ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS …aka EFAs ARE THE HEALTHY FATS WE NEED and are essential for the healthy functioning of every organ, cell, and tissue in your body. They are vital for cell oxygenation, proper brain and nerve function, health skin, lipid and metabolism regulation, prostaglandin and hormone formation, rapid recovery of fatigued muscles, etc. EFA’s are anti- inflammatory, brain and cardio protective, and necessary for any weight loss program.
Unfortunately, although our modern day diets are high in fat, it is not the “good” kind of fat. Our foods are cooked with overheated, processed, and often rancid oils. The delicate EFA’s in oil are completely destroyed by high temperatures. In fact, prolonged heat completely changes an oil’s molecular structure, making it rancid, toxic and very difficult for our bodies to digest and assimilate.
Essential fatty acids are healthy fats, the “good” kind of fats, fats that heal. They are “essential” because our bodies do not manufacture them, so they must be supplied by specific foods or through supplementation. If we get the right kind of fats in the right amounts and balances, they build our health and keep us healthy. The wrong kinds of fats cause degenerative diseases. We need to choose healthy fats every day.
FACT: YOUR BODY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT FAT.
- The human brain is 60% fat.
- Fat maintains the integrity of the nervous system, your brain’s “communication center” with the rest of your body.
- Fat is needed by all the cells in your body: Nerve cells, eye cells, brain cells and even heart cells need fat to survive.
- Your body needs fat in order to properly absorb and use crucial vitamins such as A, D, E, K and Beta-Carotene
- Fat boosts your immune system and acts as a shield to keep out harmful germs and microbes that can cause illness.
Essential Fatty Acids Are For Everyone
BUT NOT JUST ANY FAT WILL DO!
Before you throw your hands up excitedly and head for a double burger and a pint of ice cream, you need to know that your body needs a certain kind of fat – a kind that isn’t contained in all of those tempting fast foods or decadent desserts. What your body really wants are Essential Fatty Acids
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
They’re not called “essential” for nothing. Every cell in your body is made of these specialized fats, and these cells need a continuous supply of these fatty acids in order to function at its peak. Since your body doesn’t produce these acids naturally, it depends on you to provide them.
HOW TO TELL WHEN YOU AREN’T GETTING ENOUGH…
No doubt that you or someone you know is suffering from one, if not more, of these common ailments – all signs that you aren’t getting enough Essential Fatty Acids from your diet. Symptoms include:
- Depression or Hyperactivity
- Learning Difficulties
- High Blood Pressure
- Dry skin and hair; impaired nail growth
- Chronic eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis; adult acne
- Chronic diarrhea; Chron’s disease; Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity
- Irritability and/or nervousness; PMS, mood change
- Have emphysema, asthma, or other chronic lung disease
- History of infertility or impotence
- Chronic depression
- Low metabolic rate; weight gain
If left untreated, a deficiency in Essential Fatty Acids could lead to:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Intestinal Disorders
SO WHERE DO ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS COME FROM?
Essential Fatty Acids Foods - Some of the best and healthiest sources of these critical nutrients include:
- Salmon, Herring and Mackerel
- Hemp Hearts and Hemp Oil
- Walnuts and Almonds
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Olive Oil and Flaxseed Oil
- Whole Grain Foods
- Lean Meats and Eggs
Adding these products into a diet with other highly nutritional foods and exercise can ensure that you’re giving your body the best possible combination of disease fighting, health-boosting nutrients it needs.
WHAT IF I’M VEGETARIAN OR ALLERGIC TO NUTS?
We realize that some people simply can’t add these types of foods to their diet. In these cases, or even if you’re not on a restricted diet, we recommend getting your Essential Fatty Acids from hemp hearts or hemp seed oil, both of which are packed with the same compounds as the foods listed above, but are odorless and tasteless, so you can use them virtually anywhere! Add them to a salad, baked potato or in a hot, steaming bowl of oatmeal. You won’t even realize they’re in there, and you’re doing your body a huge favor!
Do you need help? Just ask as a Chartered Herbalist, I specialize in helping people achieve their overall wellness goals. I can help put you on the road to achieving good health and a sense of well-being. I’m here to answer any questions you have and to help you choose the best products.
3 Ways to Enjoy some healthy fats today!
- Try these recipes designed to be delicious and full of good fats and protein.
- Choose grass fed, naturally raised organic meats
- The the AlumniWellness Whole 10 Challenge
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bronson
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Fitness has become a imperative part of my life, enjoying good health and maintaining a physique decent enough to show off in the mirror without cringing is important - so listen, I’ll be posting all sorts of health, fitness, dietary advice plus more as it relates to my personal experience and journey to optimum health. Other topics of love, life and what makes us happy will be sprinkled lightly like powdered sugar. Sugar? I didn’t say that, bad start.