Food Friday: Eating Fish May Be Healthier Than Fish Oil Supplements

salmon

Eat fish or take supplements? Which is better?

For years, omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil supplements have been touted as beneficial for heart health. This was especially good news for people who didn’t like to eat fish.

However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that supplements may not be as beneficial for heart health as eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna.

Researchers measured the fatty-acid blood levels of more than 20,000 male doctors and found mixed results when it came to omega-3 supplements and the men’s likelihood of heart failure. However, eating fish regularly was linked to a lower risk.

Should you stop taking your supplements? Talk to your doctor. In the meantime, order the salmon next time you go out for dinner.

Photo credit: FCC, Andrea Pokrzywinski

 

Food Friday: Eat Walnuts for Healthy, Soft Skin

Walnut

Having grown up in New England, I’ve always eaten walnuts. Turns out that’s been good for my skin. Walnuts are high in Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, both which benefit your skin. Vitamin E is a natural anti-inflammatory which can help people with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals that cause skin aging. Omega-3 fatty acids help your skin to manufacture the essential oils it needs to protect itself, so eating foods like walnuts can help keep skin looking and feeling soft and healthy.

Just 1/4 cup of walnuts provides nearly 95% of your daily omega-3 requirements. So toss walnuts into your cereal, salad, trail mix, or cooked grains. Or make this recipe for apple-maple walnut breakfast quinoa that’s healthy for your body and your skin. High in protein, fiber, and vitamins, it’ll help you look and feel good.

Apple-Maple Walnut Breakfast Quinoa
Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
2 teaspoons butter
1 medium apple of your choice, diced with skins on
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted walnuts, or more if you’d like
1/8 teaspoon apple pie spice
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1. In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring water and quinoa to a boil for 2 minutes. Lower to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the water, puffs up, and turns translucent. If the water has evaporated before the quinoa is cooked, just add a bit more water. Quinoa should maintain a slight crunch when cooked.

2. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples and cook 2 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Add walnuts, apple pie spice, and salt. Cook 1 minute more. Add to quinoa and stir.

3. Divide quinoa into two bowls, and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve hot.

Photo credit: FCC, Ioan Sameli. Recipe credit: Susan Russo

Flax Seed Oil and Your Skin

Flax oil or flaxseed oil is derived from the pretty, blue-flowering flax plant. The oil, obtained from processing the seeds, is high in omega 3 fatty acids, especially alpha linoleic acid (ALA). Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for normal skin and body function, but they are not produced naturally by your body. Continue reading