Why fish oils and flaxseed?
Omega-3 fatty acids are classified as fats, but they are not utilized in our bodies in the same way as saturated fats. They also do not have the same adverse health effects of other fats.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential nutrients for our bodies to function properly. Most people these days (and by that I mean you) consume a very imbalanced amount of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. Many of the foods that we commonly consume are abundant in omega-6 fatty acids. (Vegetarians may be even more deficient, but that is another story for another post)
As products that needed a longer shelf life were needed, vegetable and other oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids began to be used. Sunflower, corn, safflower and canola oil are just some of these products. As maximum shelf life became more important, foods rich in omega-3’s were excluded.
Modern methods of animal farming have also caused a decline in the omega 3 content of our meats and eggs. Once upon a time when stock was fed on grass plants, clover and other green leaves, the meat produced on these animals was high in omega 3’s. Now that animals and chickens are fed on seeds and grains, the once rich in omega 3 meats and eggs are now deficient. Chances are the fish that you eat are also deficient in omega 3’s due to the fact that they are probably farmed and fed grain products as well instead of teh phytoplankton that provides the omega 3’s.
This is why I recommend that you include fish oils in your diet every day and also include flaxseed oil several times per week. Some of the benefits are:
- helps to regulate insulin levels and blood sugar levels thus helping with weight control and diabetes control
- improves metabolism
- decreases cravings
- shortens recovery time from hard training sessions
- improves stamina and endurance
- helps asthma control
- improves arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
- increases calcium absorption from the gut and reduces urinary excretion of calcium
- improves bone strength by increasing amount of calcium deposited in bones
- can help with ADHD and other mood or mental disorders including depression and impulsive behaviours
- improves the health of your heart and cholesterol levels
I could go on and on with more benefits. As part of a healthy eating plan, you absolutely must consume more omega-3 fatty acids. How do you do that?
- Add fish oils capsules to your plan every day
- Eat oily fish like salmon at least twice per week (as well as taking capsules)
- Add flaxseed oil to your diet several times per week. It can be added to yoghurt or your protein shakes. You can make a yummy salad or steamed vegie dressing by mixing flaxseed oil with citrus juice or vinegar. Try adding mustard to your dressing or your favourite herbs. Add it to your cottage cheese. Experiment with your own ideas
Further information can be found:
The Healing Power of Flax by Herb Joiner-Bey