These days you can’t walk through a grocery store without seeing “Omega 3” stamped all over. But what does that really mean and why is it important? So, for starters we’re talking about Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), both Omega 3 and Omega 6. By “essential” we mean that these fatty acids cannot be created by your body and instead you must eat and digest them.
Add info about ratio
While the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids should be about 3:1, in our typical American diet, that ratio tends closer to 20:1 or even 40:1! Arachidonic acid, found in Omega 6, is made in excess by animals fed corn, soy and grains and is quite inflammatory.
Omega 3s, however, can help us increase our metabolic rate, lower blood cholesterol, lose weight and lower triglycerides. Omega 3s can also keep our brain strong and functioning, keep our blood thinner and healthier, and help reduce inflammation caused by diet or health condition.
But in addition to simply ingesting our Omega 3’s, it’s critical that we also take in the nutrients that allow us to utilize them. These include Vitamin B3, B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Zinc.
Health conditions linked to insufficient intake of Omega 3’s include (but aren’t limited to): allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune conditions, cancer, dementia, depression, dermatitis, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, PMS and reheumatoid arthritis.
Looking for healthy Omega 3’s in your diet? Well the very best source would be wild caught, cold water fish, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, cod and halibut. Other sources might include pastured eggs, pastured dairy, and pastured, grass fed beef. Vegetarian sources include chia seed, flaxseed, seaweed, spirulina, cholera, hemp seed, pumpkin seed and cod liver oil.
While we already tend to get plenty of Omega 6’s in our diet, if you are looking for good, healthy choices, look to walnut, sunflower, safflower oil, oils of borage, black currant, evening primose. Other choices could include soy and corn, but they are already so present in most diets AND tend to be heavily modified. Look for organic, non-GMO versions.