Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Now That's What I Call Comfort Food

As the temperatures dip and the days go shorter, my spirits can dip a little too. Probably this has something to do with the fact that I get a lot less sunlight or it could be the sharp increase in my gas bill or just the fact that it's so damn cold here. Whatever the reason, my mind goes gooey with thoughts of cheesy baked pastas and, of course, cookies.

Basically, cold weather + holiday season = bigger pants, which is something I would seriously like to avoid this year. That's why I was so excited to learn about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. This will be old news to anyone who has had their finger on the pulse of the nutrition world, but since I'm fairly new to this healthy eating stuff, it's all news to me.

Most of us know that omega 3s are good for our heart. I'm not sure of the precise processes at work, but I know that they make are blood cells slippery which means a decreased likelihood that blockages will form. What I didn't know until very recently is that omega-3s can actually improve mood.

Research shows that people who consume omega-3s have more grey matter in the amygdala, the hippocampus and the cingulate, the three areas of the brain that are smaller in individuals living with depression. That means that consuming foods rich in these fatty acids such as salmon, walnuts and flax seed can give you a real emotional boost during the winter months. That's good news for me, as I'm try to fight the urge for a second piece of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. It also highlights the value of good nutrition and supports the idea that the food we eat can and should be nourishment for our minds as well as our bodies.

If you want more information, you can read this article I found on USA Today online or you can just do a search on WebMD. You should also note that if you already have clotting issues or are on blood thinners, you should talk to your doc before diving into the omega 3s--especially if you intend to get your daily dose in the form of supplements.

3 comments:

MizFit said...

1. lovelovelove my flax.

B. appreciated your comment today. THANK YOU!

susan allport said...

Thought you would be interested in this short omega-3 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIgNpsbvcVM

And in www.susiesmartcookie.com

Squishy ! said...

It's a good thing that I like to eat salmon! :o )

One thing that helps me get through the winter months is a bright full-spectrum lamp. If I don't have the equivalent of bright sunshine for at least part of the day, I start to eat like a mama bear preparing for winter. Yup, it leads to bigger pants. *laughs*