It is widely accepted that the typical American diet has far too high an amount of fat. 641 calories per day of added fat according to USDA “average daily calories” in 2008. With such a high amount it would be easy to assume the daily Omega 3 need is reached within that. Unfortunately not. Many of us are Omega 3 deficient with serious negative health repercussions.
Here are 6 ways your health could be suffering as a result of an Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency
Omega 3 fatty acids work to increase cell activity. So they are highly important for cell metabolism. A person with a diet deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids likely has a slowed metabolism, leading to excess weight gain.
40% of deaths caused by heart disease were attributed to high LDL cholesterol levels. Adding Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce these levels, lowering the chance of sudden cardiac failure.
This rash is a relatively common discomfort that most wouldn’t attribute to an Omega 3 deficiency, but according to one study, it can be improved by up to 23% simply by supplementing Omega 3 fatty acid DHA. This is likely because this essential nutrient reduces inflammation.
Omega 3’s are powerful inflammation fighters. They can decrease the swelling between joints experienced by those suffering from arthritis. Taking an Omega 3 supplement can reduce joint tenderness and stiffness, meaning people with arthritis may be able to take less pain meds simply by adding this natural alternative. Additional study has shown that Omega 3’s may combat the cartilage destruction caused by osteoarthritis.
With about 60% of the brain made up of Omega 3 fatty acids it’s no wonder they are essential! If not enough are eaten the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells can deplete, meaning messages being sent through the brain are either slowed or stopped. In some studies a link has been found between increasing Omega 3’s in the diet and decreased learning disability symptoms, such as ADD.
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In countries where Omega 3’s are eaten more frequently, cases of depression are lower by almost 60%. Serotonin is mostly responsible for a person’s sense of happiness. A large component of this neurotransmitter is, you guessed it, Omega 3 fatty acids!
So why, when you go to the doctor with these symptoms, does he/she not recommend an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement? Probably because more money is to be made off of Ritalin, NSAIDS, Prozac and heart medications.
How to get more Omega 3 fatty acids
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Fortunately, this essential nutrient can be found in many foods. According to this source:
There are three types of omega-3’s: alpha-linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. HA and EPA are the most studied sources for health benefits, and are primarily found in seafoods, such as salmon, tuna, swordfish, anchovies, sardines, and herring. It is also found as a vegan sea source in algae. ALA is a source of omega 3’s found in plant sources, such as flaxseed and walnuts.
Vegans should note that while the body can convert ALA into DHA and EPA, it is a less efficient system. These two of the 3 fatty acids are still vital to overall well being and are considered “essential” fatty acids because the body cannot manufacture them.
Some of our readers have found taking a supplement helpful to make sure they are not missing their body’s daily Omega 3 requirements. One healthy, balanced, digestible Omega 3 supplement option is Eisenstein Centre’s Omega 3×2.
An added bonus to this one is the enteric coating of these softgels makes it easy for people to benefit from Omega 3 fish oils, without having to experience the less-than-favorable fish oil taste.
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