Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids The three chief omega 3 s that we get from our food sources are

alpha-linolenic ac id (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA is connected to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and DHA to proper ner ve and brain development and function. Our bodies should convert ALA to EPA and DHA, but some people may have trouble w ith this conversion, due to some unique aspect of their physiology. To get EPA and DHA in their diets, vegetarians should concentrate on leafy green s, cruciferous vegetables, walnuts and spirulina. We don't often think of vegetables as sources rich in fatty acids, but the sum o f the parts quickly add up in a vegetarian diet. Other vegetarian food sources provide ALA, the indirect form of Omega 3 fatty ac ids. 1 tablespoon of flax oil per day seems to provide enough ALA for conversion to daily therapeutic amounts of EPA and DHA. Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesa me seeds are also good sources of ALA. Brazil nuts, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, soybean oil and canola oil also contain significant amounts. There is no reason for vegetarians to be deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA. What Is Omega 6? The major omega 6 is Linoleic Acid, which is converted by the body into Gamma Li nolenic Acid (GLA). This provides another natural defense against such diseases as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, diabetic neuropathy and PMS. Although most Americans consume a disproportionate amount of Omega 6, it may not be converted to GLA because of metabolic problems associated with diabetes, alc ohol consumption, trans fatty acids in processed foods, smoking, stress, or illn ess. Eliminating the above mentioned stressors is necessary for building health and w ellness. Taking capsules of evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant seed oil can supplement food sources of GLA listed below. Food Sources of Omega 6 Fatty Acids Only nature could function so perfectly offering the right balance of Omega 6 an d Omega 3 fatty acids in foods such as: flax seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and grape seeds. Food sources of Omega 6 fatty acids include pistachios, olive o il, chestnut oil and olives. Many of the oils we use for cooking are comprised of linoleic acid, which is one reason why our Omega ratios are off kilter. Soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oi l, and cottonseed oil are routinely used in processed foods. Many of these oils are refined. To avoid over-consumption of Omega 6 fatty acids, reduce or elimina te refined oils and processed foods, and read ingredient labels. Omega 9 Fatty Acids are monounsaturated oleic acid, rather than polyunsaturated, that is beneficial in reducing risk factors of heart disease, arteriosclerosis, and cancer. 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil daily is a good way of getting Omega 9 fatty acids in the diet. Some may be familiar with the low levels of heart disease in the Mediterranean region, which has a lot of olive oil in the daily diet. Other foods rich in Omeg a 9 fatty acids are: olives, avocados and nuts: macadamia, pistachio, peanuts, a

lmonds, sesame, cashew, pecan and hazelnuts. Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids Together Omega 3 and Omega 6 are involved in a large number of metabolic processes, and t hey need to be in the right balance for healthy functioning. In the last century or longer, proper dietary ratios have been disrupted by 'progress'. Abundant fo od, with emphasis on animal products, and food processing, have stripped away th e healthy foods and fats which are a basic biological need. When Omega 3 fatty acids are out of balance, with too much Omega 6, the typical result is inflammation. This is a silent inflammation that you can't feel. Unfor tunately, many people have chronic inflammation because of less than optimal lev els of Omega 3 fatty acids along with abundant Omega 6. This imbalance has longterm term disastrous effects, resulting in conditions such as heart disease, can cer, diabetes, stroke, arthritis and auto-immune disease.

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