Fatty Acids For Dummies

Fri 09 December 2016

You’re probably tired of being told how important vitamins and minerals are to your health…but indulge me for a minute or two and learn a few reasons why you need to pay attention to fatty acids.

 Your body really can’t function without them.

Fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats. You may know them as the “good fats” such as Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, and those found in plant foods. Click here for more information and to read more These “good fats” are created by breaking down other fats. Since they’re essential for health and aren’t produced by the body (except for Omega-9), we need to eat food or take supplements that include them.

This is no hype. Fatty Acids are ESSENTIAL for your health.

They support your body functions in many ways like: such as:

  • Helping in the movement of oxygen through your bloodstream

  • Developing healthy cell membranes and tissue

  • Aiding in the proper functioning of organs

  • Retaining healthy lipid levels in the blood

  • Aiding the functioning of the immune system

  • Aiding brain function

  • Controlling inflammation

  • Helping with blood clotting and in regulating blood pressure

Besides helping to maintain these critical functions, fatty acids can deliver several other benefits. Take a look:

Gifts from Omega-3:

  1. Boosts your brainpower. Researchers have discovered that increasing your Omega-3 intake may actually improve your brain capabilities.
Dr. Alex Richardson, a physiologist at the University of Oxford, and Madeleine Portwood, a special education psychologist, studied the effects of increased Omega-3 in 100 school children. They found that 40% of the kids showed a remarkable improvement in their grades and many developed a new interest in reading and music.
  1. Helps you lose weight. Omega-3 aids in the processing of cholesterol, regulating blood sugar levels, and in the functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates weight. An under-active thyroid causes excessive weight gain.
Several studies have indicated that Omega-3 fatty acids help you burn more calories by increasing your metabolic rate. And, when it comes to weight loss, It’s not how many calories you consume, but how easily you burn them that counts!
  1. Gives you healthy, younger looking skin. If you want supple, glowing skin, eat food containing Omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent premature aging. They also reduce acne, dry, scaly skin, and skin inflammation.
Sources of Fatty Acids

Sad to say, our western diet barely contains any fatty acids. The hydrogenation process, used to add shelf life to canned and instant foods, destroys them.

So…we need to find ways to get this essential nutrient. Eating fresh, unprocessed foods will give you the full benefits.

Fatty acids can be found in certain plants and fish. The list below includes some of the sources for Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids:

  • Oily fish like Salmon, Halibut, Tuna

  • Ground flax seeds and Flax oil (linseed oil)

  • Safflower oil, Rapeseed oil, Soybean oil

  • Mustard oil and Mustard greens

  • Walnut oil and walnuts

  • Wheat Germ Oil

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Broccoli, Kale, Spinach

  • Seaweed

*Sesame Seeds

Omega 9 can be found in the following:

  • Olives, Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Almonds, Peanuts, Pecans, Cashews, Pistachio Nuts, Macadamia Nuts, Hazelnuts
  • Sesame oil
Although oily fish are a good source of fatty acids, please take precautions if you plan to add a significant amount to your diet.

  • Studies show high levels of contamination from radioactive poisons, heavy metals, and industrial pollutants such as mercury in our seafood. Eating farm-raised fish usually eliminates this issue.

  • The EPA and the FDA have also warned that the levels of mercury found in certain types of fish and shellfish can harm young children and endanger pregnant women, as well as those breastfeeding.

Taken correctly and in the right amounts, fatty acids help you stay healthy, smart, young, and fit. Eating a variety of fresh foods with these beneficial nutrients is one of the best things you can do for yourself with minimal effort.

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