What are essentials fatty acids (EFA’s) and why should you incorporate them into your diet?
Certain types of healthy fats are required for the body to function properly and maintain optimal health. These fats are called essential because the body cannot make them on its own and must therefore get them through diet and supplementation. The two primary EFA’s are commonly called Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. EFA’s are necessary for numerous bodily functions including:
-thyroid and adrenal function
-development and functioning of the brain and nervous system
-regulation of blood pressure, immune and inflammatory responses
Omega 6 Fatty Acids are in involved in blood clotting while Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce clotting, so it’s important to have a balance of both. Good sources of Omega 6’s include nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes, so it’s easy to see how most Americans get an abundance of these fats. Omega 3’s, however, are more difficult to get from food since they are primarily found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. This is why supplementing with a high quality fish or flax oil is important, such as Fish Oil Pure by Irwin Naturals. Omega 3’s are particularly anti-inflammatory. Barlean’s Omega Swirl Flax Seed Oil is a good vegan form of essential fats, and very tasty as well. Naturally sweetened with xylitol, it can be taken straight or mixed with your favorite yogurt or smoothie.
There is research suggesting that a higher intake Omega 3 fatty acids leads to a reduction in cardiovascular disease and a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, and the key is getting enough EFA’s to be beneficial. This is why supplementation of fish and/or flax seed oil is a great idea, of course in addition to getting healthy fats naturally in the foods that we eat.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about essential fats and anything else health related, or stop by SD Discount Nutrition Superstore in Downtown San Diego. We’re always here and happy to help with your health and nutritional needs.