Omega-3 fatty acids, what’s all the rage!?
Omega-3’s are essential anti-inflammatory acids that you must get from your diet. Any dietary nutrient that contains ‘essential’ means your body cannot produce it on its own and, therefore, must be ‘supplemented’ by other outside sources like your diet. On the contrary, there are omega-6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory. Our bodies need both. However, in the typical American diet we create an imbalance of the two creating a deficit of the 3’s and a surplus of the 6’s. Among other daily and dietary factors, this puts us in an inflamed state – an optimal state for the development of disease.
When it comes to fats, omega-3 fatty acids are not one we want to cut back on. They help lower triglyceride blood levels (good for our heart), curb joint stiffness and pain (especially related to Rheumatoid arthritis), are important for the visual and neurological development in infants, and other studies show evidence they may protect against Alzheimer’s, dementia, asthma, cancer, lupus, eczema, and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly found from fish sources, but can also be found in other food sources. These dietary sources include:
-Flax seeds or flax seed oils
-Grass-fed animal fat
-Leafy vegetables, like spinach
If you are struggling with getting enough omega-3 fatty acids through your diet, you can always find a quality fish oil or omega-3 supplementation. Keep it in a dark, cool place to avoid oxidation of the supplement. To check if it may be oxidized you can cut open the gel capsule and see if it smells rotten. It is better to take a small amount of a quality supplement than a large amount of a cheap one (don’t skimp on quality!). We here at the office recommend a plant-based alternative by Dr Ohhira’s that you can find at www.essentialformulas.com.
Click to read more on the anti-inflammatory diet.