The Need for Essential Fatty Acids
Your body needs essential fatty acids (EFAs) so that you can lose weight and keep it off. They help with many metabolic processes in the body:
- Hormone production.
- Brain function, including regulating brain neurotransmitters that give you healthy moods and higher energy.
- Regulating the transport of oxygen and energy through your body.
- Forming new cells, particularly in the nervous system.
- Increasing your body’s fat-burning metabolic rate.
- Improving skin and hair.
- Helping reduce high blood pressure.
- Helping lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Our Bodies Need an EFA Boost
The Essential Fatty Acids that are missing from our daily food intake are the omega-3s. Omega-3s consist of docosahexaenoic (DHA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acids. The first two are considered to be the most important omega-3s and are found only in deep-water fish like salmon. Alpha-linolenic acid is found in deep-water fish, emu, fish oil, and some vegetable-based oils, including flaxseed and walnut oil.
Supplements Can Make-Up for Lack of Omega-3s in Your
Obtain your daily helping of omega-3s by taking fish oil, either in capsules (5 capsules per day) or liquid (1-2 TB). Liquid fish oil naturally contains vitamins A and D, which is great – vitamin D is helpful in preventing chronic health disorders. Vegetable-based essential fatty acids, such as flax seed oil, don’t supply DHA or EPA and you need these two fatty acids most.
Other Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids consist of linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids. They are found in raw nuts, seeds, and legumes and in such unsaturated oils as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame, and soybean. The omega-6 fatty acids in these oils are destroyed when heated, so they should be consumed in an uncooked and unprocessed form. You eat plenty of these in processed foods, so you don’t need to supplement these.