While health experts argue the benefits of some health supplements, the evidence continues to mount in favor of fish oil. Fish and fish oil supplements supply us with the Omega 3 fatty acids that are needed for heart and brain health. Even the American Heart Association strongly endorses the use of fish oil for cardiovascular health. Why? Because those with diets rich in these fats are less likely to have high blood pressure or irregular heart rhythms, and are less likely to die from heart attacks or strokes.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial for brain health. The human brain is more than sixty percent structural fat. But, the type of fat needed for the brain to function properly is Omega 3 fatty acids. According to recent research, decreasing your intake of Omega 6 fats (primarily vegetable oils) along with increasing Omega 3 fatty acids, reduces the risk of depression, aggressive behavior, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia and lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Other current studies with these fats have shown benefits with regards to cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and other health related conditions.
Of course we all know that there are good fats and bad fats. Any artificially produced fat, called trans fats, are not good for us and saturated fats should always be kept at a minimum.
But there is a type of fat called EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) that are not only good for you but essential for normal growth and development. Furthermore, your body can’t manufacture them, so you must get them from your diet. Essential Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated and are grouped into Omega 6 and Omega 3’s.
Although both types of Omegas are essential for health, experts agree that our diet ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is greatly unbalanced. While our ancestor’s diets consisted of a diet ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of about 1:1, our modern dietary habits now reflect a ratio closer to 20:1 to 50:1.
According to Dr. Donald Rudin, author of Omega 3 Oils, fatty acids are the main structural components of every cell membrane in the body, and therefore influence every process in the cell. He concludes that a balanced intake of essential fatty acids is necessary for both healthy cell function and a sense of well-being.
The permeability of the cell depends on the essential fatty acids. This allows nutrients into the cell and toxins to escape. When we rely on other fats to do the job required of Omegas 3 fats the structure of the membrane of each cell becomes stiff and unable to remain healthy enough to do its job.
The primary sources of Omega 6 fats are canola, soy, corn, safflower and sunflower oil. These oils are overabundant in the typical diet, which explains our excess Omega 6 levels. Omega 3 fats are typically found in flaxseed, walnuts and fish.
The fatty acids found in cold-water fish, such as tuna, salmon, trout and mackerel consists of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).These in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) can be found in flaxseed and walnut oils, and seaweed. However, the body must convert ALA to DHA and EPA to derive the heart & brain healthy benefit. This conversion however, is often difficult for some people to make. Therefore getting your fat acids directly from cold water fish or fish oil supplements may be your best bet.
Omega 3 fatty acids…An important addition to True Healthy Living Now!
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Passionate about health Darlene Tabler is a natural health advocate, investigator and researcher who believes that we as a collective have been sold a bill of goods where true health is concerned. It’s time to take our power and our health into our own hands! To learn how to begin your journey to good health click on the blog below.
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