What are Omega Essential Fatty Acids?
Omega Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fats that are responsible for proper function of all cells in the body, for that reason they are critical to overall health.
These fats are identified as essential due to the fact that your body cannot function with out them, but because the body is unable to manufacture them, omegas must be obtained from our diet.
Sources of Omegas
Omega EFA can be added to our diet through nutritional supplements as well as through a variety of foods. Popular EFA supplements include:
- Fish oil
- Flax oil and fiber
- Chia seed fiber and oil
- Coconut oil
- Borage and Evening Primrose oil
There is a large selection of foods that naturally contain Omegas. With the growing popularity of EFA, due to recent studies supporting their health benefits, some companies are now adding omegas to products, such as peanut butter, cereals, even orange juice.
Some good sources of naturally occurring omegas are:
- Fish – Salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and tuna
- Nuts- walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, and cashews
- Seeds- Pumpkin, flax, sunflower, sesame and hemp seeds
- Oils- Flax, canola, soybean, wheat germ and olive oils
- Some fruits and vegetables- avocado, olives, collards, kale and spinach
- Grass-fed meats and eggs
- Milk and cheese from grass-fed animals
What are Omegas beneficial for?:
There are several different omegas, including Omega 3, 6 and 9, each having unique health benefits, with various scientific studies verifying their benefits.
Two important types of Omega 3 are EPA and DHA
EPA- for healthy heart and body
- Maintains a health heart and circulatory system
- Enhances joint flexibility and movement
- Promotes healthy immune function
- Supports optimal metabolism and body composition
- Promotes balanced blood sugar levels
- Supports the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response
DHA- for healthy mood, mind, and memory
- Supports learning and memory
- Promotes positive mood and well-being
- Supports and protects the brain, eyes, and nervous and immune system
- Essential for the proper development of infants and children
- Recommended by doctors for pregnant and lactating women
GLA (Omega 6) – for healthy skin, hair and hormones
- Nourishes hair and skin
- Supports healthy joints
- Enhances hormonal balance
- Maintains optimal body fat metabolism
- Provides a “feel good” effect and improves moods
Oleic Acid (Omega 9) – for healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Major constituent of the “Mediterranean diet” associated with lower incidence of chronic degenerative diseases such as coronary heart disease
- Supports healthy blood vessel function
- Promotes healthy cell membrane structure
For the month of August, look for signs throughout the store pointing out foods with naturally occurring Omegas as well as supplements and items with added Omegas. Including these foods in your diet can help you reach your daily goal of omega essential fatty acids, helping you achieve and maintain good health.