What are Essential Fatty Acids and why do we need them?

Essential Fatty Acids I'm sure many of you have heard Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) mentioned, but do you know exactly what they do for you and why they're essential? Essential Fatty Acids are necessary fats that humans cannot synthesize, and must be obtained through diet. Benefits of EFAs:

  • May lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis

  • Play a crucial role in brain function

  • Can help maintain a healthy cholesterol level

  • May help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension

  • Necessary for proper functioning of the thyroid gland

  • Supports the nervous system

  • Boosts the immune system

  • Nourishes adrenal glands

  • Encourages proper fat metabolism

  • Aids in the absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract

  • Act as a natural anti-inflammatory

Symptoms of an EFA deficiency may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Poor memory

  • Dry skin

  • Heart Problems

  • Mood swings or depression

  • Poor Circulation

  • Dry, lackluster hair

  • Brittle nails

  • Stiff or painful joints

Food sources of EFAs include: • Walnuts or Oil • Ground Flax Seeds or Oil • Hemp Seeds or Oil • Almonds • Mungo Beans • Dark Leafy Green Vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach and kale

It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical North American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many physicians consider to be too high on the omega-6 side. This is why supplementation of Omega-3 can be helpful.

*If you're concerned about taking any supplements, consult your physician first.

The information contained here is for educational & informational purposes only and is not meant to replace medical advice or to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any condition or illness.

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