The Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have received a lot of attention lately for their health benefits – and for a good reason! These polyunsaturated fatty acids have been linked to lowered levels of inflammation, risk for cardiovascular disease and even memory loss.

For the most part, the standard American diet is very deficient in omega-3s. By increasing your intake of omega-3s through food sources, you can drastically improve your overall health. Although this nutrition topic is very complex and expanding constantly, the main thing we know is this: increasing your consumption of the following omega-3 rich foods will increase your body’s omega-3 supply, in turn improving your health and well-being.

Fatty Fish: Albacore tuna, mackerel, anchovies and fresh-caught salmon are the best sources of omega-3s. These types of fish eat a less soluble form of omega-3s (ALA) through seaweed and convert it to the most beneficial forms for our bodies (EPA and DHA). Eating these types of fish, or supplementing with a 1,000-1,500 mg daily dose of fish oil, is an excellent way to improve your health.

Almonds: In addition to being an excellent source of antioxidants, protein, and beneficial vitamins and minerals, almonds are also an excellent source of plant-based omega-3s.

Flax Seeds: These fiber and omega-3-packed seeds can easily be added to your diet by sprinkling them on oatmeal, cereals, salads and smoothies. Just make sure to grind or buy already ground flax seed so your body can fully absorb the amazing nutrients flax has to offer.

Chia Seeds: These seeds may be one of the smallest and most nutritious foods in the world. Chia seeds contain 10 grams of fiber in just 2 tablespoons, and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as iron, calcium and magnesium.

We’re crazy about Omega-3 fatty acids which is a big reason why chia seeds are a key ingredient in all of our Betsy’s Best Peanut, Almond and Seed Butters. Each serving contains all of your daily Omega-3 needs!

Good Mood Food

Good Mood Food

Good mood foods include almonds, chia seeds and Betsy’s Best

We all know the foods we eat impact our bodies, but we don’t always realize how our food choices can affect our moods. Nutrition plays an important role in brain chemistry and structure. As a result, what we put on our plates directly affects our behavior and mental state. Although there’s still a lot of research to be done in this area, scientific studies have provided us with important clues on the importance of good mood food!

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (primarily found in fatty fish like salmon and trout), as well as almonds, walnuts and chia seeds, have all been shown to reduce or “chill-out” nervous system activity, in turn producing a calming effect. Try a serving of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Almond Butter (which contains chia seeds) to relax your mind and give your day a healthy boost!

Getting enough Vitamin D in your diet can also help brighten your day. Low serum levels of this nutrient have been associated with mood disorders such as PMS, depression and seasonal affective disorder. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, along with whole eggs, are part of a select group of foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. Since this nutrient can be difficult to incorporate into your daily diet, it’s recommended to get Vitamin D from a variety of sources, including short periods of sun exposure, supplements and fortified foods such as grain products.

On the other side of the spectrum, some foods can also dampen your mood. For example, caffeine is notorious for disturbing sleep cycles, in turn causing irritability. If you’re a coffee drinker, try to limit your intake to one or two cups a day (that means less than 16 oz!) and resist drinking caffeine-containing beverages after lunch to help avoid sleep disturbances later. Foods high in saturated fat, such as baked goodies or greasy snacks, can also leave you feeling a bit disconnected. This happens because fatty foods are digested slowly, diverting blood from your brain to your stomach, consequently leaving you in a fog. Try switching out a breaded chicken and cheese sandwich for one made with grilled chicken and a healthy source of fat, like avocado.

Adding good mood foods and avoiding the bad can really impact your mood in a positive way. Give it a try. Your mind will feel clearer, your mood will be better and your heart will thank you later!