We all have heard that we need to consume omega 3’s, 6’s and 9’s but do we even know what the difference is between them or what combination which is necessary so we do in fact get a health benefit and not an inflammation response in our body?

The answer for most people will probably be no and in fact, most people just think of fish consumption as being suffice to get your ‘omegas’, however this is not exactly the case.

Lets start with the basics.

Omegas are ‘essential fatty acids’ and are  necessary for normal bodily function including the skin, respiratory system, circulatory system, organs  and the brain.

The body is not able to produce omega 3’s or 6’s on its own, therefore we need to consume these from our food source and in the right proportion.

It is taught from nutritionists that we need approximately double the omega 6’s to 3’s.

Omega 3 (Alpha-linolenic acid) rich foods include:

  • Grains
  • Spirulina
  • Brazil nuts
  • Chia seed oil
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Mustard seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Raw walnuts and walnut oil
  • Hempseed oil
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Fish

Omega 6 (Linoleic Acid) rich foods include:

  • Olive oil
  • Wheat germ
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seed oil
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Sesame oil
  • Hempseed oil
  • Pistachios

 

There are in fact 3 different types of omega 3’s:

  1. EPA
  2. DHA
  3. ALA

EPA and DHA normally are sourced from fish, where as the ALA comes from nuts, seeds, vegetables and the fat off grass-fed meat.

The body generally prefers to get its energy from ALA than any of the other sources, therefore the consumption of this derivative of fatty acids is essential for your health.

Omega 9’s are one essential fatty acid that the body can produce on its own when there is a sufficient amount of omega 3’s and 6’s available. If however there is a deficit, the individual will need to also source these 9’s through food.

Omega 9 rich foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Chia seed oil
  • olives and olive oil

Once your body has a balance of these macronutrients we see many health improvements in areas of:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancers
  • Skin disorders
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Attention disorders
  • Depression
  • Oedema
  • Macular degeneration
  • Digestive difficulties

On the contrary to this balance of omega 3’s and 6’s is an inflammation response that results if our ratios are out and we are consuming way too many 6’s. This scenario unfortunately rings true with many people now a days as omega 6’s are found in a plentiful supply in processed foods. Read the full article here.

 

The omega 6’s naturally cause inflammation in the body and this process has its place for when we are injured and need to immobilise a joint in order for it to repair. This swelling response is however not ideal to be ongoing in the human body.

In fact chronic inflammation is the initiator to all sickness, illness and disease.

In order to counteract the inflammation response from these omega 6’s, it is imperative to get a abundant amount of omega 3’s through your nutrition as these produce hormones that are anti-inflammatory in nature.

Better still; simply avoid all processed food so it becomes much simpler to gain the perfect omega balance and reek the rewards of better health

REFERENCES:

The Health Benefits of Omega 3, 6, 9 Fatty Acids and EPA & DHA

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3-fats/

http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Linoleic-Acid.aspx

http://omega6.wellwise.org/inflammation-omega-3-omega-6-fatty-acid-balance

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