What You Need To Know About Essential Fatty Acids:

The smaller components of healthy fat are referred to as essential fatty acids or EFAs. They are crucial for slowing the aging process. The essential fatty acid, Omega-3, is making modern science headlines; not because it’s new on the scene, but because our diets have become severely deficient. We do not have the necessary enzyme required to produce this fatty acid, therefore we must get it from our food. The problem is that processing greatly reduces the amount of EFAs in our food. The deficiency occurs when our diet consists mainly of processed foods that fail to provide us with a good source of EFAs.

Omega-3 is found in some plant foods and certain fatty fish. Our bodies must convert plant sources of essential fatty acids, also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), into a more useable form in the body known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). People of older age and those with chronic health problems are only able to convert very small amounts of ALA into DHA. The EFA in fatty fish is already in DHA form so the body does not need to convert it. That is why EFAs from fish is a preferred source for some. If you or your family members do not like fish then you should consider adding an Omega-3 supplement to your diet.

 

Becoming Your Own Expert:

Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in:

Infant growth and development

Brain development and maintenance

Mood stabilization

Maintenance of HDL cholesterol

Reduction of inflammation

Burn healing

Production of hormones

Male/female reproductive health

It’s important that your diet include a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. Omega-6 works together with omega-3 to regulate the body process of inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids are often used to treat pain associated with arthritis, joint swelling and symptoms of PMS.

 

RESOURCES

Sources of Omega-3

Fatty oily fish: anchovies, herring, mackerel, black cod, salmon, sardines, fresh tuna, swordfish, and shell fish.

Plant sources: pumpkin, flaxseed, walnut, wheat germ, and sunflower seed oil

Sources of Omega-6

Borage Oil

Evening Primrose Oil

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