What omega-3 sources do you recommend?
Omega-3s are an example of good fats, the kind our bodies need to keep cells healthy as well as reduce inflammation and the risk for chronic disease. They are found in cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, which are all excellent sources of DHA and lean protein. However, you should really only be eating them two or three times per week because of the mercury content. Consuming these types of good fats — and those found in foods like nuts and avocados — will not only help fight off bad fats (think trans fats, found in some baked and packaged goods, and saturated fats found in red meats), but will also keep your DHA levels higher. If you don’t like fish, ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds are good alternatives. Omega-3 supplements are also an option, but it’s best to get as many nutrients from food as possible.
What are some ways to incorporate these nutrients?
Besides the recommended three servings of fish per week, salads with walnuts or ground flaxseeds are an option. You can also put ground flaxseeds in your smoothies or find cereals that have them. A few more suggestions:
- Buy products fortified with omega-3s, such as dairy, juices, oatmeal, and peanut butter.
- Stock up on leafy greens like Brussels sprouts, kale, and spinach, which contain the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
- Cook with oils that contain ALA, like soybean oil and flaxseed oil.
Any other recommendations for healthy aging?
As you get older, you want to do things that will reduce your risk for chronic disease and stroke. Nutritionally speaking, that means consuming more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats like fish, chicken, and turkey. The fewer saturated fats and red meats — like pork, beef, and lamb — the better. And, of course, avoid as many processed and packaged foods as possible, which tend to be high in additives and preservatives.