01/04/13

Eat yourself happy

Over the last 150 years rapid expansion in western populations and large-scale industrialization of the food industry has been associated with a major change in diet.

Much less Omega 3 from fish, wild game and plants is now eaten with a corresponding large increase in consumption of saturated fats and Omega 6 fatty acids from mass-produced vegetable oils such as sunflower and corn oils. For optimal health, the consumption of Omega 3 to Omega 6 should be a 3 to 1 ratio, however it is now being reported that people in western countries consume 15 times more Omega 6 than Omega 3. The fat cells in our brain insulate nerve cells to provide communication between cells and are therefore essential to our bodily function.

Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, while Omega 6’s are pro-inflammatory and increased inflammatory processes in the body have been associated with mood disorders such as depression, as well as other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 oils reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and cells of your brain, helping to promote good blood flow and mood. Essential fatty acids will also help improve hormonal imbalances that can also affect mood.

So be sure to eat fresh fish at least twice a week and plant sources of Omega 3 every day. Chia is the richest combined plant source of Omega 3, fibre, protein and antioxidants and also has the perfect 3 to 1 ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids. Chia is easy to consume in your daily diet as it has no real taste or smell and can be added to any meal.

For more information on the benefits of Chia for health visit www.thechiaco.com.au or email me at askemma@thechiaco.com.au Emma Morris, Accredited and Practicing Dietitian and Sports Dietitian.