Omega 3 is quite the nutritional buzzword these days. Our omega 3 fat intake is of so much interest as these fats play a range of crucial roles in our diet. We look at clever ways to introduce more Omega 3 into our diets.
So why are Omega 3 fats so good for us?
Omega 3 fats improve the plasticity of cell membranes and help to facilitate cellular communication. Not only does this mean that all of our cells are healthier, but it is suggested that this is the reason a high intake of omega 3 fat supports improved brain function as we age.
Omega 3 fats also have a powerful natural anti-inflammatory effect, helping to protect the cells from damage on a daily basis. It is through these pathways that a high omega 3 intake is linked to better cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and fewer inflammatory conditions including heart disease, insulin resistance and arthritis.
Omega 3 Superfood
There are few foods that beat salmon when it comes to omega 3 content, given its exceptionally high levels of the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
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In fact, a single serve of Atlantic salmon each day will contain your entire daily recommended intake of these special fats.
Very few Australian adults, let alone children, get the recommended daily intakes of omega 3 fat. While children may be happy to eat sushi or even tuna, these foods are not overly high in omega 3 fat. Salmon, both fresh and tinned is one of the richest natural sources of omega 3s you can find.
If your kids are open to eating fish, include sushi and sashimi in their diet, and consider tinned salmon for child-friendly recipes such as salmon patties and simple swaps such as salmon schnitzels and using salmon for fish tacos to boost their weekly intake of these powerful fats.
Here are nutritionist Susie Burrell’s top tips for more easy protein switches that will pack omega 3 fats into your kids’ diet:
Switch the Sunday bacon for salmon bacon
Not only is salmon bacon just as tasty as regular bacon, but it also contains more protein and less saturated fat. A single serve of salmon bacon contains the entire daily recommended intake of omega 3 fats, which play important roles in brain development and cognitive function.
Make sushi at home using smoked salmon (have recipe and image if you need)
Kids love sushi and love being involved in their own food prep – so making your own sushi at home is a great way to slip in omega 3 rich fish along with wholegrain brown rice and seaweed. Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, which plays a key role in keeping our thyroid healthy.
Swap white fish for salmon when making homemade fish and chips
The whole family loves fish and chips, and whether you crumb, grill or fry your fish, this simple swap to omega 3-rich salmon is an easy way to get more fish in your diet.
Try make your own salmon hamburgers
The light, sweet flavour of salmon makes it a perfect tasty burger alternative to mince. Salmon also pairs beautifully with wholegrain breadcrumbs or sweet potato for a tasty, nutrient-rich hamburger patty.
Forget regular schnitzel, you can easily make salmon schnitzels with wholegrain or quinoa crumbs
Just as kids love pizza, so too do they love chicken nuggets or schnitzel. Swapping your chicken for a salmon fillet or chunk that is crumbed with wholegrain or quinoa crumbs creates a tasty, omega 3 rich schnitzel the kids can’t say no to.
What is your favourite way to prepare salmon? Tell us in the comments below.