You have most likely heard of omega-3s by now, but do you know what they are and why you need them? And what is the relationship between omega-3s, or fatty acids, and EPA and DHA? Fatty acids are integral to all functions of the body, including the brain, organs, hormones, respiratory system, and maintaining gorgeous skin and good circulation.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
There are two EFAs, or essential fatty acids, that the body cannot produce on its own: omega-3 and omega-6. These have to be ingested. Omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic fatty acid) is an essential fatty acid that plays a key role in healthy brain and cardiovascular functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in the following foods:
- Whole grains
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Leafy green veggies
- Flax seeds
Omega-3s are also found in fatty cold water fish, like salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and mackerel. That said, it is important to get omega-3s from a variety of foods, and source your fish carefully as certain types can be high in mercury. There is no doubt that omega-3s are a necessary and powerful component of a healthy diet. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and protective against asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression, among other conditions, and are also key to beautiful skin and great digestion.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids combined with omega-3s give so many powerful health and beauty benefits, but the key to fatty acids lies in getting the balance right. We need to eat about twice as much omega-6 as omega-3, at a ratio of about 2:1. The standard American diet tends to be super imbalanced in terms of fatty acid consumption.
With industrialized oils, and lots of junk and fast foods, it’s common for most people to be eating 10 to 15 times the amount of omega-6s to omega-3s, and this imbalance can undermine the health benefits of these essential fatty acids. Omega-6s are a bit tricky in that, while they are high in anti-inflammatory linoleic acid, they are also high in arachidonic acid, which can cause inflammation, so it’s important not to overdo these in the diet, and balance them out with omega-3s.
What are EPA and DHA?
Omega-3 fatty acids are converted in the body to EPA and DHA, which are unsaturated fats that play an important role in maintaining our health and well being. EPA and DHA are especially supportive of vision health, and proper brain development in infants. A lack of DHA has been linked to Alzheimer’s, attention deficit disorders, and cystic fibrosis, and studies also suggest it may help with symptoms of depression.
Getting enough of these essential omega-3s is easy with our EPA-DHA supplement, which is sourced from cold water fish, and supports the immune and nervous systems, cardiovascular health, and healthy musculoskeletal structure. EPA-DHA combined with ongoing and periodic cleansing, and a whole foods, plant based diet tailored to your individual needs, will empower you to live your best and most vibrant life yet!
Written by Carolyn de Lorenzo
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