Over the weekend I had a realization: it had been almost a month since I last had sushi! I was really craving it, and luckily my friend Chris and his roommate were more than happy to go for a sushi dinner with me on Sunday. We tried out a new place called Kawa Sushi House, which recently opened downtown on Piccadilly Street.
I started off with the wakame salad, which I’ve been obsessed with ever since I tried it a month or two ago. If you think eating seaweed is gross, it might surprise you with how delicious it tastes!
I ordered two rolls: a salmon roll and a tuna roll. I also ate the 3 pieces of California roll from Chris’ bento box, since he doesn’t like them. I don’t get how he doesn’t like them, but hey, more for me!
I was a little disappointed with the sushi here. It was pretty dry and didn’t taste that fresh. Also the rolls were really tiny, unlike sushi I’ve had at other restaurants in London. Overall it just wasn’t that satisfying… guess I’ll have to go out for sushi again soon to make up for it!
Since I’m already talking about fish here, now is a good time to pull out my nerd glasses and talk a little science with you about a favourite health topic in the media lately: omega-3s. Obviously we all know they’re good for us, but I think what the average person doesn’t know is that not all omega-3’s are created equal!
Types of omega-3s:
ALA, EPA, DHA… I’m sure these are all terms you’ve heard before, but don’t quite understand the difference between them – right? Well I’ll try to clear things up!
ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, is what we call an essential fatty acid because our bodies cannot make it, so we must get it from our food. These foods include walnuts, flax seed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
Theoretically, ALA is then converted to other omega 3 fats in our bodies in a chain of reactions that looks like this:
ALA -> -> -> EPA -> DHA
Since EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) can be made in the body, they are not considered essential nutrients. BUT… that conversion in our bodies is super inefficient because the enzymes are busy working on other conversions. Namely, conversions in the omega-6 family. And because we eat so many more omega-6’s than omega-3’s, those enzymes are super busy!
So even though EPA and DHA aren’t technically considered “essential” it’s still best to get them from the diet.
Sources of EPA and DHA:
The best sources of EPA and DHA are fish – especially fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. There are also some foods that may be fortified with EPA and/or DHA such as eggs and milk, but these foods can be pretty expensive. You will also need to read the labels of these foods to make sure they are fortified with EPA/DHA and not ALA.
In general, most plants are very poor sources of EPA and DHA. So if you don’t eat fish, you can get these nutrients from fish oil pills. But read the label carefully to make sure they contain DHA and EPA. Another alternative way you can get DHA and EPA is from certain microalgaes – check your health food store for supplements.
And just a quick reminder about the benefits of EPA and DHA:
- They produce anti-inflammatory compounds in the body
- They are good for cardiovascular health and help to prevent heart disease
- DHA is important for optimal brain and visual function
- Having sufficient levels of EPA and DHA may help to prevent depression
- EPA and DHA may help to prevent or slow certain chronic diseases, such as arthritis, alzheimer’s, and inflammatory bowel diseases
Where do you get DHA and EPA in your diet?