Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Omega 3 Sources

Best Omega 3 Sources

Omega-3s and Your Genes
The single most important SuperHealth step you can take to protect your genetic environment is to have the right ratio of omega -3 fatty acids to omega 6 fatty acids. Both of these are forms of essential fatty acids and both are necessary for human health. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential because the body cant produce them and must rely on dietary supplements which are vital to health.

Both of these fatty acids are similar enough in molecular structure that they compete for entry into the cell membranes around each cell in our body. The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega 3 from free range animals

History of Fatty Acids In Our Diet
About a century ago Americans got a significant percent of dietary fat from free range animals. This source of fat had had high levels of omega 3. Fast forward to today, a century later two important changes have occurred in our diets and it has had a major shift in our essential fatty acid balance. For one the meats we consume are much lower in omega 3 fatty acids. Since these animals are no longer primarily free range, their diets are now rich in omega-6s and they so are the meats they produce. And our packaged foods are huge in omega 6 due to the increasing use of corn, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils that are used to produce them. The end result of these 2 critical changes is that essential health promoting omega 3 fatty acids have been crowded in our diets. This is not to say that Omega 6 fatty acids are bad as Omega 6 fatty acids keep the skin and hair healthy and have various other important functions, but they can also create inflammatory compounds in the body.

Reduce your Omega 6 to Omega 3 Ratio and lower inflammation

Research on Omega 3
There has been speculation that due to this gradual change in the source of fatty acids the effect on both our mental and physical health could be earth shattering to our overall being. For one thing, the body relies on a rich source of omega 3 to build flexible and efficient cell membranes. Cell membranes are made up of fat, the integrity and fluidity of our cell membranes is determined in large part by the type of fat we eat. Always remember that a cell membrane that is deficient in omega 3s will function poorly and put you at risk for numerous diseases including strokes, cancer, hypertension and age related conditions.
Solution is to increase amounts of food sources of omega 3 while at the same time decrease omega 6 fatty acids in your diet. The ideal balance of Omega 6 versus Omega 3 in our diet should be around 3:1 to 5:1. Balance your fatty acids is the key!

Best Foods with Omega 3 fatty Acids

Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Very good sources of these healthy fats include scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds. Good sources of these fats include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon and flaxseed and canola oils.

Tips for increasing your Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Cook with canola oil instead of corn or safflower
  • Eat walnuts, soy nuts, pecans ad pumpkin seeds
  • Sprinkle wheat germ and or ground flaxseed on cereal and yogurt
  • Eat Salmon or its sidekick to promote heart health
  • Look for salad dressings that contain some soybean or canola oil
  • Buy Omega 3 enriched eggs like Egglands Best (Eggland's Best eggs provide an important source of Omega-3 fatty acids (115 mg per large egg). Eggland's Best hens are fed flaxseed and canola oil, which provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 to the hen.)

To learn more about the Super Health Benefits of Omega 3 fatty Acids read Dr. Pratts latest book on SuperHealth

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