You’ve likely heard the term polyunsaturated fatty acids. This group of fatty acids includes some essential fatty acids.
Yes, there are two fatty acids we know of that are essential for humans and quite necessary for good health. They are alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). We must get essential fatty acids from what we eat (or drink) because our bodies cannot synthesize them.
With Google in our lives, we can look up anything and even study the hard science around it. I encourage you to do some Googling about essential fatty acids. This post will give you a quick tip on omega 3, and then you can dig up the research if you want to know more.
Diets that have more omega 3 than omega 6 are ideal. Too much omega 6 compared to omega 3 is not ideal.
We don’t always choose good food sources of fatty acids. Omega 3 (and 6) are found in meat, fish, seeds, and nuts. Unfortunately, meat and fish also have a lot of saturated fat (not good for us), and are linked to some serious cancers. As far as seeds, many people consume seed oils (in prepared foods) instead of eating raw seeds (like sunflower seeds).
In a nutshell (no omega pun intended), most of us are lacking in omega 3 fatty acids, yet we seem to get loads of the omega 6 variety—often way too much—especially from bad sources of processed oils such as corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil that are added to “foods.” It’s a great idea to ditch these oils (and likely the “food” they come in, too) from your diet. Too much omega 6 breeds inflammation which can lead to heart troubles and stroke.
Eat more omega 3s if you think you are lacking. Omega 3 is vital for healthy living. Through a certain enzyme in the body, omega 3s can be converted to EPA, and then some of that to DHA, which help block inflammation (caused by artery injury) and clotting. They even help stave off heart damage and fatal heart arrhythmia.
One of the all time best sources of omega 3 is flaxseed (NOT the oil). Eat 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed daily for optimum benefits. You have to consume it ground to make a difference for your health, so if you buy it whole (it’s cheaper that way), grind it yourself in a coffee grinder or mini food processor and store it in the fridge (yes, keep it cool).
Here are THREE easy ways to get your flaxseed into your daily eating regimen:
1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your smoothie.
One of my favorite fruit smoothies has a banana, a cup of berries (any kind, or mixed), cinnamon, 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed, sometimes 1 tablespoon of chia seeds too, and about 3/4 a cup of homemade almond milk or filtered water. I also often add frozen or fresh spinach or broccoli—about a cup—all organic. If you want it sweeter, add some Medjool dates. The more stuff you add, the more liquid you need.
2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your oatmeal.
Often my oatmeal has 1 cup of cooked oats, some banana, a half cup of berries (any kind), cinnamon, 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, a small handful of some kind of nut like pecan or walnut, and some homemade almond or cashew milk.
(I cook the oats, the add the ground flaxseed and chia seeds right to the pot of cooked oats, then I stir it up. Next, I put the oatmeal in a bowl and add my fruit, nuts, and milk).
3. Enjoy a slice of Ezekiel toast (made with Ezekiel bread) with nut butter and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed sprinkled on top.
Top it with bananas, or strawberries, or cinnamon, or all three!
1, 2, 3 easy ways to get your omega 3s without eating meat or fish (fish is almost always FULL of really bad toxins and can even spread disease).
P.S. Here is a BONUS way to get flaxseed into your diet: eat a muffin with about a tablespoon or so of flaxseed in it. Ask your local coffee shop for the ingredients (stay clear of junk), or better yet, make your own muffins. Find an easy, healthy base recipe and make it a time or two a month, adding nuts and fruit for variety, Make sure all the ingredients are excellent and add to your health, and not rob you of your health.