Inflammation is a hot topic when it comes to being healthy. There is a lot of miscommunication that inflammation is really bad for our bodies. It actually is a necessary part of being healthy. Think about it. When you cut yourself chopping vegetables in the kitchen, you body has to respond to protect and heal itself. That is inflammation. If you didn't have an inflammatory response when things go wrong in the body, your body would not be able to defend itself against illness, disease and injury.
The issue with inflammation is that by eating foods high in Omega-6 and not balancing them with Omega-3, the inflammatory response of your body gets out of whack. If inflammation stays high in the body over long periods of time, health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma and arthritis can occur. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods). Foods that are high in Omega-6 are processed snacks, fast food, cakes and fatty meats. Foods that are high in Omega-3 are salmon, shrimp, tuna, walnuts, cauliflower and cabbage.
As with anything, a balanced diet made up of mostly plants and low meat intake, is the healthiest way to eat. Plant-based foods give the cells in your body the nutrients they need. If the cells in the body are fed with organic plant-based foods, the body can do it's job which is to maintain health and fight disease. This week, I compiled a week's worth of dinners that help promote Omega-3 intake.
While eating healthy organic foods support your bodies need for nutrients, you may also want to take an Omega-3 supplement. Especially if you tend to eat more Omega-6 foods than Omega-3. If you eat out a lot or eat processed snacks, you are consuming more Omega-6 than Omega-3.
How do you know if you are Omega-3 deficient? It is kind of hard because Omega-3 deficiency typically has symptoms of other health issues. The symptoms are fatigue, constipation, frequent colds, depression, poor concentration, joint pain and lack of physical endurance. See what I mean? Any other health issue could give you those symptoms! (Source: World's Healthiest Foods).
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Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake from Cook the Story. Cauliflower is considered a very good source of Omega-3. What I love about cauliflower is you can buy organic frozen cauliflower and use it as the main attraction in a casserole for meatless Monday dinners. This recipe uses quinoa which is high in protein, making the casserole very satisfying for dinner. Serve with a mixed green salad to get more veggies into the mix. Click here for the recipe.
Unstuffed Cabbage Skillet from The Midnight Baker. I love stuffed cabbage! It is a labor of love when making it. But if you don't have time to make cabbage rolls, try this unstuffed cabbage recipe. It would be a great meal-prep option over the weekend that can then be quickly heated up during the week. Also, feel free to substitute the beef with chicken or pork. Cabbage is considered a very good source of Omega-3. Click here for the recipe.
Chicken and Broccoli with Dill Sauce from Taste of Home. You probably guessed that since cauliflower is high in omega-3's so would broccoli. After all, they are in the same family! This recipe calls for a milk and flour slurry that contains the dill to thicken the broth that the chicken and broccoli are cooked in. Instead of using milk and flour, I will typically use a cornstarch slurry which helps to thicken any sauce while it cooks. You can then add the dill to the dish after the cornstarch slurry. I am adding this tip in case you have dairy issues, like I do! Click here for the recipe.
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Kale from Well Plated. Winter squash is high in omega-3's. Butternut squash is a winter squash which is why I included it. Plus, who doesn't love butternut squash? It is a perfect vehicle to stuff! If you have a meat eater in the house, whip up some sauteed chicken pieces to add to the quinoa and veggies. Click here for the recipe.
Spinach and Ground Beef Stuffed Shells from Gimme Delicious. Spinach is the reason I picked this recipe. You guessed it - high in omega-3's. Look for grass-fed beef that is organic or at least humanely raised. Stuffed shells are easy to make. I've been able to find shredded organic mozzarella cheese in my local grocery store. As well as organic pasta! Use organic whenever you can to make sure you are getting the best nutrients you can get. Click here for the recipe.
I hope you enjoyed learning about omega-3's and their importance to your diet. As I mentioned, if you can't eat foods high in omega-3's regularly, look into taking a supplement. While we want to eat the most nutrient dense food to support our bodies, it is very hard to get therapeutic amounts from food alone.
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