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Naini Setalvad
Naini Setalvad


The omega-3 connection

omega-3 Walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and oily fish are good sources of omega-3

Good health is what we dream of till our last breath. Unfortunately, a recent study by the American College of Cardiology found that in the Indian population, almost every second patient has high blood pressure, every third has stress, every fourth diabetes and every fifth had plaque deposits in his/her arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in dealing with these health issues. Good sources of omega-3 are walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and oily fish.

I strongly recommend a daily serving of walnuts. These are easy to carry and can replace your evening snack unlike flax seeds and chia seeds. Believe me when I say about a handful will keep you feeling full for a couple of hours and cuts down hunger pangs.

Benefits of omega-3:

  1. Improves blood cholesterol, decreases triglyceride.

  2. Prevents heart disease, reduces irregular heartbeat, depression, inflammation, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

  3. Boosts memory.

  4. Reduces risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Walnuts: Incorporating walnuts into meals and snacks is a simple, tasty and convenient way to ensure adequate protein intake, especially among vegetarians. Consuming a diet consisting of plant-based foods can be a healthy way of eating, so even for non-vegetarians, it would be great to eat walnuts as a source of omega-3.

One ounce of walnuts provides four grams of protein, as well as two grams of fibre. Found solely in plant foods, fibre helps make you feel full and can control over-eating. More than a decade of scientific evidence shows that incorporating walnuts in a healthy diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular ailments, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, asthma and arthritis. Walnuts differ from other nuts as they are predominantly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid. They are rich sources of energy and contain many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

Flax seeds: Mahatma Gandhi once observed, "Wherever flax seed becomes a regular food item among people, there will be better health." It is a tiny seed but yet so powerful when it comes to health. Flax seeds or linseeds are vital for a healthy heart.

Many come to me seeking advice to help lower cholesterol. My recommendation is this: sprinkle some flax seeds on top of your salads or mix it with fennel use it as a mouth freshener after meals.

Oily fish: Including oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines in your diet can boost your health tremendously. This helps reduce pain caused by arthritis, lowers blood pressure as oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

So, what are you waiting for? Throw in some flax seeds in to your salads, replace the fried snacks and munch on a handful of walnuts in between meals.

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Topics : #health | #opinion

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