Essential Fatty Acids and Your Health

The essential fatty acids are composed of the good fats in our diet. They are essential to your health and provide many benefits that many people are unaware of. Learn how you can benefit from some slight changes in your diet and the comsumption of your EFA’s

The essential fatty acid consists of omega 3 and omega 6. Omega 3 is primarily found in cold water fish. Fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel are very good sources the pre-formed omega 3’s. Fish is a great source of the omega 3. Eating fish is also beneficial because fish is a great source of protein, minerals and antioxidants.

Plant also contain omega 3. Plants such as flax seed, canola, soybean and walnuts all are a good source for omega 3. Your body needs to convert these omega 3 fats into the usable form but they do provide a great source to add to the essential fatty acid derived from fish.

Some benefits that have that have been scientifically proven by the increase of omega 3 in your diet are as follows: improved cardiovascular function, superior circulatory function, relief from arthritis and other inflammation problems, reduction in joint aches and pains, improved memory and brain function, helps induce healthy insulin levels, increases the HDL (good cholesterol) levels in your body acting to unclog your arteries, increased energy and improved mood.

In a study from Harvard University in testing a group of 30 people with manic depression or bi-polar disorder showed an increase in mood by 65% using fish oil as apposed to a 19% increase in mood testing with olive oil.

There are 3 types of omega 3’s. The forms are categorized as EPA, (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexanoic acid) can primarily be found in cold water fish. The third form of omega 3 is ALA(alpha-linolenic acid). ALA is primarily found in green leafy vegetables, flax see and flax seed oil and certain vegetable oils. ALA is converted to EPA by the body. All three of this omega 3 forms are important to your body function and your health.

The other essential fatty acid that the body need is the omega 6 which can be derived from plant based oils, poultry and eggs. The issue surrounding omega 6 is that we get more than enough omega 6 in our diets. Since omega 3 and omega 6 compete for the same space in our cells including our brain, our nerve endings and for the same enzymes it is important to have them in the correct balance. The ratio of 4 to1 and even 2 to 1 of omega 6 to omega 3 is optimal. Since most people are getting 10 to 20 times more omega 6 than omega 3 it is recommend for improved health to consume more omega 3. The increase of green leafy vegetables, flax seed or flax seed oil and the addition of cold water fish will help to increase your omega 3 consumption and help you get the correct balance of your essential fatty acids (EFA) into your diet.