Sunday, November 6, 2011

Essential Fatty Acids

It is essential (for specific health issues) in our household that we get our EFA's in proper proportion every day. The easy way we achieve that is by loading up our morning green smoothies with them! Another way is to enjoy them in a luscious raw pudding!!
 I alternate and rotate and combine two or three of the following in our daily green smothie: Nutiva White Chia seeds, Nutiva Hemp Seeds, Organic Flax Seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds or Hemp Oil.
Our goal is to get the perfect balance to reap their anti-inflammatory properties, this is essential for us.
The way that most Americans eat leads to an overabundance of Omega-6 fatty acids which actually promotes inflammation in the body. The good thing is we don't eat like standard Americans so there is not much concern that we will have too many 6's but I still need to pay close attention to our intake of Omega-3's. Plant-based eaters do not have a DIRECT source of EPA and DHA in their diets so it is important to realize that our bodies will have to convert ALA (an omega-3 fatty acid) into its two final acids, EPA and DHA.
It is all about ratio. We need a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of between 2:1 and 4:1. But what are the ALA or Adequate Intake levels for men and women to consume?
Men need 1.6 grams
Women need 1.1 grams
(You'll have to adjust for children)
Let's look at foods that have that perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3:
WALNUTS
FLAXSEEDS (grind fresh before use)
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
HEMPSEEDS
Broken down into two groups you would have:
Some Foods high in omega-6 that we consume
raw pumpkin seeds
raw sunflower seeds
raw tahini
tofu (use limited and only organic)
**Other sources that we personally do not eat are: edamame and wheat germ.
Omega-3 Sources we consume
organic flax
organic raw walnuts
organic green leafy vegetables, raw and cooked
hempseeds
Nota Bene: In only 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseeds a person can obtain their daily ration of ALA--now that is easy!! Pop it into a smoothie, any recipe of yours or my pudding recipe below.

Raw Pudding Packed with EFA's
by Elizabeth @ rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

1 organic avocado
3 small organic bananas (ripe with brown spots on skin!)
3 heaping T of raw carob powder (Foods Alive brand)
1 T raw mesquite (Foods Alive brand)
2 T Nutiva White Chia Seeds
1 T date fluff (see recipe here)
1 T Nutiva hempseeds to garnish
In a small food processor, process the first six ingredients until creamy smooth. Add a splash of water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Sprinkle the hempseeds on top. Enjoy!
Nota Bene: This pudding is VERY filling. It is loaded with fiber and the chia will keep you revved up and going strong for hours--Aztec Warrior food at its best.
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful that my newly planted garden survived the rain storms last week :)
Resource on EFA's: "The Complete Idiots Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition" by Julieanna Hever, M.S.,R.D.,C.P.T.




2 comments:

blessedmama said...

Thank you for such an informative post! Why do you limit tofu, and not eat edamame or wheat germ, if you don't mind me asking? The pudding looks yummers.

Elizabeth said...

We limit tofu due to the conflicting evidence on its effect on ones health. I tend to go by what Dr. Brian Clement at Hippocrates teaches and he is against soy. We use it in very small amounts like gluten free Tamari and once a month in a gluten free vegan lasagna.
We avoid wheat at all costs unless it is whole sprouted wheat berries--unsprouted wheat is contra-indicated for the health issues that some of the family members have.
That is why we avoid these. Hope that helps.
Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth

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