The most common buzz word these days is the idea of Omega fatty acids or essential fatty acids. These chemical structures are things that the body needs in order to maintain cellular health as well as to prevent inflammation in the body. They also help to maintain the integrity of the nervous system in addition to making sure the body is free from certain illnesses. Studies have linked Omega fatty acids with prevention of cancer, limiting disease growth, as well as helping with mental health disorders. These EFAs (essential fatty acids) can not be produced by the body, so they need to be ingested through the diet or in a supplement form.
Omegas 3, 6 & 9 are the three important groups of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's).
They are important because if eaten regularly together with fruit and fresh green vegetables, they can benefit both our health and our skin. These EFA's should form a greater part of our diet than they do but today we eat less and less of them and thereby dismissing the help they offer towards fighting off the premature ageing of our skin.
However, having said that it is important to get the right balance of these fats, too much of one without the other is not good for us. A healthy balance is suggested as four to five parts of omega 3 and one of omega 6. Too much of the omega6 group of fats alone can lead to health problems and many of us today are guilty of using oils in salads, spreads containing oils and oils for cooking.
Mediterranean style diets are healthier than ours as they have a more appropriate balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. People there eat high amounts of whole grains and nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oils and garlic but little red meat that can sometimes be high in omega 6 fats.
Getting the right balance is no only beneficial to our overall health but it will also do a great job in moisturising our skin too. Dry skin will start to improve and in turn lines and wrinkles will begin to diminish.
Towel dry after a hot bath and check how dry your skin is. If it is very dry it may be that the level of intake of Essential Fatty Acids needs to be increased.
There are three different kinds of Omega fatty acids that you will hear about - Omega 3, 6, and 9.
What Do Omega 3 Fatty Acids Do for the Body?
Omega 3 fatty acids are those that are found in oily fishes and in fish oil supplements. These fatty acids are responsible for helping the body create developed neural networks - simply put, they help to build brain power in children as well as adults. Research in the UK has shown that children given EFAs are more likely to score higher on reading tests as well as improve their overall behaviour. Omega 3s are linked with helping those with ADD and ADHD as well, in addition to a variety of other mental health disorders likes OCD and depression. In relation to inflammation in the body, Omega 3 fatty acids can also assist those with arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.
These are a very important group of fats, as they will help increase the body's metabolic rate and that in turn burns off fat. They have anti- inflammatory properties and inflammation can play a big part in skin ageing.
Foods in this group are oily fish, salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and sardines. Some spreads and yoghurts too can contain fats in the omega 3 group and so it is always worthwhile checking labels.
Recent studies from Harvard University have also suggested that Omega 3 fatty acids can also help with high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. Cancer prevention is another commonly listed benefit of Omega 3 fatty acids.
More information on Omega 3 fatty acids including food sources that contain it.
What Do Omega 6 Fatty Acids Do for the Body?
Omega 6 fatty acids are those found in plant sources like nuts and flax seeds. These essential fatty acids have many of the same benefits as Omega 3 fatty acids, but they are not as widely encouraged as those from fish sources.
This group of fats can be found in avocados, nuts and seeds. Also in margarines and sunflower oils, although good for us, consumption of too much of these fats without being balanced against an intake of foods in the omega 3 groups of foods can be unhealthy.
These fatty acids will still help with inflammation in relation to arthritis and autoimmune diseases, but these EFAs are more commonly referred to in terms of their effect on the skin and hair of the person taking them. Studies have shown that the fatty acids can help to manage acne as well as conditions like psoriasis. Women especially can benefit from Omega 6 fatty acids as they can also help with menstrual disorders and related symptoms.
More information on Omega 6 fatty acids including food sources that contain it.
What Do Omega 9 Fatty Acids Do for the Body?
Like its other essential fatty acid family members, Omega 9 fatty acids have a large role to play in relation to the health of the patient. Found in animal fat and vegetable oils, these fatty acids aren't linked as much with health benefits, but still, they should be a part of a healthy diet.
Cancer prevention as well as heart protection are still possible with Omega 9 fatty acids, but these should be a much smaller part of your diet as they can also include saturated fats, which are harmful to the heart in larger quantities.
More information on Omega 9 fatty acids including food sources that contain it.
How to Get More Essential Fatty Acids in Your Diet
It's simple to get more Omega fatty acids in your diet if you simply look to where the greatest sources of essential fatty acids are - fish, flaxseed, and animal fats. By simply making sure to have a few servings of these items each week, you will be able to maintain a healthy level of protection for your body and the stresses it goes through each day.
To make things easier, fish oil supplements are a great way to get the right levels and balance of Omega 3, 6, and 9 in your diet. These pills are easy to take, easy to digest and simple to remember.
When you make sure to add Omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids into your diet, you will make sure you are doing all that you can for your health and for your body.