If you have read my previous post on cooking with fats, I talk about Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids (FAs). I have a tablespoon of this delicious lemon flavoured liquid because Omega 3 FAs increase mood and focus. In fact, I am quite staunch when it comes to my Omega 3s – I absolutely HAVE to take it before lectures, exams, or whenever I need to be alert. Perhaps this fanatic belief that my brain functions at high velocity, is merely psychological, but nonetheless – psychological or psychical, it seems to work!
So let me give you a quick breakdown of that Omega 3 FAs are (if you haven’t read the “cooking with fats” post). Omega 3 FAs are polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have an array of health benefits. The better the elasticity of our artery walls, so blood flows better, enhancing our cardiovascular health, giving us healthier hearts with decreased risk of heart disease. Omega 3 FAs have proved to improve cholesterol levels (by increasing HDL – the good kind of cholestrol) and lowering triglyceride (the form in which fat stores in our body) levels. Research also shows that it can lower blood pressure as well asprevent blood clots. A lot of research has also been done to show that it can actually prevent Alzheimers.
So how else can you get Omega 3s, other than in this liquid form? Well, tofu (yum! I love tofu) contains these FAs, and some nuts like walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Fish, particularly fatty ones, like, salmon and mackerel. Also, many yogurts, breads, and eggs are now fortified with Omega 3s.
Every morning (or upon waking up) I take Vitamin D, C and B 100 and a Multi-Vitamin at night. Thanks to mom, it has become a solid habit! I don’t know if I mentioned, but my mom is a pseudo-doctor and is super into health related topics, so without her I don’t think I would ever supplement with vitamins to boost and strengthen my internal body.
Other than Vitamin C being absolutely incredible for our immune system – protecting us from infection, bacteria, and viruses – it is also a stress fighter(along with Vit A, B & E)! Now that is something I need during school! It also functions as an electron donor to amino acids in collagen (the protein which glues cells together and is found in connective tissue of organs, skin, teeth, bones, etc) so it keeps our skin youthful and slows the dreadful wrinkling process. Think scurvy!
Vitamin C also functions as an antihistamine, reducing symptoms of the cold – perfect for this time of the year! It is also a stellar antioxidant and regenerates Vitamin E (another great antioxidant) – so double whammy!
Vitamin C also decreases the chances of cataracts in the eye, prevents cardiovascular disease, and lowers blood pressure. Phew! That’s a lot of benefits for one tiny little pill.
Some good Vitamin C sources include: oranges, papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, and grapefruit.
Note: You do not necessarily need to take Vitamins in pill form, you can most definitely get all your daily vitamins by maintaining a balanced diet.
Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin, it is a fat soluble prohormone, meaning you won’t pee it out like other vitamins, and its major and most important job is toencourage and aid the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Now since I live in Raincouver, the sun shines seldom, so taking Vitamin D is important for me and my bones. If you live in a city that is perpetually sunny, I wouldn’t recommend taking Vitamin D, rather, go stroll through the park for 15 minutes (with SPF on obviously). Like, during the summer time I do not take this vitamin because I get my dosage from basking in the sun all day. The active form of Vitamin D in the body is called Calcitrol. Calcitrol is what causes calcium to be absorbed in the gut and reabsorbed in the kidneys, who then diffuse calcium into our bloodstream, sending it off to nourish the bones. Now, other than Vitamin D being Vitamin C’s partner in crime, it also has a bunch of beneficial properties. It has proved to prevent multiple sclerosis, heart disease, depression, and some pregnancy and birth problems.
Some Vitamin D sources include fortified milk and juices, fatty fish, whole eggs, and the SUN! (tanning beds don’t count – all those beds will give you is melanoma)
Okay, and lastly I take Vitamin B 100! This vitamin is important to me too because the bottle says it promotes energy and reduces stress. Now for me, getting energy from anything other than coffee is BEAUTIFUL – this only means my workouts will be more beastly!
Essentially, Vitamin B is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose, so if you are deficient then you will probably feel lethargic and drained of energy. It also helps digest food which can aid in weight loss. Vitamin B also helps the nervous system work at optimal levels – this includes the BRAIN! And I want my brain working at OPTIMAL levels at ALL times. So, if you don’t have enough Vitamin B, you may feel stressed, sad, or anxious because your system isn’t functioning 100%. This vitamin also (like the previous 2) helps keep our skin, hair and nails strong and youthful.
Some good sources include: turkey, tuna, tempeh, unprocessed whole grains, bananas, and beans.
Speaking of tuna…I think I am going to make a tuna casserole for dinner tonight. I will let you know how it goes J
Oh and Vitmain B is kinda fun cause it makes you pee neon yellow hehe.
Okay, time to have a snack-a-roo and then off to get my sweat on at a 45 minute spinning class at Cadence Cycling Studio.