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Essential Fatty Acids and our Health
March 26, 2010 05:18 PM
Essential fatty acids are also known as vitamin F or polyunsaturates. They must be supplied through the diet because the body is unable to make them. For this reason, they are referred to as essential. There are three basic types of essential fatty acids: linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. Linoleic acid is the most vital of these because it can be converted to linolenic and arachidonic acid. All of these are necessary for cell structure and all body functions. Essential fatty acids are required by every cell in the body. These substances are responsible for transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, into the body.
Essential fatty acids are extremely important for a healthy body, with linoleic acid being the most essential of the fatty acids. EPA and DHA are included in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in marine lipids. Research has determined that these reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega-6 fatty acids, which include GLA, are usually found in plant sources.
The most common forms of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA, DHA, and alpha-linolenic acid, which helps to create EPA and DHA. When animals eat plants that are rich in linolenic acid, they produce omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in the oils of cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, bluefish, herring, tuna, and mackeREL. EPA and DHA are liquids and remain so, which protects the fish by staying fluid even in cold temperatures.
Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in fresh-pressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts. Gamma-linolenic acid also known as G L A is the most common form of omega-6 and has been found to have a variety of health benefits. It is responsible for helping to facilitate weight loss in overweight persons, but not those who do not need to lose weight. Additionally, GLA reduces platelet aggregation and helps to reduce symptoms depression. GLA may even help to alleviate PMS symptoms.
Essential fatty acids are able to help with a variety of disorders in the body. To name a few, they help to reduce blood pressure, aid in arthritis, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce inflammation, improve skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema, and aid in nerve impulse transmissions. Additionally, essential fatty acids help with brain function, learning, and memory.
Numerous symptoms can result from a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet. These include fatigue, lack of endurance, dry skin, allergies, high blood pressure, angina, aching, frequent colds, digestive problems, dry hair, immune weakness, forgetfulness, depression, and arthritis. The symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency can be extremely vague, often going unnoticed by health-care providers.
Essential fatty acids are so important that deficiencies can often be linked to a variety of symptoms. They contain superior nutritional support to encourage health and vitality in the body. Many individuals lack these essential nutrients, which are responsible for providing support for the immune system and health. The body needs these vital nutrients in order to function.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by essential fatty acids, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store. Vita Net health food store carries a large selection of fatty acid supplements at discount prices. Stop in today and browse our large selection of name brand vitamins today.
Six Foods that Boost Heart Health
January 21, 2008 01:57 PM
The majorities of baby boomers are looking for a way to loose weight and lower their cholesterol. Both of these are two important factors in heart disease, which still remains the number one killer in the United States. The good news is that you can dodge heart disease through your food choices. Below are six foods that can help boost your heart health.
Many studies have proven the variety of health benefits given by fish, ranging from joint inflammation in arthritis sufferers to brain development in babies. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish support circulation and improve blood vessel function. Researchers have also determined that omega-3s can prevent heart-attack deaths as they stop the electrical disturbance that causes death and half of all heart attacks are due to these arrhythmias. Each week, you should eat one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish such as an Alaskan salmon, anchovies, herring or mackeREL. By baking or poaching these fish at low heart you can help to preserve the omega-3s. For vegetarians, omega-3 rich flaxseeds can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, or salads. For those who don’t care for fish there are omega-3 oil supplements available as well.
Have you ever wondered why oatmeal is so good for you? In your body, this gluey beta-glucan, which is soluble fiber, binds to bile acids found in the intestines and stomach and excretes them as waste. In order to make more bile acids, the liver needs cholesterol and takes it from the blood. This results in lower blood cholesterol levels. You need 3 grams of soluble fiber each day to reduce your cholesterol by five percent. A cup and a half of cooked oatmeal is a good size serving that can be jazzed up in flavor with frozen berries, non-fat plain yogurt, almonds and much more.
High-glycemic foods like potatoes, white bread, and white rice should be avoided because you get a harmful burst of glucose and insulin that’s harmful immediately after eating them. These bursts tire out the pancreas in the long run and increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Research also shows that having high-glycemic foods at one meal will make you even hungrier and eat more at the next, which is why these foods are associated with weight gain. People with excess fat are much more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if there are no other risk factors. Because of this, focusing on true grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley and choosing them over refined grains as much as possible.
Nuts are important for their unsaturated fats and their ability to help lower cholesterol. Walnuts actually contain omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds boost calcium, helping the heart muscle to contract, and Brazil nuts have selenium, which is a heart-protective antioxidant. About one ounce each day of nuts is good for you, but they do have a lot of calories so make sure to go easy on them. If you have a nut allergy, topping you salad with olives is a good alternative, as they contain unsaturated fats.
Beans also contain soluble fiber like oatmeal which helps to reduce cholesterol and keep arteries clear. By choosing the protein from beans instead of meat, you can cut back on saturated fats which raise cholesterol. Eating beans four to five times a week is recommended, as they can be added to a lot of meals. If you don’t tolerate beans well, try adding kombu, a sea vegetable, to them to help break down the components that cause gas. Your body also does adapt to beans over time, so try building up your bean servings slowly. Food enzymes can help reduce gas as well so don’t forget to take your enzymes.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and other berries all have strong antioxidant properties that can help fight heart disease and are also low in calories and high in fiber. Eating two cups of fruit each day for general health is recommended, but you should eat as many berries as you can tolerate. Free radicals can break down cholesterol that is flowing in your blood and make them sticky so to deposit on the arterial walls of your blood vessels. Fight this with antioxidant rich foods to reduce cholesterol build up.
Eating healthy is one step in boosting heart health and overall cardiovascular health. Exercise is also important in keeping your body strong and vibrant so one can live a healthier longer life.
January 03, 2006 09:00 AM
In the mid 70’s, a team of European researchers ventured off to Greenland to study the unique lifestyle of native Inuit Eskimos. They couldn’t have possibly imagined how signifi cant their findings would be. The Inuits’ diet was simple and consisted primarily of fatty fi sh – whale, salmon, sardine, seal, and mackeREL. No surprise there. What did surprise researchers was how unexplainably healthy these natives were. Strong hearts. Clear skin. Powerful joints. All this from a diet that contained towering amounts of fat. This fat-fueled lifestyle bewildered researchers. Then the connection was made. These fatty foods were loaded with substances that the body must have in order to remain healthy – omega-3 essential fatty acids. Fast forwarding 30 years, fish oil supplements aren’t just popular, they’re they’re popular nutritional threads that help weave the fabric of human wellness.
In the fall of 2004, after reviewing years of convincing studies, the FDA approved the use of a qualified claim for omega-3 EFA. It states that “supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease”. When you consider how selective the FDA is in qualifying health claims, this becomes even more impressive. The benefi ts of fi sh oils don’t stop at the cardiovascular system, however. A wealth of studies have been conducted examining their role in depression, mood, vision, skin, immune system function, pregnancy, joint health and migraines just to name a few.
EFA for a Healthy Heart
Omega-3 and Healthy Mood
Say Goodbye to Inflammation
Choosing a quality formula
May 09, 2005 11:35 AM