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Omega-3’s Are a Smart Choice for Back to School Nutrition!

Give busy brains a nutritious boost with Omega-3’s! Registered Dietitian and SlimFast Plan Consultant, Maryann Walsh shares her insight on why Omega-3’s are important and how to incorporate them into your diet. Read her blog for more below.

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Omega-3 intake is consistently linked to numerous health benefits. Omega-3’s have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease. Studies also suggest that they may be beneficial in childhood learning and behavior, as well as adult psychiatric and neurological health. DHA (an Omega-3 fatty acid) has an important structural role in the eyes and brain, and its supply early in life is known to be vitally important, which is why it is so commonly recommended for pregnant and nursing women as well as infants and children.1 Research has also linked Omega-3’s inflammatory properties to supporting immune health as well, which is of course important year round, but even more so in the fall and winter months when cold and flu season is a concern. 2

3 Fun Facts about the Brain and Omega-3s:

  1. The human brain is made up of nearly 60 percent fat! So, it’s not surprising that Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to the health of this vital organ.
  2. Omega-3’s aid in the function of neurotransmitter receptors. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that communicate information to the various nerve, gland and muscle cells of the body.2
  3. There are three dietary Omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are found in cold-water fish including salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut.  ALA is found in plant foods like flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. ALA needs to be converted to DHA and EPA in the body once ingested, so DHA and EPA are more readily absorbed.3

3 ways to incorporate more Omega 3s into your diet:

  1. Canned tuna and salmon are an easy way to keep these healthy Omega-3 sources on hand. Also, their high protein content makes them super satisfying! Choose the varieties canned in water versus those in oil. Whip some up with a little bit of light mayo and celery and serve in a sandwich or wrap!
  2. Flax and chia seeds can easily be added to yogurt, cereal or smoothies and can help sustain you on long, busy days!
  3. Whip up an easy and healthy weeknight recipe like this Grilled Salmon with Spicy Tropical Salsa!