Happy Sunday Everyone:
Last week I promised to go over the almighty Omegas.
Let’s get to them.
Omega 3 and 6 are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are essential to life and health. However, because our bodies cannot manufacture them, we need to ingest them. And essential they are!
Research has shown that either a deficiency or imbalance in these two powerhouse fatty acids is responsible for many chronic health conditions.
The benefits of Omega 3 include helping lower triglycerides (which is basically stored body fat that results from an over consumption of calories [whether from protein, carbohydrates or fat]), increase in HDL cholesterol (the good kind), act as an anticoagulant – to prevent blood from clotting, as well as an anti-inflammatory agent – to help lower high blood pressure. Also, results from a 2005 study, printed in the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that Omega 3 fatty acids may protect against the body’s accumulation of a protein believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Foods High in Omega 3:
Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Soybeans, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Tofu, Cabbage, Shrimp
Salmon, Herring, Sardines, Anchovies, Snapper, Halibut and other freshwater fish
Paradoxically, Omega 6 increases the body’s ability to clot blood (which is needed for obvious reasons) and allow necessary iinflammation (which, among other things, helps the body combat allergy symptoms). Other benefits include maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. It also helps the bloating and pain associated with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, as well as bringing about hormonal and emotional balance. Be careful men, don’t give your female significant other a box of Omega 6 next Valentine’s Day. You’ll regret it, I’m sure.
The top three sources of Omega 6 in the American diet are soybean oil, cottonseed oil and corn oil. These items can be found in margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, snack foods, processed foods and fast foods.
I know, you’re saying, “Bill, can we eat that stuff?” No, I don’t recommend that you do. Omega 6 is also found in seeds and nuts as well as so-called “healthy” foods such as granola and veggie burgers.
As I mentioned before, most people benefit more by eating these fatty acids in a ratio between 2:1 – 4:1, omega 6 to omega 3. However, as always, one should always consult a doctor prior to taking any supplements. For example, people with specific conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, arthritis, diabetes, or breast tenderness may want to ask their health care providers specifically about taking Omega 6 supplements.