Face-Skin-Body / Vitamins and Nutrients

Decoding Omegas: O-3

Apparently my summer free time has led to laziness rather than my anticipated blog time. Apologies are in order. So very sorry. So again, I am promising to be more punctual about posts that need to be written. Like this one.

Omegas are a strange complicated thing that certain tv doctors and health magazines attempt to simplify. When in fact, it does require a balance of sorts based on ones body type, geographical location, and dietary needs.

Geographical location may sound like an odd stipulation to include. Where in fact, its quite necessary. The skin, our largest organ, is most highly influenced by our intake of omegas and where we live affects our skin. 

Moving on…I’ve now mentioned omegas twice in this very intangible, mysterious way. The ones I’ll attempt to clarify are Omega 3, 6, and 9. Each dedicated to its own time and space, 6 and 9 will follow within the next few days.

Omega-3

These are an essential fatty acids that are a type of polyunsaturated fat. It cannot be manufactured by the body and therefore must be consumed. Foods such as fish (mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna, bluefish), nut and plant-based oils, such as canola oil and sunflower oils are a good source of O-3. These foods are also high in calories so be mindful and eat them in moderation.

In addition there are 3 types of O-3. They are ALA, DHA, and EPA.

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (AHA) is found in flaxseed, canola and soybean oils, and walnuts. AHA helps to reduce heart disease and stroke, enhance the elasticity of our blood vessels and prevent build up of harmful fat deposits in our arteries.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are found in those fatty fish. They do a great deal toward protecting eye health, aiding in brain development, and may even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

If you are vegan or are not ingesting a significant amount of this essential nutrient, a supplement might be the right choice for you. Vegan options may include a combination of ground or liquid flax seed or a DHA supplement. Experts suggest 1 gram (or 1000 milligrams) of AHA and DHA/EPA combined daily. People with certain health conditions may take up to 4 grams a day, but only under a medical doctor’s supervision. The most common side effect from a fish oil supplement is indigestion and gas. Getting a supplement with an enteric coating might help. Many supplements will contain a combination of 3-6-9. As we continue, I will recommend my preferred combination supplements and help you to find the right one for your body. Most important of all, is maintaining a balanced diet and aiming to eat these items and not a vitamin. Up next, Omega-6.

Taylor Ellen Kearns

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