One of the things I will regularly encourage with many of my clients is for them to increase their intake of small oily fish, the acronym SMASH-T being a handy tool to remind them of those I suggest (sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring & trout).
The reason I pick these in particular is they are the richest source of omega 3 fats which are fundamental to our health.
When we talk about fats we talk about them in a number of ways – they balance our blood sugar as they offer a sustained release of energy, they nourish our skin keeping it supple & elastic, some even feed the bacteria in our gut! But the key point I want to touch on here is how they help our cells to communicate & keep inflammation under control.
The predominant fat in our diet will dictate what our cell membranes are made of – if we have plenty of lovely flexible omega 3 (polyunsaturated fats) the cells are similarly fluid, substances can cross the membranes easily & we are lovely & anti-inflammatory. However if the opposite is true & we have more stiff, oxidised fats in our diets then that’s what our cell walls are composed of & that communication breaks down.
So because of this I ask people to go over & above the basic UK guidelines & aim for 3-4 portions of oily fish a week (or for non-fish eaters 2 tablespoons of cold pressed flaxseed oil a day is the plant based equivalent). Now I know that many people will include salmon but diversity is also key as each variety will offer a slightly different nutrient profile so dabbling in the others I previously mentioned is also pretty key.
If you have access to fresh fish all the time then absolutely go for that, but being a busy bee I regularly rely on the fantastic sustainably fished products by Fish4Ever as I’ve used here. Their range is extensive & most definitely the saviour of many of my midweek meals!
- 4 medium carrots
- 250g green beans
- 6 sundried tomatoes
- Handful blanched almonds
- 1 jar Fish4Ever mackerel with black pepper & orange
- Fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Roughly chop the carrots, add to a sauté pan with 1/4 cup water & 1 teaspoon coconut oil, cover & simmer for 6 mins.
- Once tender allow any excess water to steam off then blend until you have a chunky purée.
- Add the beans to the same pan with another teaspoon coconut oil, heat on medium flame until they begin to blister lightly (~5mins), roughly chop the tomatoes & almonds, toss through & turn the heat off.
- Add your purée to the plates, top with the beans, arrange your mackerel & finish with the parsley.