Loving the BITE: The Cyclists’ Guide to Fish Oil

It’s rare that I recommend a supplement to most all my clients without hesitation.  However, when it comes to fish oil, I recommend it to almost 100% of them.  In fact, I recommend eating fish high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) AND supplementing with high-quality fish oil supplements (not either or).  Why?  Generally, the more omega-3s, the better.  Since these fats promote the production of hormones that reduce inflammation, rather than the production of those that increase it, fish oil and omega 3 fat’s effects are far reaching and very important to cyclists.

This week, we’ll discuss a wonderful Wild Rainbow Trout recipe, other non-fish omega-3 foods, fish oil supplements, and how to get your whole family, cyclists and non-cyclists, to supplement it each day on the cheap.  And, I’ll try to do it quick (or as concise as possible, at least)!

Recipe of the week: Jalapeno Grilled Trout

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole trout, cleaned
  • 3 medium fresh seeded jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 4 medium green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup peeled, diced ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • garlic salt,  to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat a grill for medium heat, and place the rack 3 inches over the coals.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients from jalapenos through black pepper; set aside. Lightly coat four squares of foil with olive oil or cooking spray. Place fish diagonally on the foil, and stuff each with 1/4 of the mango stuffing. If it doesn’t all fit inside the fish, then just place the remainder on top of the fish. Fold the corners of the foil over the head and tail of the fish.  Fold the remaining corners over the body of the fish.
  3. Cook the packets for about 20 minutes total, flipping once at 10 minutes.  Trout is done when it flakes easily.  Serves 4.

Comments:  

While I’m specifically highlighting fish oil this week, trout has a lot of specific benefits, and this recipe is perfect for summer!  Trout is very high in protein, serving as many as 33 grams of protein for one filet (~5 ounces) and adding over 1500 mg of DHA and EPA (in combination) for this serving.  Trout is great for overall health, and even includes a decent amount of calcium and B vitamins.  Of course,  wild caught salmon, tuna, mackerel, oysters, mollusks, halibut, sea bass, and mussels are good fatty fish/seafood choices high in omega 3 fats, too.

Importance of Omega 3s:  Where do I start?  At the heart of omega-3 fat benefits, is the balance of inflammatory hormones and anti-inflammatory hormones and their production in our bodies.  When we eat diet high in omega 3s and lower in omega-6s, see below), specifically DHA and EPA, our bodies create and utilize more anti-inflammatory hormones.  These hormones serve to keep our arteries flexible, our immune systems in check by reducing release of cytokines (cause allergy symptoms, fatigue, etc), improve brain function and brain cell rebuilding early and later in life, healthy gene regulation, maintain healthy vision and eye health, and of course, reduce inflammation.  Bodily inflammation has direct impact on conditions like chronic fatigue, asthma, cancer, allergies, migraines, depression, psychosis, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.  As a cyclist, these conditions, or lack thereof, have a direct impact on your performance on the bike (lungs, joints, strength:weight, fatigue), your recovery, and your overall well-being.

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