eat Greek and feel great!
This week we'll take a ride on the Alpha-and-Omega fast track to incorporating these healthy Omega-3s into your meals in simple and yummy ways.
omega-3s: why do I need these?
show me the omega-3s!
Following is a grocery list to help you get started (with foods highest in omega-3s at the top), along with everyday tips:
SEAFOOD (the fatty kind): this is the best source of omega-3s and you should have at least 2 to 3 servings (one serving can be just 3 oz) per week.
Salmon: season with applewood-smoked sea salt (for an outdoor-grill flavor) and cook in a cast-iron skillet.
Fresh Tuna: season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, spray with canola oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then sear in a cast-iron skillet.
Halibut: season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then cook in a cast-iron skillet or a grill.
Stripped sea bass: season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then broil or grill. Serve with Ladolemono (olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped fresh parsley).
Lake trout: season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then broil or grill.
Mackerel: season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then fry, broil, or grill.
Sardines: fillet and add to a salad.
Herring: season with sea salt and lemon pepper, dredge in flour, then fry, broil, or grill.
Oysters: fried, broiled, or grilled…if it’s on the half-shell, it’s good!
Walnuts (this one has more omega-3s than any other nut): just a
¼ cup has a healthy dose of omega-3s. Sprinkle them on a salad instead of croutons to add flavor and crunch, or add to cookie or cake recipes (think Greek, like Baklava and Karidopita).
Flaxseeds: two tablespoons will do it. Toss them in a salad (you’ll love the crunch), add to bread recipes, or stir ground flaxseed into waffle/pancake batter or oatmeal.
Pumpkin seeds: see flaxseeds.
Look for leafy green vegetables to add fiber and antioxidant benefits to the nutritional mix.
Brussels sprouts: roasted or sautéed (toss in some walnuts to make it omega-3 special)
Kale/collard greens: sauté in olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and finish with a drizzle of walnut or flaxseed oil.
Mint: add to salads (greens or fruit).
Parsley: add to salad greens.
Spinach: enjoy as a salad with a freshly-squeezed lemon juice-walnut oil vinaigrette; or cook, squeeze dry, and toss with Greek-style lemon juice-and-olive oil (the fresh lemon juice helps the body absorb the nutrients in greens).
Watercress: add to salad greens or serve as a side lightly drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
It’s all about the color and the bright ones are rich in omega-3s. Add them to your cereal, toss a few different varieties together for a colorful fruit salad, or add to a green salad with a flaxseed-oil vinaigrette and sprinkle with walnuts (an omega-3 triple-threat!).
Citrus (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, and limes)
Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, loganberries, and cranberries)
Tropical fruit (guavas, mangoes, kiwis, papayas, avocados)
Use them fresh, not cooked, as heat can break down the nutritional value of these delicate oils.
Flaxseed oil: one tablespoon is supper rich in omega-3s. Drizzle onto greens with a touch of balsamic vinegar.
Walnut oil: also rich in omega-3s, this oil is best used fresh in salads, on fruit, or to finish a dish.
Canola oil: it’s not just for cooking! This oil preforms especially well in flavorful salad dressings (when you want the focus to be on the other ingredients).
a simple plan: 5 easy tips on how to make every day omega-3 rich
1. Eat fish at least twice a week (three is better!). Try our cooking suggestions above and finish your recipe with one of the oils listed above to power up your omega-3s.
2. Add nuts or seeds to salads, cereal, batters (like muffin, waffle, cake), or bread recipes. Make a parfait of Greek yogurt, honey, and walnuts.
3. Have a healthy veggie side or salad prepared with one of the oils above.
4. Prepare a spinach or watercress salad using one of the oils above, and top with walnuts for three times the omega-3s!
5. Add a rainbow to your salad with some of the colorful fruit above or do a fruit salad. Add a tablespoon of walnut oil, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, some walnuts, and fresh mint leaves and you’ll be loving it so much you’ll forget you just ate something healthy.
Toast to your health: Have a glass of wine with your meal! Research has shown that it can help metabolize poly-unsaturated fatty acids, like omega-3s. Stin iyia sou! To your health!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s omega-3 facet of the Mediterranean diet and that it helps jumpstart your healthy New Year lifestyle. Join us next week for another nourishing aspect of the Mediterranean diet.
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
Mediterranean Diet Resolution
American Heart Association
Harvard Medical School
WebMD fact sheet
University of Maryland Medical Center
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