Omegas are the new Carrots

There’s a good reason for the common belief that carrots are good for your eyes. Carotenoids, the pigments that give carrots their orange hue, accumulate in the eyes, where they protect against UV light. But, there’s a new kid on the block when it comes to supporting healthy vision – omega-3 fatty acids.

Just ask Dr. John Paul SanGiovanni, an accomplished eye health researcher at the National Institutes of Health. He was recently interviewed about omega-3s and their role in supporting eye health, and to celebrate Healthy Vision Month, we’re sharing some of his insights.

Omega-3s and Your Eyes

The omega-3s DHA and EPA are both important for eye health, specifically, the health of the retina. You can thank your retinas for translating light into visual images that allow you to see. (That’s where all those rods and cones you studied in high school live.)

DHA’s main job is structural: it helps maintain healthy cell membranes. EPA’s role is functional: it helps cells communicate with each other. EPA is also used to make important antioxidants. That’s critical, because the delicate retina is particularly prone to free radical damage.

According to Dr. SanGiovanni, DHA is highly concentrated in the retina, just like carotenoids. In fact, there is more DHA in the retina than any other tissue of the body! That gives us a good indication of how important DHA is to eye health.

Eat More Omega-3s, See Better

Dr. SanGiovanni points to studies going back over twenty years showing that people with higher levels of DHA enjoy better vision. Later research, which looked at intake (in other words, how much DHA and EPA you consume) rather than status (in other words, the level of these fats measured in your blood) has found over and over again that the more rich in EPA and DHA that food you eat is, the more likely you are to have healthy vision.

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Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, which means your body needs them but does not make them on its own. As a result, you need them to get them from your diet or from supplements.

Yet just as most people don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables daily, they’re also lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, according to a recent study, 90 percent of Americans do not get enough omega-3s in their diet.

How to Get More Omega-3s

Most people know EPA and DHA are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, cod, and mackerel, and that’s a good place to start. But you can also get them from algae, which is not only vegetarian, but also a sustainable resource.

The Juice Plus+ Omega Blend capsules contain omega-3s derived from algae, rounded out with a broad array of other omega fatty acids — 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 — from plant-based sources such as pomegranate seeds, sea buckthorn berries, raspberry seeds, tomato seeds and safflower seeds. Just like the other Juice Plus+ Blends, the Omega Blend bridges the gap between what you should eat, and what you do eat, every day.

What’s your favorite way to get enough omega-3s? Share in the comments below!

Grab a Buddy, Get Fun on Fit!!

The alarm buzzes for your early workout, and while you were looking forward to it last night, all you want now is to go back to sleep. Does this sound familiar? Some days you get up and lace up your sneakers anyway, but others, your workout never happens.

What if you had a friend waiting to meet you at the park, though? You’d get up for sure then, right? That’s called having an accountability partner. You don’t want to leave your friend in the lurch, and he/she feels the same way. By counting on each other, you both get your exercise so everyone wins.

Not wanting to let someone down can make a big motivational difference. A study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews from Dominican University in California found that if people wrote down their goals, shared the goals with a friend, and then sent them weekly progress reports, they were 33 percent more likely to achieve the goal than those who just formed a goal.

If you don’t have a friend who can exercise with you, or if you’d like someone with professional experience, you could find a personal trainer or sign up for a workout class. That way, if you skip your workout, you’re not only missing the exercise itself, but you’re wasting money. That can be a powerful motivator, too.

A partner will cheer you on, help you believe in yourself, celebrate the milestones on the way to your goal, commiserate through the setbacks, remind you why your goal is important, and provide company. With so many responsibilities, you can see why it’s important to choose the right person for the job. Will this person stay positive and challenge you to push yourself? And if it’s a friend, can you do the same in exchange? The satisfaction of helping someone else is another benefit of partnering with someone to improve your health!

How do you stay motivated to exercise and meet other health goals? Share in the comments below!

JOYFULLY RAW, JACKIE

Simple Changes, Make Simple Habits

Looking to build healthier habits? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once. Start with small steps that you can feel good about. #onesimplechange 

Add nutrient-rich foods. Instead of thinking about what not to eat, think about the things you can add to your diet. Strive to incorporate more greens and colorful veggies into your meals.


Eat closer to nature. Concentrate on whole foods in their natural forms, such as fruits and vegetables. If it looks like it did when it grew from the earth, that’s your cue that it’s a healthier choice.
Go for whole grains. Instead of reaching for regular pasta or white bread, look for varieties made with 100% whole grain flour. Better yet, fill your belly with whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or barley.
Find alternatives to oil. Believe it or not, you don’t need added oils to make the foods you love. You can steam fry those onions and replace the oil in those muffins with applesauce.
Reorganize your plate. Think of lean meat and fish as flavor boosters instead of the main event. Put beans, whole grains and veggies in the spotlight, and keep servings of meat and fish at 3 ounces or less (that’s about the size of a deck of playing cards).

Make whole foods your NEW Normal!