Your Healthiest Lenten Season Yet

It’s Lent season. For many people that means fish on Fridays. Yum! I am game for a good fish fry but I am not a huge seafood lover.

Maybe I should be.

Did you know that fish are one of the richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids?

I’m sure you have heard of omega 3 and omega 6 fats. I know… Stay focused. Don’t let your eyes glaze over. I will try to make this as simple as possible.

We need both kinds of omega fats. The importance is in the ratio of 3’s to 6’s. The ratio should fall between 1:1 and 1:4 respectively but in the standard American diet that is full of processed foods and fake vegetable oils we often see ratios of 1:10 or 1:25!

What’s the big deal about that? Well, omega 3 is basically anti-inflammatory and omega 6 is pro-inflammatory. Many of us deal with inflammatory diseases like arthritis, asthma, lupus, and several autoimmune diseases. The omegas need to be kept in a healthy ratio to help the body deal with inflammation.

Fish is not only a great source of omega 3 but is also high in digestible protein and 2 difficult to acquire minerals: iodine and selenium. Iodine and selenium are crucial for proper thyroid, immune, cardiovascular and reproductive function.

Fish is also a great source of vitamin D, which us Northerners are always lacking.

The best fish to eat are oily, cold-water, wild-caught fish like Atlantic mackerel, salmon, cod, haddock, and Pollock. Freshwater trout and whitefish are good too. Always look for the term “wild-caught”. These fish will have the best array of nutrient density. “Farm raised” fish are not near as healthy and are often fed grain instead of their native diet.

At the store, fresh or frozen fish are best but can be pricey. You can do well with canned salmon, sardines, anchovies and tuna, which are a little more affordable. Be sure to check the can labels for “low-mercury” and “wild caught” terminology.

The experts recommend having fish 3-5 times a week. For this mid-western transplant I aim for a good can of tuna and a salmon fillet every week. As I experiment with new recipes and acquire a favorable taste for fish I hope to be eating it more.

Here is a great starter recipe if you are a little timid around our aqua friends.

Marinated Salmon

1-1 ½  pounds wild caught salmon fillets

½ cup soy sauce, coconut aminos or liquid aminos

Juice of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons. (Can also sub orange or lime juice)

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of rubbed dried thyme.

¼ teaspoon ginger powder

Dash of salt and pepper

  1. Mix marinade ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Place salmon and marinade in sealable bag or container for 1 hour. Flip if needed.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon fillets on oiled baking sheet. Discard marinade.
  4. Bake 15 minutes until meat flakes apart. Cooking time varies depending on oven and fillet thickness.

Serve with your favorite veggie and enjoy!

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