Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil capsules (tran, trankapsler)

Fish oil capsules (tran, trankapsler) (Photo credit: jcoterhals)

So let’s sort through what omega-3 fatty acids are and why it is important to ensure we have an adequate supply!  The human diet requires three thing to maintain good health:   protein, carbohydrates and fats.  But not all fats are the same.  The kinds of fat we want to avoid are cancer and heart disease feeding trans fats (these are made  for processed foods).  Try to steer your family away from those commercially baked goods, most fast food, crackers, processed cheese etc.  Saturated fats are man made but also not a healthy fat. These are in meat and dairy.  Omega- 3 fats are called unsaturated fats along with omega-6 and omega-9.  Omega-6 is found in corn oil and animal fats while omega-9 is in olive oil.  Omega-3, the healthiest of these, is found in fish and canola, flaxseed and walnut oil.  One of the benefits of omega-3 is its ability to protect us from cancer.  Fish oil has been shown to help against both tumour progression and metastases or spread!  This applies for both prostate and breast cancer.  For people with heart disease, it helps lower the body’s response to stress by regulating blood pressure.  It’s also showing promise with cognition–helping to slow the progression of dementia.  It is also great for mood/anxiety.  And for our children’s developing little minds perhaps it holds the most potential.  It is essential for brain and nerve development and enhances learning capabilities.  Please take only molecularly distilled (it will say this right on the bottle).  At my house we take 1-2 grams but also  use other sources of omega-3 such as ground walnuts in smoothies and flax oil.  Another fantastic source are chia seeds which you can buy at any health store.  We also add these to smoothies.  But the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids seems to be flax seeds.  Just grind them up in your coffee grinder and add to cereal, salads, smoothies or whatever you prefer!

 

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