Omega-3s are essential fatty acids found in fish and fish oil. About 15 percent of the alpha linolenic acid in flaxseed oil will also convert to omega-3s in the body of a healthy person. According to the National Research Council, more than sixty health conditions have been shown to benefit from essential fatty acid supplementation. Omega-3s help reduce systemic and localized inflammation; they also treat dry skin, depression, PMS and menstrual cramps, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and poor circulation. Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, and krill are all excellent sources of omega-3s, as they are all naturally low in mercury.
Balancing Your Fats
It’s important to have the right balance of different fats in your diet. Most sources of pro-inflammatory omega-6s can be found in vegetable, corn, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils, and should be avoided. However, there are a group of beneficial omega-6 fats, which are anti-inflammatory: black currant seed, borage, and evening primrose oil, found mostly in supplement form. The trick lies in keeping omega-6 fats in balance with omega-3s to the tune of at least a 3-to-1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats.
Most of us consume too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats, due to our high consumption of vegetable oils coupled with eating grain-fed animals, corn, and soy; the typical American has a 20-to-1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. This is a deal breaker for the human body!
The Power of Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids help improve thyroid hormone signaling pathways in the liver, which means that the precious thyroid hormones in our bodies will reach their targeted cells. Omega-3s also help ease inflammation that is secondary to thyroid dysfunction. Cooking with coconut oil also has the potential to greatly improve thyroid system function because it stimulates the metabolism and boosts energy.
Omega-3 fats also help relieve depression. Brain tissue is composed of 60 percent fat, so feeding the correct fats to the brain on a daily basis boosts serotonin naturally. Omega-3s also fight inflammation in the gut, which is the primary place of serotonin and other neurotransmitter production. Treating the gut and the brain simultaneously can help nip depression in the bud.
Recommended Source of Omega-3s
Here in my Living Gorgeous online store, I promote Poliquin's High Concentrate EPA-DHA Liquid. How much should you be taking per day? My rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of omega-3s per 30-50 lbs of body weight. So on average, this works out to 1-2 teaspoons per day for children, and 1 tablespoon per day for adults. But because this is a high-potency omega-3, you can actually take half the amount and still get the same results. Easy peasy!