Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid)

It's been weeks now that I keep talking about fish, seafood and a pescetarian diet.
Many fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines etc are high in the essential fatty acid omega-3. but Omega-3 fats can be found in other foods as well. (See below)
Most Americans are deficient in omega-3 due to the high consumption of over processed food! Consequently, their health is more likely to miss the benefits of those superb fatty acids while other nations with a diet high in Omega-3, clearly reap some remarkable benefits!

I read somewhere recently that in the 1970s a study was done on the Inuit ( Eskimos) of Greenland and scientist discovered that they were the healthiest people in the world. They attributed their great health to their diet that's very high in fat from eating whale,salmon and seal. They also had fewer health problem than other Europeans. So the scientists' conclusion was that Omega-3 was the determining factor in the Inuit people's superior health.  They barely suffered from coronary heart disease, arthritis, diabetes etc.

 I also read that people in Iceland were reported ( in the 1970s), to have the longest life expectancy, the lowest infant mortality rate in the world. In addition to that they have fewer problems with heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.  All those benefits thanks to Omega 3- fish oils.

Since I personally believe that nature offers us the best prevention and the best medicines from sickness and disease, I have disciplined myself in the past years to take advantage of nature's gifts.
As those studies cited above show,  Omega-3 fats are the good fats our body need and they have the incredible power to prevent us from many illnesses and keep us in great health.
Below, I am sharing a list of benefits from consuming Omega 3 fats and then sharing ways to add more to your diet. It's easy to do. Just increasing your intake to at least twice a week should allow you to take advantage of this natural gift to you.

First of all there are conditions that show a deficiency in Omega-3 fats. So you need more Omega-3 facts if you suffer from:
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Joint pain
Omega-3 fats are benefiting to our health because they help promote:
  • Joints health and mobility
  • Healthier Skin and complexion
  • A stronger Immune system
  • Visual function
  • The ability to breathe
  • Positive Behavior in children
  • Function of the nervous system
  • Spatial function and spatial memory
  • Cellular communication
  • Weight maintenance as they reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body's ability to respond to insulin by stimulating the secretion of leptin. Leptin is an hormone that helps regulate food intake, body weight and metabolism. 
Omega -3 fats also help :
  • Reduce inflammation throughout your body
  • Keep your blood from clotting excessively
  • Maintain the fluidity of your cell membranes
  • Lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream.
Well, I think this is enough for some of the benefits of Omega 3 fats, we could go on and on and be very technical but it will be well beyond the scope of this post.

Now that I mentioned how those good fats benefit you, here are ways to add it to your diet. Some of you probably do it with full awareness of those benefits, some of you might not know that some of the food you have been consuming have been so good to your body and some of you might be having a wake up call!
 So as you go grocery shopping here are some things to look for:

  •  Salmon
Rainbow trout!

  • Bluefin tuna mackerel, herring, and rainbow trout 

  • Anchovies and sardines. Little warning as they tend to be hingh in sodium  

  • Crustaceans such as Shrimp, mollusks, and Alaskan king crab are also excellent sources Oils. Like flaxseed oil  and olive oil.
  • Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and flaxseed
  • Flaxseed oil is reported to have the highest content of linolenic acid
  • Winter squash
  • Beans. Some beans are better than others so look for pinto, kidney and mungo beans.
  • Papaya. Probably the only fruit  with more omega 3 than omega 6.
  • And last but no least spinach, broccoli and cauliflower
My top  favorite ways of adding omega 3 fats to my diet is with flaxseed and of course salmon.
I add flaxseed daily to my diet by adding some to my plain vanilla yogurt or to every one of my homemade smoothies!

If you are familiar with my previous posts you must know by now that my favorite way to add Omega 3 fats to my diet is dining in my favorite restaurants  J. Alexander's restaurant and F2O.  This past Sunday  I decided to do an 'autopsy' on my salmon sandwich because I was curious to know what made it so good, beyond the obvious.

Showing you what's left of this delicious sandwich before it disappeared in my hungry tummy

                                Now, doesn't it look yummy?! It's not just yummy, it's healthy!

So this is my favorite way of adding omega-3 to my diet! What about you? What's your favorite source of Omega-3? Do you see ways you could add more to your diet? Have you ever suffered from a deficiency of omega-3 fats? Which one of the conditions listed above (of deficiency) were more apparent in your life?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Coffee Shops and why we love them so...

This post is just for fun. I love to hangout at Starbucks on Sundays afternoon so I was amused by a French  video that got me to realize how important coffee shops and coffee houses are to some people (like me)!

Picture taken at a local Starbucks on February 6, 2011.
I also realized that many movies do have scenes in Coffee shops/Coffee houses. They are such an integral part of people lives. I thought it would be fun to add some scenes from movies that have greatly entertained us like You Got Mail or the televise serie Friends.

(If you are new on the blog please take time to read my post http://goodhealthdiva.blogspot.com/2011/02/dont-waste-that-coffee-ideas-for.html  I share on this post many pratical ideas for re-using your coffee)!

My hubby and I are Starbucks lovers and we especially enjoy spending some times there on Sundays  evening.  I noticed that a few people are just as regular there on Sundays as we are, one is a wonderful man who just warm our heart each time we run into him on a Sunday evening.
I have started to realize that there is something truly special about a coffee shop. It's not always about the coffee,or is it?! It offers such a wonderful setting to...
  • Start (or end)  your day
  • Relax,Connect with friends like Friends did at Central Perk
  • Make some new ones,
  • Run into someone you haven't seen in years ( this happened to my hubby and I twice in the past weeks)
  • Regroup from a long day or week, 
  • Get some work done, 
  • Catch up on some reading, 
  • Have a barista as part of your "family" ,
  • Learn a new language ( like a scene of Friends with Phoebe speaking in French! Check one of the videos below)
  • Fall in love  or at least declare your affection to someone like in the very funny scene of Friends where Rachel is preparing to leave

  • Or even run into someone you don't want to see (like that scene from You got mail with Meg Ryan)

Well those are just some of the things that make a coffee shop special to some...

This tall Venti caramel macchiato that I love to top with cinnamon and a low fat very berry coffee cake are some of the things that make me go to Starbucks every Sundays or some Saturdays when I just have to get my Java made by a barista.  The rest of the week I play barista in my own kitchen!
I have ways to go before I can do what this guy does...

What make your coffee shop so special to you?

The video below is actually what inspired me to make time to write this post today and just have a little fun.
I wanted to bless coffee lovers and coffee shop dwellers (smiles) with a post they can appreciate and that would bring a smile as we start this new week! Hopefully this post will also generate a lot of laughter!
This is a French video, I understand the lyrics and it's pretty comical as she talks about some of the things she observes in the Coffee shop, but for those of you who don't understand, I thought you might still enjoy watching it!

Speaking of French here  is something really funny from Friends

I will post later this week on the benefits of omega-3 fats so come by please just to read on a different subject.
 Some time next week I will add another post on coffee! So please make sure to stop by again! Hope to see you soon, in the meantime please tell me...
What's the name of your Favorite Coffee/ coffee shop?! Where is it located? ( Please share so that offers will be inspired to check it out too)

What kind of  coffee shop aficionado  (smiles) are you? The one who is content just going through the Drive -Through?  Or the kind that needs to step in to take in the fullness of your coffee experience? Are you a coffee shop dweller who just have to seat  at least a few minutes or  do you prefer hanging there for at least a couple of hours? How often do you hang at your coffee shop? What makes your coffee shop experience so special to you?