Does fish-based diets help athletes?

You may not believe it, but Andy Murray can eat about 50 portions of sushi in one sitting. You may have cried when Murray didn’t win the Australian Open but this healthy diet sure has improved his physique and the good news is, he smashed David Ferrer in the recent Vienna Open! The Daily Mail reported that the British Number 1 loves sushi so much that he keeps sushi in an ice cooler just so that he could eat it right after a match. Guess Murray codn’t wait for some of that salmon… (pun intended). Australian Institute of Sport also encourages fish consumption among athletes as the fatty acids in fish are associated with heart protection and. And it’s not just Murray who endorses this fish-based diet. Serena Williams and Alex Rodriguez are also big fans of it.

Australian model Miranda Kerr also proclaims her love for fish as it is one of the main types of food she has in the meal planner. Whether you’re an athlete or not, fish should be an essential part of your balanced diet. Skim through our blog to find more recipes!

-HNH

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Middle-aged and senior adults should maintain an adequate level of omega-3 intake

At this age, you probably want to thank your younger self for keeping your body and mind safe. But due to our current commercial and industrial world, we can’t exactly escape the stress and pollution which affect our health. These environmental factors will increase the risks of health conditions such as heart and brain diseases.

Fear not! Omega-3 will still play a major part in fighting these diseases.

  • Heart health: Research shows that omega-3 can keep a stable heart rate and people with adequate intakes of omega-3s decrease 45% of getting heart-related deaths. Fish also reduces the risk of strokes. So maintain that healthy diet!
  • Triglycerides. The omega-3s — DHA and EPA — can slash triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%. The effect seems to depend on the amount, so your doctor might recommend fairly high doses. The effects of omega-3s on other types of cholesterol are less clear.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. While the evidence isn’t conclusive, a number of studies have found that fish oil can reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, like morning stiffness and pain. High doses – of 3 to 4 grams — may be necessary. No one should be on such a large dose without the supervision of a doctor.
  • Osteoporosis. Studies have found that people who eat higher levels of fatty fish than average have greater bone density in the hip. One study found that fish oil – in combination with calcium and primrose oil – increased bone density in older people with osteoporosis.
  • Memory, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Fear of having trouble figuring out why these people are looking at you? Don’t want to think of how you ended up in this strange area? Eat fish. Several studies have found that diets high in fatty fish may help prevent memory loss and lower the risk of dementia in older people. Although it may not be able to rule out the condition completely, it will slow down. Recent studies have also evaluated whether the omega-3 supplement DHA can slow the decline seen in people with Alzheimer’s dementia or in age-associated memory impairment. One recent study showed that DHA can be a beneficial supplement and may have a positive effect on gradual memory loss associated with aging.

For more information, visit this link.

-HNH

Three ways to cook snapper

Snapper is one of the most popular fish in Australia. They’re known for their soft but tender texture and they’re very easy to cook. Never have I ever had to struggle with this type of fish, and you shouldn’t either! This post will introduce you to some of my favourite snapper recipes.

1. CLICK: Grilled whole snapper

This has to be the easiest way to cook snapper. There’s not many ingredients and the ones they use are very easy to find. All you have to do is to clean and dry the fish, flavour with some garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary herbs and they’re good to go in the grill!

Make sure your grill rack is super clean and that you’ve spread oil evenly on the surface to make sure the fish won’t stick to the rack.

2. CLICK: Steamed snapper

For this recipe, you can go with either the usual whole snapper or you could follow their choice of using fillets.

Ingredients are also quite simple, julienne chopped ginger, salt, thinly sliced spring onion, garlic and sesame oil. If your kitchen isn’t the one that stocks Asian ingredients, it’s time to visit the supermarket and pick up some soy sauce and white wine because these are the perks of this recipe. Put everything except spring onion and coriander.

There’ll be two important steps when you cook steamed fish:

1st steam will go for about 4 minutes and you’ll find excess water on the plate, remove this.

2nd steam will be your official one, which should go for about 10 minutes, depends on the size of your cut. This is when you drizzle the soy sauce and white wine.

The following steps are optional, but if you’re keen, you can heat up some oil and garnish the fish with spring onion and coriander. When the oil is hot, pour it over the fish and this will add some flavour to the dish. Drizzle sesame oil over the fish.

3. CLICK: BBQ whole snapper with lime and chilli 

For this recipe, you need to crush some lemongrass and torn lime leaves. The rest of the ingredients are kind of a combination between recipe #1 and #2. It’s quite straightforward. Lime and chilli will add more flavours to the snapper. Always remember to dry the fish before you start seasoning and putting them in the grill.

It’s important to note that the ingredients that are other than salt and pepper should be mixed together to create a mix of sauce to go with the fish.

Good luck!

-HNH

Young adults and omega-3

Dear young adults, Imagine receiving a letter from your 50 year-old self. What would it be like? Maybe a congratulations on that new car and your first grandchild. Maybe a sense of achievements from a successful career. Or maybe even all the experience you’ve gained from travelling. And maybe you should have told yourself to watch what you eat when you were still a young and ambitious adult.

My point is, it’s never too early or too late to choose to eat healthy food to prepare for your long-term health. Preventing is better than curing. As I’ve stressed in our previous posts, omega-3 doesn’t stop contributing in the pregnancy stage, it is an ongoing process of getting into the habit and maintaining good health. You would want to wake up in 30 years without checking for medication. You wouldn’t want to spend your time at the GP for a strange ache on your neck. You would want to spend that time with your family and friends, wouldn’t you? Below is a few examples of the health problems you can prevent if you start having fish 2-3 times a week.

  • Cardiovascular health: Studies have found that people who eat fatty fish twice a week are less likely to develop heart diseases. One study found that fish oil – in foods or supplements – cut the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 32%.
  • Cancer: People who take in higher amounts of omega-3s seem to have lower levels of certain cancers. These include cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, ovaries, esophagus, and others.
  • Depression and other psychiatric conditions. There’s some fairly good evidence that omega-3s can play a role in brain chemistry and a number of studies have found some benefits. Several studies have found that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are lower in those who suffer from depression .

For more information, visit this link.

-HNH

Easy Vietnamese fish recipes

Who loves Vietnamese cuisine? I sure do! Vietnamese cuisine is famous for the harmony in their flavour and seasoning. For these two recipes, you will need the following ingredients:

Soup:

DSC_0088

 

  • 1 blue cod head & 100gr of the fillet
  • 2 tomatoes, slices
  • Old ginger of about the size of a cherry tomato, chopped into thin slices coriander, spring onion, chopped roughly
  • Carrots, slices
  • Sesame oil

Caramelized fish:

DSC_0091

 

  • Sugar, 1.5 tablespoon
  • 500gr blue cod fillet, cut into 5cm pieces
  • Spring onion, garlic, chopped
  • Fish sauce, 3.5 tablespoon
  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • 300gr fried tofu
  • Pepper

Step-by-step instruction:

Soup:

Boil about 500ml of water.

Put the ginger in first as this will take a while for the flavour to release.

While you wait for this to boil, boil another pot to cleanse the fish for about 10 seconds.

When the soup is boiled, put fish and carrot in and leave tomatoes last. Remove any bubbles and scales on the surface.

Season with salt, sugar a few drops of sesame oil.

Caramelised fish: 

DSC_0092

Marinate the fillet and leave it in the fridge for about an hour, leave it outside for 20 minutes before you start cooking it.

Prepare your pan with oil and spread 2 tablespoons of sugar all over it. Use low gas to avoid burning the caramel as this can be quite tricky.

The sugar should start melting after 1 minute with heat on and shake the pan lightly to sizzle it.

Be careful not to stir it as it will crystallise! 

Once it becomes yellow or slightly tan, put the chopped onion heads and garlic in and don’t stir it. When the garlic becomes a little more yellow, put the fish in and softly stir them around. At this point the caramel will crystalise a bit on your spatula, but as you stir it slowly it will melt.

Turn gas on to medium and cook it slowly without stirring too much.

Add tofu in so it can soak in the sauces and when it’s ready, the tofu will be marinated too.

You end results should look like this! Good luck. I obviously could work on my food presentation a little bit.

DSC_0094

2014-10-16 20.32.18

-HNH

Omega-3 and pregnancy, a positive relationship

In our previous post, we mentioned that omega-3 does wonders to young children. But childhood isn’t where you start, pregnancy is. Partners, gear up, your pregnant other halves and the lives that are growing inside of them can benefit a lot from the adequate amount of omega-3 you feed them. All parents want to hear when they get an ultrasound is that the baby is well and healthy.

Having a regular intake of omega-3 can play a big part in helping the development of the brain, eyes an central nervous system. Imagine that, particles of these fatty acids will sprinkle all over the placenta and there grows a life with 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes with bright (but still closed) eyes. The intake of omega-3 peaks during the third trimester and that is when your baby will absorb majority of the acids passed to it.

When you are pregnant, you want the baby to grow safe and sound, and often you forget that what you eat affects both you and your baby. So ladies, you, too, can benefit from all that goodness. We’re too often told that women can fall into post-natal depression and research has shown that having an adequate amount of healthy acids during your pregnancy can reduce this risk. But the benefits don’t stop here. It also helps reduce the your baby’s eager to get out of the womb – or as the doctors would say, premature birth.

So how much fish should you have? 

The recommended amount of 2-3 servings of fish a week. You should include salmon, snapper, anchovy and fish that are low in mercury.

For more information, visit Omega-3 Centre

 HNH

Parents, don’t forget to pack omega-3

When I was younger, my parents always tried to feed me vegetables and fish. We had fish almost 5 days a week because we used to live in Asia and fish are so cheap there. From steamed fish to caramelised fish, I just had to eat them with vegetables on the side regardless of how bad I wanted some deep fried chicken wings from the new KFC store that just came to town. I hated fish, I hated the slimy texture and I was scared of bones. In order to convince me to take a bite, my kind-hearted mother filtered everything thoroughly to make sure that I can eat fish at ease. Even when I was 15, I was still afraid of eating fish, especially fillet cuts. I’m never sure whether all the bones have been removed.

But childhood came and went quickly. Little did I know, I’m now a young adult and I would choose to eat fish over anything else – I am sick of red meat. I watch my diet closely, not strictly. I make sure that I get enough and balanced nutrition. And one thing that is on top of my list is omega-3. Yes, fish, your richest source of fatty acids that contribute to your health, from your brain to your heart.

I will always appreciate my parents for not giving up on feeding me something I didn’t want to eat. I appreciate that I had enough of them in my childhood that I’m not longer afraid of bones and I can independently see what good they do for me.

Parents, your children need omega-3. 

Studies have found that fatty acids can contribute a lot to brain development. Results showed that children with adequate intakes of omega-3 have better learning and cognitive behaviour. Children become more perceptive, they have better memory and it also gives them a confidence boost. They were also shown to have improved their reading and writing skills. Not only do fatty acids improve what you already have, they also help with mental conditions such as ADHD and dyslexia.

Sadly, not a lot of children are getting enough of this. Results from a study show that 9 out of 10 children from the sample did not have an adequate amount of fish, i.e. less than 2 servings of fish a week. Additionally, 1 in 10 children did not have fish at all.

My parents would want me to be a better learner, you would want your children to be healthier. So omega-3 is the place you should start. Forget McNuggets. Choose a plate of steamed fish.

-HNH