Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are essential for the human body. Found mostly in oily fish, olives, olive oil, seeds, nuts and avocado, these fatty acids can hold anti-inflammatory properties and support the health of the nervous system and cellular function. They are also essential for brain health, cardiovascular well-being and skin.
Omega 6 in excess can be pro-inflammatory so it often isn’t necessary to supplement or to add into the diet as we get so much of it in our diets anyway. Omega 6 is found in abundance in products rich in vegetable oil and nuts.
Deficiencies in EFAs (in particular Omega 3) can be associated with dry, itchy and flaky skin, dry brittle hair, endocrine dysfunction, reproductive health issues and immune response. Omega 3 is also associated with mood and has shown in studies to improve feelings of anxiety and depression in test subjects.
Omega 3 is commonly found to be low in people’s diets which is why it is better to increase Omega 3 rich foods or to take in a supplement as advised by a health professional, such as a Nutritional Therapist.
There are 3 types of Omega 3 – EPA, DHA and ALA. A 2:1 ratio of EPA and DHA is the optimum for reducing inflammation.
The ideal amount of oily fish to eat in a week for optimum Omega 3 intake is more than 3 times per week. Oily fish includes sardines, anchovies, mackerel, salmon and herring.
Omega 3 Fish Oils
Taking an Omega 3 fish oil can also be a good way of ensuring you are topped up in the diet.
I recommend a high potency fish oil from Cytoplan: www.cytoplan.co.uk/fish-oil-capsules-high-potency-1000mg-550mg
For a Vegan fish oil I recommend: www.cytoplan.co.uk/omega-3-vegan
If you would like to read more in depth about essential fatty acids, then check out this link: