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.

Do You Get Enough?Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 8.38.10 PM.png

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!

Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice

Ingredients

14ounces non-gmo extra-firm tofu, drained

2tablespoons gluten free soy sauce, I use Tamari

1– pineapple, or 11⁄2 cups diced pineapple

1tablespoon coconut oil

— onion, thinly sliced

— Pink Himalayan Sea salt

3– cloves garlic, minced

2teaspoons curry powder

1teaspoon ground coriander

1teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

3/4cup cashews

— carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2cup frozen peas

1/2cup raisins

3/4cup cooked rice, preferably brown basmati or quinoa

1/4cup vegetable broth

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a small baking sheet.

Press the tofu to get out as much water as possible. After pressing, cut the tofu into 1⁄2-inch cubes. In a bowl, toss tofu with Tamari sauce until each cube is coated. Place in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, turning the tofu a couple of times with a spatula. Remove from oven and set aside.

To prepare pineapple, cut in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Remove the flesh and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside 11⁄2 cups for this recipe, and save the rest for another use (see here for other uses) Reserve the shell for serving.

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until soft and lightly browned. Season with pink salt. Add garlic, curry, coriander, and chili-garlic sauce, and let cook a few more minutes. Add cashews, carrots, peas, raisins, rice, broth, pineapple, and tofu. Cook until heated through and adjust salt to taste. Serve the rice or quinoa like they do in Thai- land—in the pineapple shell!

Raw Joy, Jackie

Spotlight Saturday, in the kitchen

Spiral vegetable slicer

Zucchini noodles prepared using a spiral slicer

Spiral vegetable slicers (also known as spiralizers) are kitchen appliances used for cutting vegetables, such as zucchinis, potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, apples, and beetroots, into linguine-like strands which can be used as an alternative to pasta.


 Spiralizers usually contain three blades: a round blade for spaghetti, a small flat blade for ribbons, and a large wide blade for spiral strands. Vegetables are clamped between the blade and crank. As the handle turns with a bit of pressure, the vegetable is pressed between the turning handle and the blade, which cuts it into spirals.

Spiralizers are often used to produce vegan or vegetarian meals or to transform high calorie meals into healthier options. Recipes containing spiraled ingredients are available on health blogs, (particularly vegan, vegetarian and paleo) and on social media sites or like this Tangled Thai Salad here.

I have to admit, not only am I learning to love easy, simple and quick creations but I’m also really loving being in the kitchen! And that’s HUGE!

So go spin a veggie, Jackie

P.s. I’d love to hear what you create.

Raw , Unfiltered Almond Milk

Raw, Unfiltered Almond Milk

  • Servings: 2 liters
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 liters of spring water
  • 3 oz. vanilla extract (alcohol free)
  • 3 Tbs raw Wee Bee Honey
  • 2 droppers full of English Toffee Stevia
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup of Juice Plus Vanilla Complete Protein

Directions:

  1. Soak almonds overnight in 3 cups of water
  2. Drain water
  3. Drop almonds into Vitamix
  4. Add 4 cups of water and blend
  5. Strain almonds into Nut Milk Bag over a large bowl or blender (Save almond pulp for an awesome face scrub later)
  6. Re-blend milk with the above ingredients.

You could add more water or strain more pulp, depending on your preference of texture.

Stir, Pour and Enjoy!