Feb 22, 2016

14 Carrot Gold Soup + What is the ideal omega 3 to 6 ratio and why?

 

14 carrot gold soup

Greetings, oh wondrous ones! I have a yummy soup recipe for you today, title compliments of my wordsmith, Mr. Mountain Man himself. What’s so special about this soup other than its amazing color? Well, the flavor for one. The texture… like silk. And it’s got a heaping helping of that most-talked-about-of-late, natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric! Yep, gold on gold with all those carrots and that amazingly healthy little tuber. And I used a LOT of turmeric in this baby, but the recipe calls for less. If you’re a fan, go ahead and use as much as you want. But for some, it may be an acquired taste, so if you’re not used to it, use the recommended amount. You can always add more!

What’s that yummy, white, creamy stuff that I designed with on top? I made a cream with walnuts and hemp seeds. So easy and so healthy… I’m on a crusade to balance my omega 3:6 ratio and have learned some startling figures about a few of the foods that I used to eat a lot of. The recommended ratio for these essential fatty acids is about 1:1, which is really hard to do consuming the Standard American Diet, only because so many of our commonly consumed foods are way off kilter, having so much more omega 6 than omega 3. Why is this ratio so important, anyway? Well, to answer that, we need to back up a little and talk about these essential fatty acids and why they are important in and of themselves. They are called essential fatty acids because our bodies cannot manufacture them on their own and therefore they must be obtained through the foods we eat. 

There are three major types of omega-3 fatty acids that are ingested in foods and used by the body: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid, whose primary utility is its ability to be converted into the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While the body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA, the conversion rate is generally inadequate to provide sufficiency of EPA and DHA. Therefore, EPA and DHA are referred to as “conditionally essential.”

We’ve all been indoctrinated about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids; just visit any health food store or drug store and you’ll see the shelves lined with so many kinds of fish oils promoting such. It is true that omega 3 is crucial to our health and most of us get too little of it in proportion to omega 6, even when supplementing. Why is this so? It’s because most oils such as corn, peanut, canola, olive (yes, olive oil!), etc. contain huge amounts of omega 6 compared to omega 3. And oil is so ubiquitous—it’s in almost all processed foods—and then we cook with it and slather our salads with it, too! Not good. 

Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer,  and autoimmune diseases and is pro-inflammatory. Whereas omega 3, in the form of DHA, has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis, depression, adult-onset diabetes, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, and some cancers and is anti-inflammatory. So then, why is omega 6 important at all? We need inflammation sometimes! When we get a cut, for example, the body will cause inflammation (pain=ouch!=move away!) but will also, through inflammation, create the healing process. The early stages of inflammation enlist the immune system to protect the body from an injury and to control infection, and later stages work to re-grow damaged tissue and start the wound healing process. So inflammation has its place, as do omega 6 fatty acids.

Back to my walnut-hemp cream. In the past I would have just used cashew cream… my go-to for just about everything from coffee creamer (on the few occasions that I indulge) to ice cream bases. But I recently found out that the omega 6:3 ratio in cashews is 128:1! Oh, no. You read that right. So (big disappointing sigh) cashews are now off my menu for the most part. Walnuts, on the other hand tally in at 4:1. Much more aligned with where we are trying to go. Hemp seeds are even better at 2.5:1. But the real stars of the show are chia seeds (YAY!!!) at 3:1 in favor of omega 3! That’s 3 parts omega 3 to one part omega 6. So eat your chia seeds everyone.

Okay, I’m almost done with today’s biochemistry lesson. But there is one more very important point here that I want to make. As I mentioned earlier, there are so many people who take fish oil supplements and others who just insist that they can only get their DHA from fish. Well, guess what? FISH DO NOT MANUFACTURE DHA!!! What? Then where do they get it? From algae. That’s right. The fish get the algae from the water and the people eat the fish to get the DHA that’s in the algae. It’s silly really. Why not just go to the source? Personally, I consume marine phytoplankton which is a superior source of DHA. You can also purchase algae-derived DHA/EPA over at Dr. Fuhrman’s website. The phytoplankton that I take (linked above to my Amazon store) is pretty pricey but with this type of product it is so important not to skimp on quality. I did a ton of research and this product is the purest and most potent one around. And you only need ½ tsp per day, so one package goes a long way.

Well, I hope you haven’t gone to sleep on me! Let’s get to today’s recipe. 🙂

Healthy trails,

Helyn Signature

 

 

 

 

 

14 Carrot Gold Soup 3

14 Carrot Gold Soup 2

14 Carrot Gold Soup 4

 

References:

  1. Pharmacol Res. 1999 Sep;40(3):211-25. Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Horrocks LA1, Yeo YK.
  2. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC 20009, USA. cgnh@bellatlantic.net
  3. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy; Volume 56, Issue 8, October 2002, Pages 365–379; A.P Simopoulos,
    The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, 2001 S Street, N.W., Suite 530, Washington, DC 20009, USA

 

14 Carrot Gold Soup with Turmeric

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 14 medium-sized carrots
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-6 celery ribs
  • 1" fresh turmeric or 1 tsp ground
  • 1 TBS Bragg Organic Sprinkle (or all-purpose, salt-free seasoning of your choice)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened, plant-based milk

Method

  1. Peel and chop 7 of the carrots and place in a soup pot.
  2. Peel and cube the potatoes and add to the pot.
  3. Dice the onion and add to the pot.
  4. Peel and chop the turmeric, if using fresh and add, or just add the powder if using dried.
  5. Add 2 cups fresh water and turn heat to low.
  6. Meanwhile, juice the remaining 7 carrots and the celery ribs. You should wind up with 2 cups of the mixed juice.
  7. Add this to the pot along with your spices and simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender.
  8. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to do this in batches if your blender is not large enough.
  9. Transfer back to the pot and add the plant milk. Stir to combine.
  10. Serve topped with a little extra pepper or seasoning of your choice and a swirl of your favorite plant milk or cream.

Notes

Have you tried fresh turmeric yet? Like pretty much any ingredient, fresh is so much better. My whole foods carries it now so check your health food store! It's also great on tofu scrambles. 🙂

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13 responses to “14 Carrot Gold Soup + What is the ideal omega 3 to 6 ratio and why?”

  1. lani says:

    Helyn,
    I don’t have a juicer.Can you juice the carrots and celery in the vitamin?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Lani,
      You can’t juice in a Vitamix but you can certainly just cook all of the veggies together and then blend the whole thing in your Vitamix.
      xo

  2. lani says:

    Helyn,
    I don’t have a juicer.Can you juice the carrots and celery in the vitamix?

  3. Tracy says:

    I don’t have a juicer, can I just add all carrots and celery to the pot and make that way? Thank you 🙂

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Yes! You can just cook everything together and puree it all in the blender. You will probably wind up with more soup! Just so you know, many supermarkets now sell carrot juice, if you want to just buy some. 🙂

  4. JCB says:

    Thanks for the important info; I Have been using too many cashew based sauces. What is the ratio of walnuts to hemp seeds for the topping you mentioned?

    • helynskitchen says:

      I didn’t measure exactly but it was about 3/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup hemp seeds, blended with about 1 cup water until creamy. I also added one date. xo

  5. Sarah says:

    For what it’s worth, Dr. Fuhrman says that it’s more the Omega 3 sufficiency that matter, rather than the ratio. Which is part of the reasoning behind his recommendations for consuming walnuts, flax, and supplementing with DHA (since many of us do not convert it from the food sources as well). When the body has enough Omega 3’s on board it will burn off the omega 6’s for fuel and thus keeps the ratio properly balanced.

    • helynskitchen says:

      Sarah, thanks for this! Very good point. I am just leaning towards MORE omega 3 and less omega 6 in my diet whenever possible. Dr, Fuhrman also says, “A diet very high in omega-6 fat makes matters worse; your body makes even less DHA fat. The high level of omega-6 fat competes for the enzymes involved in fatty acid desaturation (conversion to longer-chain fats) and interferes with the conversion of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) to EPA and DHA. Therefore, our high fat intake contributes to our DHA fat deficiency.” … I am familiar with the science that you reference. Just taking things to a new level over here. 🙂 thanks again for your input!

  6. Shawn says:

    Thanks for your recipes and information. Flax seeds not only provide the omega 3 that you are looking for but also lignans and much more. More flax recipes please!

    “wherever flax seeds become a regular food item among the people there will be better health” -Gandhi

    • helynskitchen says:

      Lignans! 💚 Flax seeds were my go-to for when I was going through menopause. I didn’t know why or how they worked then but they sure made a difference in minimizing my hot flashes! Now I know it was the adaptogenic properties of the lignans! I still eat flax every day. Thanks for bringing them up in the conversation. Gee, this is fun conversing with ya’ll about these subjects. I’m so happy my readers are nutrient-smart!!! Thanks for the Gandhi quote 🙂

  7. JCB says:

    Thanks, Helyn. That sounds good and very easy. I appreciate not only your recipes but the dietary information as well. Am making your beet burgers as I write.

  8. Robert says:

    Thanks for the informative information about omega’s.. Although it is interesting to note that vegans who were not taking any supplements had a much higher conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA.

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