I just learned something today that I really can’t wait to share with you! When I started this blog, I was pretty stuck on some of my sweeter fruit juice concoctions and was really just trying to find a better way to get nutrients into my family’s diet. As I continue to learn, I pass along this info for your benefit too. Today, I was blown away with this new (to me) information. Sometimes it’s not just what we eat, but the ratio of what we eat that matters more.
You’ve most likely seen the increased marketing for DHA, Omega-3 and “good” fats over the past few years, especially if you’ve had to buy food for a baby, it’s supplemented in almost everything! So why was I so surprised to learn (again) that this polyunsaturated fatty acid is good for us? I mean, I’d already doubled my intake of avocados. Well, I was shocked to learn that it is truly best for us when in proper balance with Omega-6 fatty acids. These two essential nutrients are like Ying & Yang. They are both necessary for our bodies and can only be consumed through our diets, our bodies can not produce them, and they are most beneficial when they are in a ratio of 1:1.
Eating too much processed and high fat foods is risky for our health, but I also just learned that many of these foods are supplying Omega-6 and Omega-3 in a ratio of 10:1. Why is that so bad? Omega-6 works to help our bodies with inflammation when necessary, like when we are sick and Omega-3 works to reduce inflammation. When these two are in balance, they help regulate our hormones that control immunity, blood clotting and cell growth. When they are not in balance, they may lead to issues like heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases along with obesity, depression and behavioral attention and hyperactivity problems.
There are a number of foods that can supply Omega-3, but some of the best ones we like to use in our juices and smoothies are walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sprouted radish seeds. Other seeds and nuts generally supply us with a healthy dose of Omega-6, which we do still need. For the food you may be eating outside of your Vitamix, please note that grass-fed animals are more likely to be at a more ideal ratio of 1:1 than many of the grain fed variety. This is also true for milk, cheese and yogurts too. Look for “grass fed” or “pasture raised” on the label.
I know that this is going to change how my family eats (can you hear my husband’s excitement?!). You can add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil or chia seeds to any recipe you like, but here is one of my favorites:
Salad In A Glass
5 large kale leaves
2 apples (sweeter variety is best)
2 sticks of celery
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil