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The Health Benefits of Essential Fats - April 2022

By Nelson Narciso

The quality of the fats we consume has become a commonly discussed topic, and many people are now recognizing that they are not created equal. Omega-6 and omega-3, the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s), have a profound impact on our health and well being. The benefits of EFA’s include, but are not limited to, increased metabolism and energy levels, optimal hormone production, well lubricated joints, proper brain, retina, adrenal and heart function, reduced allergy symptoms, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and the alleviation of migraine headaches. Studies have also shown EFA’s to be important in less obvious ways.

 A developing fetus draws EFA’s from its mother, depleting her stores and leaving less for the next child. This may account for the increase of women suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune conditions and depression. The children also suffer with an increased likelihood of developing ADD or ADHD. Another study even found that each successive child’s IQ decreased. It is clear that EFA’s are of the utmost importance in our diet, but our bodies cannot produce them on their own.

Therefore, the question must be asked: are we getting enough? Over the past 20 years fat intake has been reduced from 42% of our calories to 33%, while obesity has increased from 20% to 55% of the population. Research has found that of that 33%, our western diet may only be getting 1/10th of the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fats. Omega-6 fatty acids have now become far more represented in our diets with a ratio of 20:1. One human study found that people whose muscle cells contain low levels of omega-3s and high levels of omega-6s are more likely to be insulin-resistant and obese, proving the need for an omega-3 rich supplement in the modern diet. Experts agree that two tablespoons of flax seed oil (or approximately 12 capsules) should be consumed every day.

Choose an organic, cold pressed flax seed oil packaged in a non-reactive dark plastic bottle that does not allow any light to penetrate. Both high temperatures and exposure to light can compromise the integrity of the oil. It can be taken with meals by adding it to salad, cold pasta, or even a whey protein shake, but it should never be heated.

Choosing foods such as nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, cold-water fish like mackerel and herring, as well as healthy oils like olive and flax oil is a great way to enjoy healthy fats, in their most natural form, on a daily basis. EFA’s should be part of your basic supplementation program, along with your vitamin and mineral supplements, to achieve and maintain vibrant health.

Nelson NarcisoNelson's Bio: With 15 years experience in the health and wellness field, Nelson Narciso is a well respected nutritional researcher, consultant & educator on Natural Health Product’s and their use. Nelson is a frequent speaker at holistic conventions across the country & a regular lecturer at holistically oriented institutions, high schools and colleges. Nelson’s knowledge & passion for holistic medicine have made him a popular radio guest and a regular contributor to several national natural health publications. - Nelson Narciso Website

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