Most women know that omega-3’s are crucial to a healthy diet. However, the wide variety of benefits may not be known. A diet rich in omega-3’s can play a huge health role in the diets of women, especially women with diabetes. It helps with pain and inflammation, can help brain function, improve memory, and increase focus, can help alleviate depression and improve mood, can work wonders on your heart and help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing good (HDL) cholesterol. It can also help lower blood pressure, protect against heart attack and stroke, and lastly, can reduce your risk of certain cancers.
Omega’s-3’s can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, eggs, and tofu but the best source is found in fatty fish. So why are most women still not getting the recommended two servings per week? It’s probably because they either do not know how to cook fish or are concerned with mercury levels and pollutants as well as the environmental concerns of overfishing.
While packed with health benefits fish is also low in calories and can be a cheap and easy meal if you know what kind to buy and easy and tasty ways to prepare it. Below are good options that are environmentally sustainable, have low levels of pollutants, and are packed with comega-3’s as well as other vital nutrients. Try incorporating them in to your meals 2-3x per week.
Arctic Char: Good source of DHA and EPA (the type of omega-3’s that protect your heart)
Maple-Glazed Arctic Char: Combine 2 tbs maple syrup and 1 tbs each balsamic vinegar and orange zest. Brush mixture on four char filets and cook at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. Brush with glaze again halfway through cooking.
Per 3.5oz: 137kcal
Barramundi: If you enjoy cod or sea bass you will also like this white fish.
Barramundi in Saffron Broth: Cook four filets in a pan with 1 tbs oil over medium heat, 2 minutes per side. Remove fish. Add 1-½ cups chicken broth and ½ tsp saffron to pan. Simmer, add fish, and cook 2 minutes, Top with dill (serves 4).
Per 3.5oz: 147 kcal
Canned Sardines: Contain 8 times more omega-3’s than canned tuna as well as more vitamin D and calcium than a glass of milk (if you don’t throw away the bones, these are edible and barely noticeable)
Paste De Sardine: Cook 8oz dry fettuccine according to package directions. Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 medium chopped onion and 3 cloves chopped garlic to pan and cook a few minutes, until soft. Add 1 (3.75oz) can sardines in tomato sauce and cook until heated through. Lower heat and simmer, about 5 minutes. When pasta is almost done, drain and add to sardine sauce. Stir, cover, and turn off heat. Let stand for a few minutes to absorb sauce. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon over sauce and serve with red pepper fakes and Parmesan.
Per 3.5oz: 170 kcal
Omega 3’s: 1.4g