A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, is essential to our health and our children’s. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that may help lower cholesterol levels (in particular those with high levels of triglycerides) and support heart health.
There is also some evidence suggesting omega-3 may modestly lower high blood pressure and ease pain as well as improve the symptoms of ADHD and asthma in children. It is known for its anti-inflammatory functions and has some researchers trying to link it to relieving symptoms of osteoporosis, kidney disease, bipolar disorder, Raynaud’s syndrome, as well as constipation.
Fish oil supplements, made from mackerel,
herring, and other fish, may be easy to consume, but getting your daily intake of omega-3 fats from
foods would be ideal. Foods containing
· Fatty fish (recommended twice per week): Salmon, albacore tuna (fresh and canned),
sardines, lake trout and mackerel.
· Walnuts (also rich in Vitamin E): Add to
cereals, salads or muffins or use walnut oil in dressings and sautés.
· Flaxseed (use ground or milled not whole): Add to breakfast cereal, yogurt,
baked goods like breads or muffins and mix with sauces or gravies as well as in
casseroles. You may also use flaxseed
oil over quinoa or use it in dressings.
While fish oil boasts many health benefits, individuals with an increased risk of bleeding, liver disease, seafood allergy or those taking medicines that interact with it,
such as chemotherapy treatments, may want to avoid taking a supplement. Also, you should skip the supplement if you have an implanted
defibrillator to prevent irregular heartbeat. Always consult with your physician before taking any dietary supplements.
To give you a jump start on adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, here is an easy recipe your whole family will enjoy.
– Andrea Shotton, MS, RD, LD
cup whole grain bread crumbs
cup grated Parmesan cheese
teaspoon grated lemon rind
teaspoon black pepper
tablespoon canola oil
pound cod fillets
cup fat-free milk
Fish switch: You can use catfish or flounder in place of the cod.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×12-inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, then coat with canola oil.
2. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, lemon rind and black pepper in a paper bag. Shake well to mix, and set aside.
cod and lightly sprinkle salt (optional) on both sides of the fillets.
fish into long strips.
a small bowl, combine the egg whites and milk, then whisk with a fork until
the fish into the egg-and-milk mixture.
the fish strips, a few at a time, into the paper bag. Hold the bag closed and
8. Place the coated fish sticks on
the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
7.5 g fat
2 g saturated fat
58 mg cholesterol
350 mg sodium
1 g dietary fiber
25 g protein
Recipe provided courtesy of Eat Right
Press, from Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens by Jodie
Shield, MEd, RD and Mary Catherine Mullen, MS, RD. Academy of Nutrition and