No, not Omega Psi Phi- Hi bruhs. No, not the Alpha & Omega- Hi God. I’m talking about Omega-3 and Omega-6. Both of these are polyunsaturated fatty acids (good fats) and have many health benefits! So let’s begin.
Omega-3 have anti-inflammatory properties, while Omega-6 are pro-inflammatory. Inflammation happens when your body is responding to injury and usually you’ll see swelling, a red color etc, itching too. You need to have both anti and pro-inflammatory responses.
Your body needs omega-3s for proper functioning. Such as
- reducing heart disease
- clotting blood
- combating auto-immunes; such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- improving chronic eye dryness (dry eye syndrome)
- brain/cognitive functions
Omega-6s have an important role in brain functioning, growth + development & combating inflammatory skin conditions (such as eczema.)
What you have to realize about Omega-3 & Omega-6 is that they are “essential” meaning your body doesn’t produce these on its own. You have to eat foods with these nutrients to receive the health benefits. With that being said, in our American Diet without really trying, we get more Omega-6 from our foods. Research doesn’t give an exact amount, but the ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s is between 10-17 to 1. This means we eat more foods that promote inflammation– not good! Not good at all, and could possibly cause adverse health effects.
Sources of Omega-3s: green veggies (brussell sprouts, kale, romaine lettuce), flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp, “fatty fish” (salmon sardines & trout)
Sources of Omega-6s- oils ( sunflower, veggie oil), whole grain breads, poultry.
This is the take away point about these essential nutrients. Both are important to your health. You are probably getting more Omega-6s in your diet without trying, but you need to make an effort to get Omega-3s in your diet as well. Go out your way to look to see if the products you are buying have Omega-3s (Trust me, there will be a label letting you know.) Your body needs them, and there’s strong research that links intake Omega-3s & Omega 6s with certain diseases. The best way to do it, have a colorful plate, have a fatty fish like salmon and add hemp or chia or flax to your salads and/or cereals.
I hope you understand the importance of these fatty acids and will start incorporating them in your diet! Let me know about your Omeging! <– new word I created 🙂