Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Your Pal, Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Last year, I got all hot on Omega 3 fatty acids. I have to say that after 13 years of vegetarianism I hadn't given them much thought. I started adding in a little ground flax seed into my morning oatmeal, and it seemed like my recovery started getting a little better.

There's a good bit of evidence to suggest that Omega 3 fatty acids will aid in recovery. This piece in Today's Dietician does a nice job of summarizing various micronutrients and their potential role in recovery:

Speeding Recovery - Nutrition and Supplementation for Exercise

I've started using Nutru's Omega-Zen-3 DHA supplement daily alongside flax seed to get a boost of Omega Fatty acids. Maybe it's because my diet is generally better and I'm fitter, but my recovery day to day has become pretty amazing, and I think attending to my Omega 3 intake is a part of that.

Here's my recipe for a recovery smoothie featuring my friend flax seed:
8 oz soy mile (I'm fond of vanilla)
1 frozen banana
1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/4-1/2 C frozen strawberries or raspberries
2 Tbs ground flax seed meal

Throw this all in a blender and blend until smooth.

There's all sorts of other ways to use flax seed. You could blend flax seed oil into salad dressing (never heat flax seed oil!). You can bake with flax seed meal. Heck, sometimes I'll even sprinkle it on stuff.

If you buy whole flax seeds, use a coffee grinder to grind the seeds. Your body can't process the hard-shelled seed as is. Store ground seeds in the freezer.

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