FOREVER YOUNG - parts of chapter 3
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Nutritional Power Food
No discussion of weight loss would be complete without the omega-3 essential fatty acids. Your body needs the right fats to burn fats rather then store them. As you learned in chapter 2, the omega-3s activate nuclear receptors called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, or PPARs. These receptors, located in the cell nucleus, control blood sugar,, the storing and burning of body fat, and the way energy is used in the body. The omega-3s produce a protein known as uncoupling protein 3, which uncouples oxidative phosphorylation. This results in greater energy dissipation as heat and a decrease in stored body fat.
Traditionally, I have recommended consuming foods rich in the omega-3s, such as wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, and so on, as well as taking high-quality fish oil capsules. I cannot repeat often enough that the omega-3s are vital to the health of many organ systems, including the skin, heart, and brain. They are also indispensable in any-successful weight loss program.
I can recommend an outstanding new source of the omega-3s: chia seeds. I call them "new" only because they are new to the majority of us, but chia has been used for centuries. I have been working with the Green Foods Corporation to introduce these remarkable seeds, which,; as you will soon discover, are unsurpassed for increasing energy, endurance, and much more.
The seeds of the chia plant (Salvia hispanica L.) are a concentrated source of high-quality macronutrients required by the body: omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, high-quality complete protein without gluten, and low-glycemic carbohydrates. This outstanding combination of nutrients ensures that I enjoy at least one serving of chia seeds daily.
I suggest that you sprinkle chia seeds on salad, veggies, fruits, cottage cheese, yogurt, main dishes—wherever you can—to take advantage of their tremendous health benefits. They are basically without taste and add crunch when used in this way. They absorb fluid, so if you mix chia seeds in water, they will form a gel, which will add body to salad dressings, sauces, and cooked dishes.
Though micronutrients support all biochemical processes in the body, they are more involved in the structural components of cells and tissues. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are vital components of cellular membranes, while amino acids from protein are needed as integral structural components of muscle tissue, connective tissue, and enzymes, among other functions.
Chia seeds contain micronutrients including substantial amounts of vitamin E and other antioxidants that offer twofold protection, protecting our body and its natural oils from oxidation. Chia seeds are also a good source of bone-building minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and contain a high level of lignans, phytochemical compounds that act as phytoestrogens. Lignans also possess anticancer properties.
Not only are chia seeds nutritious, they are nonallergenic, contain very little sodium, are gluten-free, and, unlike flax seeds, have been granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status by the FDA. Since they possess so many healthful qualities without any known drawbacks, they are gaining well-deserved popularity as a superfood.
Although chia seeds are relatively new to the world food market, they have been a staple food for the peoples of Mexico for centuries. Chia seeds form a hydrophilic colloidal suspension (gel) in water because of their high soluble fiber content. They slowly release their nutrient content and water into the digestive tract for absorption and utilization over extended periods. This provides an even and sustained source of nutrition, hydration, and energy for the body as the gel passes through the digestive tract. Chia seeds were highly valued as an endurance food because of this attribute by the Mayans and Aztecs and are still used today as food in Mexico and the southwestern United States. The ability of chia seeds to form a hydrophilic gel helps in maintaining normal blood sugar levels and promoting gentle detoxification by physically cleaning the lining of the digestive tract during transit.
The Ideal Ratio of Omega Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are an excellent source of both of the essential fatty acids (EFAs), linoleic acid (LA), and the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In fact, chia seeds provide the highest amounts of vegetarian omega-3 fatty acids. They have an ideal omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio of 1:3. Though all omega fatty acids, including omega-3, -6, and -9, contribute to our health, our modern dietary habits often result in many people consuming diets with both an unbalanced ratio of EFAs and not enough omega-3 fatty acids. There are many fatty-acid chemical structures but only two kinds of essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6. Both the absolute and the relative amounts of these fatty acids consumed per day are important, since omega-6 fatty acids may interfere with some of the actions of omega-3 fatty acids, including their anti-inflammatory benefits.
Increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and reducing omega-6 fatty acids may help prevent excessive inflammation by inhibiting the expression of a gene involved in the production of inflammatory-related proteins and help lessen the risk and/or progression of chronic diseases.
Unfortunately, it is often difficult for people to consume a diet that contains a favorable ratio of essential fatty acids, since much of our food supply is heavily skewed toward fast foods, dairy products, and meat, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids.
It's time for me to make a point about meat. We have been told that red meat has an unhealthy nutrient profile. This is true if we are talking about agribusiness and grain-fed cattle raised on feedlots. If you have access to 100 percent grass-fed, pasture-raised beef and lamb, the nutrient profile begins to resemble that of cold-water fish. Grass-fed beef and lamb contain high levels of omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid, making this type of meat a healthy choice.
The good news is that people are becoming more aware of and receptive to the value of adding more plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes to their diets. Not only will this help increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and shift the balance back to a favorable, noninflammatory ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 EFAs, but eating more plant-based foods will improve a person's antioxidant.
Another supernutrient had to be part of the meal replacement. From my own experience with organic virgin coconut oil, I knew I had found my metabolic booster.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil:
The Saturated Fat You Should Eat Every Day
Coconut oil is a superfood I have incorporated into my own diet. I am certain you have heard the dire warnings about saturated fats, but they are not to be confused with the trans fats in processed foods. Saturated fats constitute 50 percent of our cells' membranes, the phospholipid component of every cell. They strengthen the cell walls, protecting the inside of the cell. They play a vital role in the health of our bones, protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, and ensure the proper use of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Virgin coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fat (MCFA) that speeds weight loss, lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart attacks, and improves diabetic conditions. MCFAs do not need the liver and gallbladder to digest them, which means instant energy and increased metabolic rate through thermogenesis. Coconut oil is beneficial to the immune system, because it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil targets the thyroid and beefs up the metabolism, melting abdominal fat quickly. I knew I had to include this powerful nutrient in my weight loss program.
The Metabolic Miracle Meal Replacement
I wanted to use these ingredients—egg white-sourced albumin and virgin coconut oil—as a Metabolic Miracle Meal Replacement, which I carefully balanced with nutritional supplements that act as mitochondrial metabolic enhancers, cell membrane stabilizers, insulin sensitizers, and blood sugar stabilizers:
To ensure that your Metabolic Miracle Meal Replacement drink is rich in nutrients and flavor, I recommend these recipes:
Puree 1/3 cup of blueberries, raspberries, or mixed berries of
your choice in a blender.
*Mix 1 teaspoon of non-Dutch-processed cocoa with stevia and a little hot water. Blend until thoroughly smooth.
*Add 1 teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil to either the berries or the cocoa and blend until smooth.
TO BE CONTINUED