EXCLUSIVE: Susie Burrell shares tips for getting your Omega-3
Looking after our health is incredibly important, especially as we start to get older.
From exercising regularly and having healthy sleeping habits to maintaining our social lives and eating well, there are plenty of areas we need to balance out in order to stay healthy.
When it comes to diet, ensuring we get the right vitamins and minerals can be particularly crucial as we age.
To help figure out how to get the most out of your diet and improve your mental and physical health, we sat down with leading dietician and Tassal ambassador, Susie Burrell, and asked her some foodie questions.
O60: What are the benefits of regularly eating foods rich in Omega-3 and B vitamins, especially as we get older?
As we get older, it’s important to regularly eat foods that are rich in Omega-3 and B group vitamins as they can help to support cognitive function, support energy regulation, and optimise immunity. A high intake of Omega-3 fats is associated with improved memory, reduced risk of developing heart disease and reductions in inflammation. In addition, B group vitamins - including B12, folate, biacin, biotin, and riboflavin - are essential for older people as they support healthy nerve function, heart health and blood pressure.
O60: How can diet impact mental health and energy levels?
While it’s widely known that diet plays a key role in our physical health, it can directly affect our mental health and energy levels too.
The connection between our diet and mental health stems from the relationship between our brain and gut microbiome - the rainforest-like ecosystem in your gastrointestinal tract where good and bad bacteria reside. Eating healthy food will promote the growth of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which tells our brain to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, regulating our mood and emotions.
One of the other things your good bacteria does is help absorb nutrients from the food you eat, including B vitamins, magnesium and iron, which are crucial for good energy levels. The bad bacteria has the opposite effect, and when they overgrow, the absorption of these nutrients is compromised. If the nutrients that are key for maintaining healthy energy levels are not adequately absorbed, then greater tiredness and fatigue is likely to follow. That’s why our diet is one of the main factors that affect this balance between the good and bad bacteria, and in turn, our energy levels.
O60: What other essential vitamins and fats should we be consuming more of?
Calcium and vitamin D are also important nutrients older Australians should be consuming, as they work closely together to support our bone health. As we know, calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. These nutrients can be found in foods such as dairy, dark leafy greens, and a variety of fish, like Tassal Tasmanian Salmon.
With many of us still in lockdown and juggling work, home-schooling, and other responsibilities, what are some quick and easy ways to add more Omega-3 to our diets?
A quick and easy way to incorporate more Omega-3’s into our diets is by consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans, and with two or more weekly servings of oily fish, such as salmon. I love to start my mornings with a nutritious, balanced, and mood-boosting meal, especially while we’re in lockdown, which is why I regularly have salmon for brunch.
When brainstorming brunch ideas, you can be really creative. Rather than sticking to traditional options such as toast, cereal, porridge or eggs, switching to salmon will not only provide you with a nutrient rich breakfast option, but also get the entire family involved in creating something exciting and different. Some of my favourite brunch-inspired salmon recipes are Tassal’s Corn Fritters or SLT Sandwich with either Tassal Smoked Salmon or cooked and ready-to-eat Tassal Hot Smoked Salmon.
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