Your body needs essential fatty acids to thrive-whether you get them from food or from essential fatty acids supplements.
Why Fatty Acids Are Essential
If you have a deficiency of essential fatty acids, you could experience symptoms of:
- learning difficulties
- high blood pressure.
People who have long-term essential fatty acid deficiencies could end up suffering from diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart disease, or intestinal disorders.
Incorporating Essential Fatty Acids Into Your Diet
Essential fatty acids are easy to add to your diet. They are found in common foods including: salmon, herring, mackerel, walnuts, almonds, hemp hearts, hemp seed oil, dark green leafy vegetables, olive oil, flaxseed, whole grains, lean meats, and eggs.
Essential fatty acids supplements are even easier. If you don’t eat much fish, nuts, or other food mentioned above, food supplements are a good option for you.
Currently, there are no recommended daily allowances for essential fatty acids because every body requires different amounts. One recommendation is to make sure 3 to 6 percent of your daily calorie intake is from essential fatty acids.
Choosing the Right Essential Fatty Acids Supplements
Omega-3 essential fatty acid is important for good health, but is deficient in most Western diets. Most Western diets do include enough omega-6 essential fatty acids, but not enough omega-3 fatty acids. The unbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids may cause health problems. A healthy balance of the essential fatty acids is five omega-6 to one omega-3. However, because Western diets do not supply enough omega-3, you should eat or supplement two portions of omega-3 for every omega-6 supplement or portion.
Dry skin is one sign that your omega-3 levels might be too low. Health supplements or vitamin supplements containing omega-3 are an easy remedy. Omega-3 is also believed to help other skin problems including acne, psoriasis, and cellulite.
Fish-oil supplements are rich in Omega-3 and provide protection against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing elevated triglyceride levels, and preventing blood clots. They also offer an anti-inflammatory agent to help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, allergies, and other inflammatory disease. Some claim that taking fish oil supplements might actually be healthier than eating fish because rising mercury levels in fish cause the risk of mercury toxicity in people who eat it. The refining process used to make the supplements removes mercury.
Flaxseed oil is another great choice, and your body will slowly convert flaxseed oil into essential fatty acids.