MANY people suffer from nutritional deficiencies because of an inadequate or inappropriate intake of food. To ensure that you continue living a happy healthy life, take the time to assess your diet.

What you need to know about omega oils from omega-3 to omega-9

The traditional human diet used to include sources of fats with a ratio of about 1:1 of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats. Over time, as we stopped eating as much omega-3 rich fish and opted instead for prepared foods made with omega-6 oils from corn, safflower and soy, our fat intake has gone out of balance.

Omega-3s are medium and long-chain fatty acids that are used by the body to make powerful anti-inflammatory molecules, beneficial for decreasing inflammation and maintaining heart, brain and joint health. It is difficult to obtain the recommended amount from food alone, so this is where a fish-oil supplement can be a great option. Look for a supplement with high amounts of EPA and DHA in the ingredient list.

These healthy fats also help to resolve inflammation with components identified as EPA resolvins E series and DHA resolvins D. Omega-3s are well known for their role in heart and brain health. But they can also help athletes to recover faster, leading to increased performance. Their benefits have been dem- onstrated in many studies for decreasing post-exercise muscle soreness, and work for many anti-inflammatory purposes.

Research shows that, coast to coast, Canadians of all ages are deficient in these key omega-3 fats.

Look for increased sources of omega-3s in dark-green, leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli or spinach; sea vegetables such as algae, spirulina or kelp; beans such as kidney, navy and pinto; fruits like Kiwi, papaya and mango; and hemp and seabuckthorn.

There is also a notable amount in flax and chia seeds, while the most commonly known form of omega-3 comes from wild, cold-water fish including cod, salmon and herring.

It’s also important to be aware of your sources of omega-6. These can range from corn to turkey to peanuts as well as soy-based products and nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and peanuts.

Omega-9, the oft-overlooked omega, is equally important. Unlike omega-3 and omega- 6, omega-9 can be created in the body. Eating foods rich in omega-9 can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. It is found in foods high in oleic acid such as sunflower or canola oil as well as nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans.

Managing vascular and heart health can be difficult, especially if your body does not get enough omega fatty acids. This health-promoting polyunsaturated fat is essential for human life and provides many benefits such as supporting eye, joint and brain health. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of omegas to stay healthy and support an active lifestyle.

More Inspiration: You’ll also find this guide to fats really helpful!

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