It’s that time of year again, and you’re revisiting your supplements before you stock up at the health food store. You know you need a new omega – the last one you had left you with a fishy aftertaste, and even though you wish you didn’t need them – you know they make a difference in how you feel.
Or, perhaps you’re just beginning to realize you might need to start taking an omega for brain health, but you’d like to learn more to find out if they’re really worth spending your hard earned money on.
If this is you, then this is the post for you – read on to educate yourself on Omegas, why you need them in you’re life, what to look for when making the purchase and where you can find them in whole food sources.
The first thing I think of when people say omegas is fish oil……cue the uncomfortable fish burps. It really doesn’t matter how much lemon they put in – the taste is unmistakable! Ehem – no thank you! But what exactly are omega fatty acids and do we really need them?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, which is a type of fat your body can’t make on it’s own. As a result, we need to consume most omegas through our diet. The most common fatty acid we see at the market is Omega-3 fish oil. It is touted as excellent brain food and necessary for cognitive function. However, did you know Omega-3 is only a very small part of the healthy Omega family? There’s so much more to healthy fatty acids than the fish oils you’re used to seeing on the shelf of your favorite grocery store. To be fair – we see so much about Omega-3, and yes – it is super important. But did you know, we also need to have the right amount of Omegas 5,6,7 & 9? And yes – THEY can be hard to find. Let’s start by going over the health benefits of the various Omegas one by one so you can get to know how they play a role in your overall health:
Omega 3 – what are the benefits?
- Improve our heart health (because they increase the “good” HDL cholesterol)
- Reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall mental health (there’s also research to show omega-3’s help slow the decline in brain function that comes with old age)
- Helping with weight management
- Supporting healthy brain development of the infant during pregnancy
- Promoting healthy and strong bones
- Helps protect adult eye health such as against cataracts, dry eye syndrome and even macular degeneration.
While Omega-3 is readily found in foods like salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and algal oil, most of us are not getting enough of this incredible nutrient, so using a supplement can be beneficial to prevent disease (like heart disease, diabetes and obesity) and to keep us healthy and glowing.
Omega 5 Benefits:
- Omega-5 is one of the lesser known fatty acids and can be found in pomegranate seed oil, coconut oil and full-fat grass-fed dairy products. It has been shown to play a crucial role in skin rejuvenation due to it being anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants (say hello to glowing skin and goodbye to wrinkles!)
Omega-6 Benefits, and a word of caution:
Omega-6 is classified as an essential fatty acid that needs to be obtained from our diet because our bodies do not make it. However, the reason most people talk about supplementing with omega-3 and less so with omega-6 is because the typical western diet is full of omega-6 fatty acids, but lacking in omega-3. This can create an imbalance that is not so great for our health. However, when they are present in the right balance, the benefits include regulating inflammation and supporting cardiovascular health when lipids are within a healthy range. An unhealthy balance can actually increase inflammation, so you can see the need for caution.
Healthy food sources of Omega-6 include eggs, poultry, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews.
Benefits of Omega 7
Omega-7 is another omega that is often out of the limelight, but is incredibly important for healthy skin, nails and hair. It helps to decrease acne and clear skin as well as strengthening brittle nails. Or are you feeling like your hair is thinning & you wish you would have more long luscious locks? Then Omega 7 is your new BFF! Omega 7 can also help people who suffer from a dry mouth, dry eyes and intimate dryness. It helps to reduce fat cell accumulation so that our blood can continue to flow easily. The fatty acids found in Omega 7 also help to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
You can find omega-7 in macadamia nuts, seabuckthorn oil, avocado and grass-fed meat and dairy. So if you’re interested in reducing wrinkles, strengthening your nails and hair and helping your body boost collagen, including omega-7’s in your diet may help.
Omega-9 – time to get your glow on!
Omega-9 is one fatty acid that the body can actually produce on it’s own, so it’s not technically listed as an ‘essential’ fatty acid. However, studies have shown that including more omega-9’s in your diet, in place of saturated fats, may improve metabolic health. They may also help with insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation and some pain associated with arthritis. Olive oil is a rich source of Omega-9, and can also be found in, cashew oil, almond oil, avocado oil, and peanut oil.
I think it’s clear to see that while Omega-3 is just one type of fatty acid – we also need omega 5, 6, 7 and 9 in our diets. And most importantly, we need an optimal balance of each type because of their varying properties.
It’s one thing to know we’re boosting our system from the inside out, but let’s face it – we all want that gorgeous glowing skin as well. So you know that post workout glow you get from proper blood circulation? Well, it turns out that our circulation may also be improved by consuming more omega fatty acids. This is especially important as we begin to age when our skin loses the ability to retain moisture, thickness and blood flow which is why we start to see a bit more wrinkles, thinner skin, and our complexion begins to lose that luster.
Now that you know all the incredible health benefits that come from a healthy complex omega, you might be wondering how to fit all of them into your diet…it can get overwhelming!
Enter one of my fave nutraceuticals, the Omega Blend we recommend inside my online 16 week holistic health program… this little capsule contains the entire omega family 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 (yep, all of them!) from six different plant based sources.
Do you want to know what else is crazy? Its *the only* plant based omega on the planet that has all 5 strands of essential fatty acids in one little capsule!!
I personally never knew the benefits of taking a complex Omega capsule until I started taking them a few years back. Not everyone here knows this, but I used to suffer from severe depression. Like 10 out of 10 depression. Like every time I went to the doctor for a check up, they had a required list of questions to make sure I was okay in the depression category. It was not a pretty time in my life, but it lasted for so long. Previously I had tried the full gamut of antidepressants, and to be fair, I really think they made my depression worse. However, once I started to take my current omegas, after a few months, the depression started to clear up. Now, I am at a point where I can tell if I go 2 weeks without them, there is a clear and noticeable difference in how I feel. And the depression is officially gone. Who knew a little fine tuned nutrition could make such a big difference? In addition, my family DNA struggles with biotin production, and since I have been on these little nuggets, my eyelashes have filled in, and my hair is growing so quickly now!
And the awesome bit is that rather than stocking up on heaps of nuts, seeds and fish in your diet, you can just take these little vegan capsules instead!
To learn more about how you can get your hands on these incredible healthy little capsules, just hit the button below to contact me – I would love to answer any of your questions, or send you more details on the specific Omega I take and recommend to my clients.
As always, thanks for stopping by our happy little corner of the web. I hope you found value in this article and that you have an epic week filled with sunshine!
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