12 May 2010

Week 1: Wednesday Breakfast

This morning I got up a little earlier and made the totally delicious oatmeal that I tested out on Sunday. It is SO filling, and SO sweet! I made it the same way I did Sunday, but I'm thinking I can start lessening my use of maple syrup as I don't normally use that anyway. (Are there health benefits to maple syrup?) I accidentally doused my bowl of steaming oats a bit too much with flaxseed oil, but I think I'll live. Flaxseed oil is apparently good to have daily, so since I don't think I had any yesterday or the day before, I should be nicely provided for! Here's what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says about flaxseed oil as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important in the normal functioning of all tissues of the body. Deficiencies are responsible for a host of symptoms and disorders including abnormalities in the liver and kidney, changes in the blood, reduced growth rates, decreased immune function, depression, and skin changes, including dryness and scaliness. Adequate intake of the essential fatty acids results in numerous health benefits. Prevention of atherosclerosis, reduced incidence of heart disease and stroke, and relief from the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, menstrual pain, and joint pain have also been documented.2,3, 4

It is important for vegetarians to include foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis. Alpha-linolenic acid, a common omega-3 fatty acid, is found in many vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits. The best source of alpha-linolenic acid is flaxseeds or flaxseed oil.

While supplements and added oils are not typically necessary in the vegetarian diet, good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fats should be included daily. It is important to take these two fats in the proper ratio as well. Omega-6 fatty acids compete with omega-3 fatty acids for use in the body, and therefore excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids can be a problem. The U.S. diet has become heavy in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3 fats, secondary to a reliance on processed foods and oils. It is necessary to balance this by eating a low-fat diet that is low in processed foods and with fat mainly coming from omega-3 fatty acids.

I used Spectrum's Organic Flaxseed Oil, and it added a barely perceptible nutty flavor, which was nice!


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