essential fatty acids

Our bodies require fats to operate properly

Despite the numerous low fat products now available and consumed,the fat they took out of the low fat products is replaced with sugars so that now we have we have a severe obesity problem in both adultw and young children young children

Our dietary habits have declined so dramatically over the last two generations that children and adults are nutritionally deficient

While we can still operate at this basic level, we can see and feel the effects when we look at the common illness that people are suffering from

  • heart disease
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • obesity

These are all imbalances that can either be resolved or greatly helped with a simple change in diet and lifestyle

The longer we leave it the worse the problem becomes

Look in your shopping trolley

  • how much of the food that you are purchasing is in its natural state?
  • how much do you spend on fresh fruit and vegetables compared to the packaged, frozen and canned foods
  • how much water are you drinking a day compared to soft drinks, coffee and alcohol?

Awareness brings change

 Important parts of a healthy diet are the essential fatty acids (EFAs)

They are called essential because they cannot be made by the body

All cells in the body require EFAs

They are important because they are needed for rebuilding and producing new cells

With sufficient EFAs the body is also able to produce prostaglandins.

These are hormone like substances that are chemical messengers and regulators of various bodily processes

EFAs are found in high concentrations in the brain and help with the transmission of nerve impulses

That is why it is so important that pregnant and breast feeding mothers have enough EFAs in their diet for the optimum brain development of their foetus and baby

Omega-3 and Omega-6

The two basic categories of EFAs are called omega-3 and omega-6

We are able to consume most of our omega-6 fatty acids needs by including whole grains and breads in our diet and one tablespoon of highly polyunsaturated vegetable oil per day such as olive oil, sunflower or safflower oil. Salad dressing is a good way of including EFAs in your diet

It is the omega-3 fatty acids that we are lacking

These are found mainly in fish oils and flaxseeds

That is why it is so important to eat at least three serves of fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, rainbow trout, sardines or herrings a week

Flaxseeds can also be added to cereals and yoghurt

If you suffer from constipation a teaspoon or two of flaxseeds soaked in a little water and then drunk will not only supply you with some omega-3 fatty acids but also help keep you digestive system working well

If you do not like fish, I would suggest you supplementing your diet with fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules.

 A deficiency of EFAs can have profound physiological effects

In babies it can cause the skin to become flaky and itchy, sores may appear on the scalp, there may be diarrhoea, infections, and delayed wound healing and growth

In adults skin disorders and anaemia are prominent

By including all the essential fatty acids in your diet improvements will be seen in both skin and hair

EFAs can also have positive effect on high blood pressure, arthritis, eczema, dermatitis, candida, heart disease and help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels