The Power of Essential Fatty Acids26.03.2014
by Life Enthusiast Staff
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unlike the saturated fats in foods like meat, which can raise levels of unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol, polyunsaturated fats are healthier because they help lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
EFAs are important for all systems of the body to function normally, including your skin, respiratory system, circulatory system, nerve function, blood pressure, brain and organs. That is why nutritionists call omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs "essential" fatty acids. Unfortunately they cannot be produced by the human body on its own. They are commonly ingested into the body from food or supplements. Omega-9 EFAs are necessary as well but are considered "non essential" because the body can manufacture modest amounts of them provided there are enough EFAs present.
EFAs omega-3 and omega-6 as well as "non-essential" omega-9 are considered the "good fats" and are currently a very hot research topic that has been featured prominently on the news and online discussions. It is this current commitment to researching omegas that has recently uncovered data that proves the Ostrich has incredibly high content levels of these good fats, especially compared to the more commonly known sources.
Omega-3 EFAs are extremely important for our health - probably the most important of the three. Most North Americans are omega-3 deficient because of our over-processed diets. One of the most common symptoms of omega-3 deficiency is depression, among other mental health symptoms.
Diets high in omega-3 will help with brain and eye development, prevent cardiovascular disease, and can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. As the skin is the largest organ of the human body, Omega 3s have a major impact as they are used in the formation of cell walls, making them supple and flexible, and improving circulation and oxygen uptake with proper red blood cell flexibility and function. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Ostrich has very high levels of omega-3, especially compared to what has been traditionally considered a good resource. Fatty coldwater fish like salmon, herring and tuna seem to be good sources as well. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it on large fish like shark, tilefish and tuna, which tend to be high in mercury. Pregnant women should definitely avoid fish with high mercury levels. Ostrich oil is a healthy source of Omega 3s and helps reduce stretch marks.
Similar to Omega-3s, omega-6 EFAs are polyunsaturated fats, essential for human health because the body cannot manufacture it. It is important to consume an ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 1:1. However the average person has an intake between 10:1 to 25:1.
EFA deficiency and Omega 6/3 imbalance is linked with serious health conditions, such as heart attacks, cancer, insulin resistance, asthma, lupus, schizophrenia, depression, postpartum depression, accelerated aging, stroke, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s Disease among others.
So it is important to ingest Omega-3s for the numerous reasons above, however it is just as important to intake enough omega-6 to obtain the right balance of both. As current research is proving, Ostrich Oil is an extremely good resource for omega-6 EFAs. They can be also obtained by consuming foods such as meat, poultry and eggs. It can be found abundantly in many of our common vegetable cooking oils: soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and corn oil (but not olive oil). They’re also common ingredients in many of the foods we consume, which is why most of us have a heavily imbalanced ratio of omega-6’s to 3’s. ONU Ostrich Oil has an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of 1:1 - the perfect match for the human body.
Omega-9s are the most abundant fatty acids of all in nature, and they are not in short supply in our diets. They are also not considered essential because our bodies can make omega-9s from unsaturated fat in our bodies. Omega-9 EFAs can be used by the body as a substitute for omega-3s or 6s if these essential fats are not present. However, omega-9s really are not an ideal replacement for 3s and 6s, and the body will eventually suffer from this. Research has shown that omega-9 EFAs are protective against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Because omega-9 EFAs have been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol, they help eliminate plaque buildup in the arteries, which may cause heart attack or stroke