Omega Fatty Acids, Omega Essential Fatty Acids, Omega 3/6/9’s. What do these numbers and words mean? There is so much information in the media about taking supplements that it is easy to become confused. Just because you are confused, I don’t want you to avoid taking supplements. Instead here is the basic information that you need to know to choose which essential oil(s) to take.
Fatty acids are essential for all the systems in your body to work effectively. They fuel our brain and our organs, they are necessary for our skin, our joints, our immune, circulatory and respiratory systems. So, it is extremely important that we take enough of them into our bodies.
There are two main fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce ourselves – they are called “Essential Fatty Acids” (EFA) – they are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Food sources of omega 3 fatty acids include fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna, sardines and herring, oils such as flaxseed or olive oil. Omega 3’s come in 3 forms ALA, DHA and EPA
Food sources of omega 6 fatty acid include nuts, grains, seeds, green, leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, lettuce and specific raw vegetable oils.
The body likes a balance of omega 3’s and 6’s for proper functioning with a ratio of twice as much omega 6’s as omega 3’s or a ratio of 2:1 omega 6’s to omega 3’s. However, if you are eating processed foods you will already be consuming far too many omega 6’s in your diet and, when the balance or ratio is out of proportion in the body, the omega 6’s could begin to cause damage in the form of inflammation.
Omega 9’s that were mentioned are produced naturally by the body whenever there are enough omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the body. If you are not taking in enough 3 and 6 then you can get omega 9’s from avocados, almonds and other nuts and seeds and chia seed or olive oil.
Great information right but still not sure which omega fatty acids to take and how much? If you are eating processed foods then you already have too many omega 6’s in your diet so start eliminating processed foods to improve your health.
Until you can eliminate the processed foods and start eating a whole food diet than I recommend supplementing with an omega 3. Yes, you can add foods high in omega 3’s to your diet but unless you are buying organic, wild fish there are concerns about mercury levels and if you are vegetarian research does not show plant based omega 3’s as sufficient.
There are no official daily recommendation on dosage of omega 3’s however, most health organizations recommend between 250 – 500 mg per day. Start taking the lower end recommended and move upwards over a few weeks to see what feels right for you.
The final question is which product to purchase. Generally cheaper products are not the best quality but the most expensive product could have you paying for a name.
A website to search for information about the best sources or omega 3’s is Reviews.com. They recently posted a great, short article on fish oils at www.reviews.com/fish-oil-supplement/ providing you with information on the best brands to purchase and why.
For more information on how to improve your health or for a no-obligation 15-minute consult, contact Joanna@lifestagesholistics.com and follow Joanna on FB at Life Stages Holistics.