Omega-3 Fish Oil Archives

Edamame or Soy Beans

Soy Beans in Pod

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and many of us have overeaten, are you thinking of perhaps incorporating some healthier foods into your diet? If you’ve never had edamame (pronounced eh-dah-mah-meh) or soy beans, it might be something to consider. It’s generally available as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants and readily available in the freezer section of Asian supermarkets either shelled or in the pod. Sometimes you can even find fresh ones in the vegetable section.

Edamame is one of the few plant sources of complete protein and is a great source of antioxidants and high in fiber. When shelled, they look like small lima beans. The taste is unique and mild. They make an excellent snack or a great addition to a salad.

What are the benefits of soy?

  • Keeps bones strong. It contains isoflavones which are estrogen-like compounds that improve bone density and hence, reduce fractures.
  • Fights heart disease. Edamame is one of the few non-fish sources of omega-3 fats which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Soy can also lower your cholesterol.
  • Beneficial for dieters. Because it’s high in protein, it will fill you up quickly and you won’t overeat. It will also “stick to your ribs” longer. If you snack on the soy beans in the pod, it takes work so you’ll eat more slowly and eat less.

If buying the frozen beans in the pod, check the directions on the package. It’s very simple, but if you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, eliminate the salt when boiling the beans. Happy, healthy eating!

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Best Olive Oil: What to Look For

When it comes to olive oil, we’ve either read or heard about the benefits on numerous occasions. However, there are so many to choose from, how does one know which is the best olive oil? What should we look for?

Elle Wood in her article on How to Choose the Best Olive Oil, says to research how the olive oil was created. There are different methods and processes. In an article in Better Homes and Gardens, Nicki Heverling of Oldways says the cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is best because it contains the most phenols which is most of the source of its healthfulness. Probably the most important factor is taste. No matter how good or healthful an olive oil might be, if you don’t like the taste, there’ll be no enjoyment.

Better Homes and Gardens goes on to say that:

  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is especially good for drizzling over vegetables and pasta noodles, or for dipping bread.
  • Virgin olive oil is next best and is fine for sauteeing.
  • Light olive oil refers strictly to color and mild taste; not a reduction in calories.

Consumer Research rated the 365 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (private brand for Whole Foods) as the “Best Budget Olive Oil.” Whole Foods says it’s 100% olive oil and “derived from the first cold press of the olives and meet the International Olive Oil Council standards for extra virgin olive oils.”

Personally, I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar on my salad when I’m at home. I use very little balsamic vinegar because of its overwhelming taste, but it pretty much masks the flavor of the olive oil. So I’m not very picky about the taste of the olive oil. However, when I go to restaurants and dip my bread in olive oil, then I can really taste the flavor of the olive oil and I know I like some better than others.

What is your vote for the “best olive oil”? Please share your thoughts.

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric

turmericMany issues faced by seniors such as heart problems, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease are said to be a result of inflammation. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and is a member of the ginger family. It has been used in the Ayurvedic (Indian) and Chinese medicine for ages. After processing and being ground into a powder, turmeric is better known to those of us in the west as curry. Today we are realizing more and more health benefits.

According to www.whfoods.com, (The World’s Healthiest Foods and The George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests, is a new force for change to help make a healthier you and a healthier world), their food rating system shows the following nutrients in turmeric:

Turmeric, powder
2.00 tsp
4.52 grams
16.04 calories

Nutrient

Amount

DV
(%)

Nutrient
Density

World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating

manganese

0.36 mg

18.0

20.2

excellent

iron

1.88 mg

10.4

11.7

excellent

vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

0.08 mg

4.0

4.5

good

dietary fiber

0.96 g

3.8

4.3

good

potassium

114.48 mg

3.3

3.7

good

DV = Daily Value

World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating

Rule

excellent

DV>=75%

OR

Density>=7.6

AND

DV>=10%

very good

DV>=50%

OR

Density>=3.4

AND

DV>=5%

good

DV>=25%

OR

Density>=1.5

AND

DV>=2.5%

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, the volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.

Ezine articles author Henri K. Junttila also writes about the benefits of turmeric in “Discover the Incredible Health Benefits of Turmeric Spice.” She says, “The best way to take advantage of the benefits of this herb is to take it in the form of multi-vitamin supplements.  Studies reveal that the substance is digested and ingested in the bloodstream better in combination with other beneficial substances. It is important however, to check which of the other complementing substances and ingredients work best with turmeric spice.”

There are nutritional supplements available. The supplements that I have taken contain turmeric as part of another supplement. For example, Immunotec has an Omega-3 product with turmeric. Vitamark International puts it in their Naturflex product and includes ginger root in their vitamin, VitaChe, specifically for heart health. My favorite, VitaOne, Vitamark’s multi-nutrition pack, contains 100 mg of turmeric. Does your favorite multi-vitamin contain turmeric?

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Lovaza is the first and only prescription fish oil prescribed for very high triglycerides. It has a concentrated amount of omega-3 fatty acids which is the substance that lowers triglycerides. You would need to take just four pills instead of 12 over the counter fish oil pills. At my local Rite-Aid Pharmacy, I was quoted a price of $208 for a one month supply, but if you have no insurance, they will give you a 20% discount.

Here are the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) — created in 1985 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) — guidelines for triglyceride levels:

There are counter arguments regarding this prescription fish oil. Two Web sites, one written by a cardiologist and another by an internist, are worth looking at. I love the view of Dr. William Davis: Your health belongs to you, not your doctor!

http://budurl.com/vxx4 and http://budurl.com/rcxq

If you believe that over-the-counter fish oil is for you, look for the label “USP Verified” which means that they have been tested by the U.S. Pharmacopeia for purity and potency. Or, buy from companies you know and trust. Personally, I take a product from http://budurl.com/ryqp. This product undergoes molecular distillation where toxins like mercury are removed. Make sure the product you choose has the same high standard. As we grow older, if we’re not careful, our triglycerides rise as well. Add fish oil supplements to prevent your triglycerides from climbing to a dangerous level.

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