The term Omega-3 fatty acids refers to essential fatty acid, meaning your body must have it to live. Unlike the glass of wine or cookie that we MUST have your body actually needs these things to function and, unfortunately, your body is unable to make them. Omega-3’s are crucial in brain function and normal growth for children. There is a correlation that these fatty acids may also reduce the risk of heart disease. Pretty much anything you read will also tell you that a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will keep inflammation at bay.
Let’s sidetrack and talk about Omega-6 fatty acids for a moment. They are also essential fatty acids, however, most people with a standard American diet get way too many. And I mean well above and beyond a normal healthy dose. Accdording to the University of Maryland Medical Center “The typical American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.”
Every time you get more 6’s it diminishes the ratio to the 3’s which equals bad news. This is when inflammation sets in (as many omega-6’s are pro-inflammatory) which looks like arthritis, headaches, fatigue, heart problems, poor memory, skin problems, mood swings, depression, and possibly poor circulation.
There are many conditions in which a proper balance of omega-3’s can positively affect. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, irritable bowel disorder (IBD), mood disorders and many more have research backing the benefit of this wonderful supplement.
Where to Find
The best source of omega-3’s are fatty fish such as halibut, salmon, sardines, mackerel, although you can find it even lake trout and herring as well as in algae called krill. Some nuts, like walnuts, contain omega-3’s however the body has to convert this form to use it and for some people it may not be as effective as what you can get from the fish and seaweed sources.
If you are taking omega-3’s as a supplement you want to make sure you are buying a product that sustainably sources, as well as one that is testing for heavy metals. We choose to carry Nordic Naturals at Awakened Living as we trust both their sourcing methods and quality. They also offer a host of different products that can minimize the supplementation you take overall.