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Post by pmmutiti on Mon May 26, 2008 7:56 pm

Making Sense of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You've probably heard a lot about their value to your health, but do you really understand the ways in which they are beneficial to your health and which foods to get them from?

If not, I hope that this article will help you make sense of omega-3 fatty acids and help you make food choices that will ensure that your cells are nourished with them on a regular basis.

First, here are the key health benefits of including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet:

Omega-3 fatty acids can:

help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. In doing so, they can reverse and prevent high blood pressure, as well as reduce your risk of suffering a stroke.
decrease pain and inflammation throughout your body
help prevent breast and colon cancer

help to reverse and prevent depression and other mental/emotional health challenges.

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids because your body cannot manufacture them from other nutrients; you must obtain them from your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids come in three varieties:

ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) - found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and a variety of vegetable oils। Dark green vegetables, freshly ground flax seeds, and raw walnuts are the healthiest sources of ALA.

EPA (EicosoPentaenoic Acid) - found primarily in cold water fish like salmon, cod, mackerel, and tuna, as well as in fresh seaweed. Also found in smaller amounts in organically raised animal products like free range eggs, chickens, and grass-fed beef.

DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid) - found in the same foods that EPA is found in.
Your body is able to convert ALA into EPA and DHA। So theoretically, if you are in excellent health and eat lots of dark green leafy vegetables, ground flax seeds, and walnuts, your body should be able to produce enough EPA and DHA from ALA to provide all of the health benefits listed above.

People who support the use of fish oil for a direct source of EPA and DHA will sometimes cite studies that claim that some groups of people are not able to convert ALA to DHA, at least not very efficiently.

People who support exclusive use of plant foods tend to point to studies that suggest that humans don't have a problem converting ALA found in plant foods to EPA and DHA, thereby suggesting that it is not essential to eat animal foods that contain EPA and DHA.

Ultimately, the only way to know with absolute certainty that you are getting enough ALA, EPA, and DHA from your diet is to analyze your fatty acid profile with a specialized blood test.
Rather than spend money and time getting an expensive fatty acid profile test, I prefer to rely on a well balanced diet that includes lots of dark green leafy vegetables, some walnuts, and a small amount of clean animal foods like wild salmon, organic eggs, and cod liver oil to ensure that my family and I are getting enough ALA, EPA, and DHA to support our best health.

Some people who support eating only plant foods raise objections to using fish oil, such as the possibility of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil turning rancid, as well as the possibility of fish oil containing environmental pollutants like mercury.

These objections are valid, as independent studies performed by organizations like consumerlabs।com have found that some brands of fish oil contain rancid fatty acids that can harm your health. And there's no question that fish from all parts of the world stand a chance of being contaminated to some degree by mercury and other industrial pollutants.

Do you need to use a high quality fish oil on a regular basis to get enough EPA and DHA to support your best health? Not necessarily। If you regularly eat foods that are listed beside each of the omega-3 fatty acids listed earlier in this article, chances are that you will get enough omega-3 fatty acids to support your best health.

What if you want to be strict vegan? Then I recommend that you eat lots of dark green leafy vegetables, some walnuts, some freshly ground flax seeds, and take a DHA supplement made from a plant source। Tasly's Omega-3 seal Oil is made from seal found in the deep sea of Northern Atlantic: is the best one that I know of.

My personal and clinical experiences have led me to believe that it is best for most people to obtain their omega-3 fatty acids from a variety of the plant and clean animal foods mentioned in this article.

This is what people of all cultures have done throughout the history of our world. As it is with all of the nutrients that we know of to date, omega-3 fatty acids work synergistically with many co-factors to provide their health promotion.

Flow charts in biochemistry textbooks are important to understand and apply to our dietary choices, but in my opinion, they represent only a partial picture of the countless physiological reactions that keep our cells alive.

With this thought in mind, I feel that it is wise to eat a variety of foods that are naturally rich in ALA, EPA, and DHA rather than to rely on a supplement that contains just one or more of these omega-3 fatty acids as isolated.

Peter Mwaura M
Ariix Africa Team & Business Leader

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Peter Mwaura Mutiti : Teaching old blood cells new tricks:
When you hear someone mention circulation you probably think of the heart and major arteries—and for good reason. Circulatory disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are major risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

But there’s more to it than that. With all the attention on the heart and arteries, it’s easy to overlook serious health problems affecting the smallest components of the circulatory system—microscopic blood vessels called microcapillaries, where the critical exchange of oxygen and nutrients actually takes place. If blood isn’t flowing through this web properly, it can trigger all sorts of health problems, many of which may not seem related to circulation at all.

A number of factors contribute to poor circulation as we age. Arteries and veins become stiff and congested as cholesterol and calcium plaques accumulate and restrict blood flow. Spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the circulatory arteries and veins can also choke off circulation. These same processes also occur in our microcapillaries, reducing microcirculation and impairing the critical exchange of nutrients and gases in tissues and major organs.

This problem only gets worse as we get older because of changes in the composition and structure of blood cells. As you reach middle age, the blood starts to thicken and congeal as platelets and blood proteins make cells sticky. Plus, the spleen—the organ that removes old, damaged blood cells from circulation—begins to slow down with age, which means new, healthy blood cells are replaced at a sharply reduced rate. And to make matters even worse, as blood cells age, they become stiff and no longer appear round and evenly shaped. This makes it harder for them to pass smoothly through the capillaries. In fact, the angular, jagged shape of the old cells can damage the fragile microcapillaries even further.

Eventually, these age-related changes take their toll on the microcapillaries, reducing circulation to the tissues and blocking the flow of nutrients and oxygen. Removal of carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste products is also hindered. This leads to a slow buildup of metabolic garbage that can gradually bury the cells in their own waste products. In time, the cells, poisoned by their own metabolic byproducts, begin to waste away and ultimately cease to function altogether.

The combined effect of poor circulation and old blood contributes to a host of symptoms, including deep fatigue, fuzzy thinking, frequent infections, and lowered sex drive—all conditions usually considered just “normal parts of aging.”

If circulation doesn’t improve, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. But giving your body a fresh supply of healthy blood may target all of these problems and more.
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Registration date : 2008-01-10

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