increases the flow of glucose (sugar) out of your tissues and into your blood. By controlling cortisol levels, Omega-3 also helps maintain blood-sugar levels, which prevents excess sugar from being stored as fat, and helps control cravings for sugar & high carb/high starch foods
-Keeps other hormones under control, which can improve symptoms of PMS (anxiety, mood swings, depression, fatigue, etc)
-Improves the look of your skin & hair
So how do you get more Omega-3 in your diet?
You can take a high-quality Omega-3 supplement (Jamieson is a good one), and try to incorporate more omega-3-rich foods.
The best food sources of Omega-3 are from fatty fish. Here is a list of the fish that are highest in Omega-3, and also low in mercury:
Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines & tuna (flake or chunk light tuna is best, and only consume once a week as it is a bigger fish with a tendency towards higher mercury levels).
Best vegetarian sources of Omega-3:
Hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. You can also buy hemp & flax oil, which are also good sources and use them to make salad dressings.
Omega-6 is also an EFA, but it’s easier to get from your diet (most vegetable oils, chicken, eggs, avocado, whole grain bread, nuts), and the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is a delicate balance that you don’t want to disrupt by taking Omega-6 supplements or not getting enough Omega-3.
Ok, now that you’ve read all about Omega-3 I’ll give you the recipe.
Sweet Soy Salmon
2, 4 oz wild salmon fillets (Captain Highliner MSC certified) or rainbow trout fillets
4 tsp soy sauce (low-sodium)
2 tsp honey or real maple syrup
1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp ginger grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Combine soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl.
Place salmon fillets in a ziplock bag, pour the marinade into the bag, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.
Once fillets have marinated, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and drizzle any remaining marinade overtop.