Essential fatty acids are necessary for good health. They canât be made in your body. You must get them from the foods you eat.
Â Fatty acids help your brain to function and they regulate your metabolism. They also help maintain your bone health.
Â Omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids are two important groups of essential fatty acids.
Â To balance these two groups you should be getting one omega-3 fatty acids for every four omega-6 fatty acids.
Â Unfortunately the average North American diet contains 11 to 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids!
Â And this imbalance can lead to disease.
Â A study was recently conducted by Dr. Janice Kiecolt- Glaser and colleagues from Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus.
Â The researchers investigated the relationship between fatty acid levels and depression and inflammation. 43 older men and women participated in the study.
Â Six of those individuals had been diagnosed with major depression. It was found that all six had nearly 18 times as much omega-6 as omega-3 in their blood.
Â And these individuals also had higher blood levels of inflammation producing compounds. These compounds, reports Kiecolt-Glaser, are âall-purpose nasties for aging.â They have been tied to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and other diseases.
Â If you want to keep a healthy balance of omega-3âs and omega-6âs, here are some suggestions regarding diet.
Â To boost your omega-3 levels make sure youâre getting lots of these foods:
Â — flaxseeds (buy them ground and sprinkle them in soups, on toast, cereal, salads) — walnuts — salmon — sardines — soybeans (cooked) — halibut — shrimp — tofu (raw) — tuna — canola oil
Â Omega-6 fatty acids are found in:
Â — safflower oil — sunflower seeds/oil — corn oil — soybean oil — cereals and whole grain breads
Â Try keeping your intake of omega-3âs to omega-6âs in the ratio of 1:4 by eating lots of omega-3 foods. It might be a bit of a challenge! But stick with it and you should notice an improvement in your health and especially your mood.