Article originally published on Fitlife.tv republished with permission.
We’ve all heard the term “healthy fats” or “good fats” by now, and today I’m gonna shed a little light on WHY one of these fats is our friend, HOW it helps us out, and WHERE we can find it.
I’m talking about the OMEGA-3 fatty acids. Now, if you go up to someone at a restaurant and ask “where can I get some fatty acid around here,” you may get slapped upside your cerebral cortex. (Ask me how I know.)
When I first heard the words “Omega-3 fatty acids” I thought for sure it was the name of a science fiction super villain. It is in fact, a super vital compound for our bodies and our brains, but you are going to sound a bit like a nerd asking your friends “what’s your most preferred source of Omega-3s?” However, a fellow purveyor of optimal health and a seeker of the truth should be VERY concerned with Omega-3s, and here’s why:
- Omega-3 fatty acids control the clotting in our blood (reducing risk of the number 1 killer in the U.S.)
- Omega-3 fatty acids build brain tissue (preventing depression, psychosis, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s.)
- Unlike other fatty acids, Omega-3s CANNOT be created from within our bodies. We must find them in food.
Yes, you read that right! Heart health and Brain health. Pretty important right? How CRAZY special is this fatty acid? So the next question is:
How can I get my hands on some of that fatty acid? (I had to do it.) First, there are some different types of Omega-3 fatty acids:
- Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
ALA is found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cauliflower, purslane, and Brussel sprouts. EPA and DHA are found only in fatty fish. The human body does have the capacity to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, however, there is not enough research to conclude that one type is more important than the other. We do know that they are BOTH incredibly beneficial.
Benefits Of The Ingredients
So today, I’ve designed an incredible 3-ingredient Omega-3 smoothie that’s super delicious and really, really good for our brains and our hearts (and I need a lot of help in both areas!)
As a base, almond milk itself is high in Omega-3s, so it’s a great place to start. Also, unlike cows milk and soy milk, which are fortified with vitamins and minerals (meaning processed vitamins from GMO corn are added) almond milk NATURALLY contains copper, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. (Try to avoid carrageenan in almond milk.)
Make your own Almond Milk!
We’ve talked about berries, and how special and different they are than other fruits. They are still relatively primitive fruits. They are low in sugar, high fiber, and super high in anti-oxidants. Strawberries, in particular, have the most Omega-3s out of all the berries.
This nutritional powerhouse also contains the mighty antioxidants anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol, which all have been shown to have protective effects against certain types of cancer.
One of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, chia seeds are probably the best plant-based source of Omega-3s out there. Chia seeds are also a great source of magnesium and manganese.
3-Ingredient Omega-3 Smoothie
- 2 Cups Almond Milk
- 2 Cups Strawberries
- ¼ Cup Chia Seeds
- Gather each ingredient.
- Prepare the blender.
- Add every ingredient into the blender – making sure it is properly mixed/blended.
- Transfer to a clean glass container, add ice, and drink to your health!
Now that’s what I call a Mega Omega-3 smoothie. The best part is, it’s super tasty, AND if you make this a part of your diet, you are sharpening your mind, and preventing the risk of heart disease and stroke. We have several amazing smoothies like these in our book The 10 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Like I’ve mentioned before, let’s make a change today. Take something away from this, whether it’s incorporating more Omega-3s, more smoothies, or more challenges into your life, DON’T WAIT.