We often associate the word ‘fat’ with the consumption of heavily processed fast foods and drinks, however believe it or not, there is such a thing as a healthy fat. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), also more commonly recognized as the Omega’s (most importantly Omega 3’s and 6’s) and are actually very important aspect in achieving optimal health. Our body needs both Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and Omega 6 (linolenic acid) most importantly because our bodies cannot produce them, and therefore they must be consumed in our day-to-day diet for our body to function efficiently.
So what do EFA’s actually do?
You may be thinking to yourself, whats so great exactly about these ‘fats’? Well, studies have shown that these super-fats actually contribute to a number of bodily functions that we don’t even really think about – good circulation, skin function, cell division, brain development, immune system, blood pressure and clotting, having healthy reproductive and nervous systems, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties; the list goes on and on. If I haven’t caught your attention yet, how about if I told you that by consuming more foods with a high dose of omega 3 and 6, could actually increase your energy, boost your learning capability, assist in weight loss, and could potentially save your life. They improve your good cholesterol levels in the body, actually decreasing your chances for a stroke and/or heart attack.
So whats the ‘catch’?
There is none. Unless you’re a super do-it-yourselfer and like catching your own fish of course. If you are a big fish eater and eat fish twice of more a week, then your well on your way to a healthy life. If your not the ‘fishy’ type, and still want to boost your diet, heres some great alternatives. Why not toss some walnuts and berries into your green leafy salad? Flax seeds, chia and hemp are also jam-packed full of these super nutrients. Its as simple as throwing in a tablespoon of hemp into your morning yogurt, or even buying free range eggs from the grocery store. If you lead a busy, hectic life like most of us do in todays society, fish oil supplements are also available. Be sure to buy from trusted manufacturers who guarantee that their products are free of heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
Keep in mind also, to keep you on track to becoming a ‘better being’, a good balance of both omega 3 and omega 6 is important, and that more of one can cause deficiencies in the other. Eat a good balance of these above superfoods and enjoy a healthy, happy, long life to come!