Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Do you complain about dry, itchy and rough skin, lifeless and dry hair, dry eyes, brittle nails, problems with falling asleep at night and waking in the morning, tiredness, attention problems, low mood & anxiety, joint pain, frequent urination, excess earwax build-up, premenstrual problems? If you do experience two or more of these symptoms, you probably suffer from common today deficiency of very important fatty acids called Omega 3. At the same time, instead of getting healthy Omega 9 and 6 fatty acids you probably overload your body with bad pro-inflammatory Omega 6 fats found in popular commercial oils and foods. Omega 3 is one of the main components of cell membranes. It is a critical factor in maintaining a healthy heart, circulation, brain function and joint mobility. Flaxseed oil is the richest plant source of Omega-3 fatty acid (Alpha-Linoleic Acid) that is converted into EPA and DHA in the body. In addition, it also contains Omega 9 (Oleic Acid) and beneficial Omega 6 (Linoleic Acid) which in our body is converted to Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Like Omega 3, both these fatty acids are known to help maintain healthy immune and nervous system function, among other benefits.
MOOD, MEMORY & FOCUS
A large body of experimental evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids have significant effects on mental health. Researchers have discovered that countries with high omega-3 consumption have a lower rate of mental health problems. This could be due to the fact that omega-3 is highly concentrated in the brain and normalizes the brain’s neural activity. Secondly, this fatty acid is a necessary component of the neurotransmitter serotonin – the brain’s good mood chemical. Problems with memory have also been linked to deficiencies in Omega 3 fatty acids.
DRY SKIN, EYES, HAIR & NAILS
Omega 3 is naturally found in the cell wall structure. It allows the skin to absorb healthy nutrients and expel waste products that are harmful. Lack of Omega 3 and certain types of Omega 6 is one of the key causes of dry skin, eyes and hair, and brittle nails. According to the 2009 study Omega 3 from Flaxseed oil and healthy Omega 6 supplementation increased skin hydration and diminished skin reddening.
CARDIOVASCULAR, IMMUNE & CIRCULATORY SYSTEM HEALTH
Studies repeatedly demonstrated that Omega-3 fatty are very beneficial in helping our body to maintain healthy heart function, blood pressure, circulation, normal blood cholesterol & triglyceride levels, and reduce blood clotting, thus lowering risk of cardiovascular problems. In fact, studies demonstrated high Omega 3 intake can lower stroke risk by 50 percent.
ENERGY, IMMUNITY, METABOLISM, EYE & JOINT HEALTH
Those who suffer with chronic fatigue are low in Omega 3. The same fatty acid is essential for normal functionality of the immune system. Deficiency of Omega 3 slows down metabolism contributing to weight gain. Dry eye syndrome is linked with low Omega 3 intake. In one European study, subjects with higher Omega 3 levels were half as likely to develop macular degeneration. Scientific research provides strong evidence Omega 3 may also help reduce the process that triggers the inflammation in the joints leading to damage and pain.