Omega-3: A Really Essential Oil   

Omega-3: A Really Essential Oil

Omega-3 and-6 are collectively known as 'essential fatty acids' (EFAs), which our body acquires from food sources. EFAs are necessary to reduce inflammatory pathways which can set off various ills, eg, autoimmune and chronic diseases, cancers, etc.

Udo Erasmus (PhD), best known for his work in fat research, says: "Degenerative diseases come from the lowered nutrient contents from food sources brought [on] by food processing".

Erasmus, in his best-selling book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, describes how manufacturing processes turn good fats into bad fats, and how our body can naturally heal itself when given the right nutrition. He defines 'good' food as "fresh, organic, whole, raw, grown in-season".

"It is best to feed your body with the primary building blocks when your stomach is empty," he advises. Your body reaps the best benefits from omega-3, -6 and -9 in the ratio of 2:1:1, respectively. Omega-9 is a necessary, but non-essential, fatty acid as your body can produce it.

Build a strong health foundation
Your body readily converts plant sourced omega-3 - alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) - into omega-3s, ie, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). He cites the example of India's Brahmin caste, who arc vegetarians. "For over 10,000 years, this group of over 300 million Hindus doesn't eat meat except for milk - never has fish or fish oil in the diet.

"If their body cannot convert plant based omega-3, they would have been dumb, blind and sterile. DHA is required for brain development, vision formation and sperm production."

A 'must' for pregnant women
"Women convert EFAs better in the body compared to men because when a woman is pregnant, she has to maintain one brain while building another. If she can't make enough from her diet, her child will take DHA from her brain."

Due to this biological difference, women face up to 15% more chance of DHA depletion than men. "That is why pregnant women tend to get memory problems, depression, low energy, fibromyalgia (long-term pain in the muscles and connective tissues), etc,” he explains.

Increase stamina and endurance
EFAs also benefit athletes. In one of his many studies on athletes, he observed that, "After a month of consuming EFAs, 40-60% of the athletes saw an increase in stamina. Their joints didn't hurt as much; they had more mobility and flexibility; they slept better; they could focus and concentrate better".

"The recovery rate from work-outs also improved. The rest time in between work-out sets went from five minutes to two minutes. The rest days for weight lifters were usually three days, but it went down to one day.

"In fact, many of them set their personal best record. We have a runner who set a record of 165 miles a day - six times longer than a marathon after six months on EFAs," he says.

Reduce carbs, not oils
"Overweight doesn't come from fats - it comes from carbohydrates," Erasmus says. He cites a comparison study that found the same amount of carbs in French fries, boiled potatoes and mashed potatoes, which is why you will put on weight despite choosing a healthier cooking method. The issue is the carb-rich potato.

To lose weight, you should consume more omega-3 as "omega-3 turns on the fat burning mechanism in cells".
One thing to take note of is that EFAs are easily damaged by heat and light, so make sure your bottle of EF As is refrigerated at all times.

Happy reading,

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