Mark
asks
: “What are essential fatty
acids
?” 

Answer: Essential fatty acids are fats your
body needs to function on a daily basis. However, your body
can’t  produce these fats naturally and you can
only get them through your diet. Essential fatty acids
are a fundamental part of every cell membrane in your body and they
are important for healthy skin, hair and nails. Furthermore,
they support healthy heart function, help to boost your immune
system and directly effect your brain and
memory. 

There are 2 main types of essential fatty acids: omega 3
fatty acids (found in fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and
sunflower seeds) and omega 6 fatty acids  (found in flax
seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, as well as evening
primrose oil).

It’s a great idea to increase the amount of foods
containing essential fatty acids in your diet, but sometimes
this can be a bit of a challenge so I recommend integrating an
essential fatty acid rich oil into your daily routine. This could
include 1 – 2 tablespoons per day of flax seed oil or hemp seed oil
and/or 1 – 2 teaspoons per day of fish oil. All of these oils needs
to be kept refrigerated and make sure you don’t cook
them, as heating the oils will comprimise
the benefits.  

If you decide to go the fish oil route, make sure that the oil
is not a cod based fish oil because cod contains 30% less
essential fatty acids than other fish. Always look for
pharmaceutical grade fish oil (available in health food stores)
because it will be pruified of any heavy metals and contaminants
that may be found in the fish due to environmental
pollution.  

  
Answer provided by Jackie Yurko, Doctor of Naturopathic
Medicine.

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DISCLAIMER:
This information is for entertainment purposes
only. The recommendations may not work for you, and should not take
the place of the recommendations made by your own medical
personnel. We are not responsible for the outcomes of any
recommendations. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet
without the supervision of your doctor/dietitian. For more
information, please see a Licensed Naturopath in your area. To
find one, visit cand.ca.


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