There are many foods that are enriched with Omega3 fatty acids but the healthy foods which contain bucket loads of this naturally occurring element is fish particularly mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna; and nuts and seeds.
Fish, nuts and seeds are all rich in Omega3 fatty acids but flaxseed is the powerhouse that packs a punch.
A year ago my body starting going into a meltdown and after much medical consultation, biopsies and blood tests, results recently pointed to an auto-inflammatory disorder called atypical Sweets syndrome. Following two months of prednisolone use, my medical team were hoping this treatment would reset my immune system.
The bottom line - remitting reliance on prednisolone and encouraging my immune system to reboot itself by fuelling it with healthy, unprocessed foods containing high levels of Omega3 fatty acids.
In theory the Omega3 fatty acids would be working in a similar way to prednisolone by naturally blocking inflammation in my cells and therefore reduce the symptoms I was suffering from.
I already had a diet rich in fish (eating salmon 4 out of 7 days). In fact my diet can be considered extremely healthy as I follow a clean eating regime. Needless to say I became exasperated with my medical team in how else I could change or improve my diet. The answer was flaxseed.
Flaxseed also known as linseed is naturally high in Omega3 fatty acids and fibre.
In truth, Iíve never really thought about flaxseed as I always thought the variety of wholesome foods I eat every day would be sufficient Ė obviously the motto here, there is always room for more.
Unlike the myriad of cost prohibitive testing and medication I underwent, flaxseed is cheap. It is naturally high in Omega3 fatty acids and therefore a perfect vehicle in reducing inflammation. Its impact on the body is ten-fold, itís high in soluble fibre (think no more constipation) and rich in micronutrients while helping to reduce and maintain cholesterol and blood sugars.
Itís also incredibly easy to incorporate into meal plans, with the light nutty taste enhancing the flavours and adding an extra textural dimension to food.
Add to yoghurt and ice-cream; include in smoothies, sprinkle over fruit and steamed or baked vegetables. Include in soup instead of using parmesan cheese; include in baked goods such as breads, muffins, cakes and pancakes; use instead of breadcrumbs for stuffing mixtures, use to coat the surface of fish and chicken in lieu of breadcrumbs, egg or flour; sprinkle over porridge, oats or cereal or include in salads. The possibilities are endless and limited only by imagination.
One to two tablespoons of flaxseed everyday will help boost your immune system.
With this in mind I developed these super snack chews that include chia seeds, cashews, almonds and of course, a healthy amount of flaxseed.
Chia Cashew Almond Chews contain flaxseed meal as one of the key binding ingredients.