The Lowdown on Essential Fatty Acids

The Lowdown on Essential Fatty Acids

Are you tired of hearing about omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and wondering what all the fuss is about? Well, you’ve come to the right place, I’m all about healthy oils. So here is what you need to know about how they impact our health, and why it’s crucial to have a balance of omega-3, omega-6, and even omega-9 in our diets.

Vitamin C deficiency causing scurvy

Essential Fatty Acids ~ What’s the deal?

Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats in our bodies and our food. They play a vital role in our overall health, from glowing skin to a well-functioning brain. Two fatty acids—linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) are considered essential because our bodies can’t produce them, so we need to get them from our diets.

Omega 3 vs Omega 6 vs Omega 9

What’s the Difference?

Omega-3 ~ These are polyunsaturated fats known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They’re found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3s support brain health, heart health, and reduce inflammation.

Omega-6 ~ Also polyunsaturated fats, omega-6 fatty acids are primarily found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. While they also play a role in brain function and maintaining healthy skin and hair, they can promote inflammation when consumed in excess.

Omega-9 ~ Unlike omega-3 and omega-6, omega-9 fatty acids are not essential because our bodies can produce them. They’re monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Omega-9s can help improve heart health and reduce inflammation 

Protein for wound healing
omega-3 for wound healing

Striking the Right Balance

It’s essential to have a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diets. The modern Western diet tends to be high in omega-6 and low in omega-3, which can lead to chronic inflammation and increase the risk of various health issues.

We should aim to consume more omega-3-rich foods, such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, and reduce your intake of omega-6-heavy foods like vegetable oils, processed snacks, and fast food.

Boosting your Omega 9 Intake

While not essential, omega-9 fatty acids can still offer some fantastic health benefits. Try incorporating more olive oil, avocados, and almonds into your diet to boost your omega-9 intake and further support your heart health and overall well-being.

Essential fatty acids play a crucial role in our health, and understanding the differences between omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 can help you make better food choices. If you’re looking to optimize your EFA intake and maintain a healthy balance, consider speaking with a naturopath to get personalised advice tailored to your unique needs.

Ready to take control of your health and learn more about essential fatty acids? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our experienced team of naturopath is here to help guide you on your wellness journey. Click the link below to book a consultation today, and let’s work together to achieve optimal health and well-being!

 

Vitamin C deficiency causing scurvy

Are you needing some recipe inspiration to increase your essential fatty acid intake with delicious meal ideas, check out my favorite recipes at The Cooking Naturopath.

My Favorite Tofu Salad

My Favorite Tofu Salad

This simple Tofu Salad or Korean Dubu salad could not be easier and is one of my all time favourite tofu dishes. Is makes it very easy to boost your phytoestrogen intake which is great if you are menopausal, but not if you are taking hormone blocking drugs. I enjoy it on its one or as a side dish in a Korean meal. This recipe comes from the wonderfully inspiring Korean food blogger Hyosun from Korean Bapsang. Her recipes are always delicious and generally very simple so if  you love Korean food as I do, she is a great place to start, her Kimchi recipes are spot on too, I always have a batch in my fridge.  

Vitamin C deficiency causing scurvy

Ingredients

1 package Soft Or Silken Tofu
57 grams Spring Salad Mix
2 Scallions , Finely Chopped (1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic
2 tbsps Soy Sauce or tamari or Soyu
1 tbsp Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Rice Wine (mirin)
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
1 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tsps Sesame Seeds

 

Instructions

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Wash the spring mix and drain.
In a medium size pot, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil and add the tofu. Cover and
boil for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Carefully transfer the tofu to a colander to drain and cool.
Cut the tofu into two blocks. Cut each block into about 1/2-inch thick slices.
Spread some spring mix on a plate. Arrange the tofu slices on top of the spring mix.
Drizzle the sauce over the tofu when ready to serve.

 

Protein for wound healing

If you have enjoyed this recipe and want to explore more healthy meal suggestions, check out my foodie business,

The Cooking Naturopath, or follow me on Instagram or Facebook for meal inspiration.