One of the most popular recommendations you would have come across for reducing weight will probably be decreasing and even eliminating your intake of fats. To add to this, fats have been identified as one of the main reasons for a variety of health problems. Recent research however, has clearly shown that there are various types of fats, some good and some bad! Yes that’s right, good fats!
Good fat, which is important for you as a woman is known as essential fatty acids. But do you know why they are essential? Mainly because they help reduce the symptoms of a menstrual period, menopause, depression, and also can assist your weight loss efforts!
And since your body cannot produce them on its own, they should be acquired through your diet. To be more specific, these essential fatty acids are classified as: Omega-3 and Omega-6.
How do Omega-3 fatty acids benefit my health?
Omega-3 fatty acids have a well-earned reputation for being among the most important nutrients in your diet, and play an important role in:
- Psychological health: Researchers have found out that women who consume fatty fish like Salmon – a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids – usually have a lower occurrence of postpartum depression that occurs in some women after giving birth. This comes as no surprise, since Omega-3 fatty acids have long been known to help ease symptoms of depression and other psychological problems.
- Heart health: Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of developing blood clots and also lower blood pressure.
- Reducing cancer risk: It helps protect you against cancers common in women such as breast and colon cancers.
How do Omega-6 fatty acids benefit my health?
One of the most exciting facts for you as a woman is that Omega-6 helps in your weight loss efforts because they synthesize essential enzymes that regulate the process of metabolism. Additionally, they also play a role in:
- Regulating hormonal changes: It may help relieve menopause symptoms as well as reduce Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms, especially breast pain due to hormone changes during menstruation.
- Improving skin tone and hair growth: Because of its moisturizing and softening effect, Omega-6 is used to combat skin conditions including acne and eczema.
- Preventing eating disorders: Such as anorexia nervosa, a health disorder in women that is believed to be due to abnormalities in the use of some fatty acids in the body.
- Bone health: Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain bone mass by promoting calcium absorption and calcium deposition in your bones. It reduces calcium loss in the urine and thereby helps improve bone strength, lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
- Maintaining reproductive capability: It keeps sexual hormonal levels balanced, and helps lower the incidence of polycystic ovaries.
Omega-9 fatty acids are also beneficial to women’s health
Although important to the human body, Omega-9 fatty acids are not technically essential fatty acids, because our bodies naturally manufacture a small amount of it.
They help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Omega-9 acids also play a role in cancer prevention because they are considered an active co-enzyme that eliminates different cancer cells.
How can I include sources of Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids in my diet?
|Omega-3 fatty acids||Omega-6 fatty acids||Omega-9 fatty acids|
|Fatty Fish (Salmon,Mackerel) ,Flaxseeds,Soy Bean Oil, Walnuts||
Safflower Oil – the richest natural source,Sunflower Oil, Corn Oil,Sesame Oil,Soy Bean Oil ,Evening Primrose Oil
Avocado,Macadamia, Almonds, Olive Oil
With growing consumption of Omega-6 consumption, it is essential to balance your intake with an equivalent amount of Omega-3 fatty acids for better health.
So to make it easier for you to consume all three types of important fatty acids in adequate proportions, here are a few helpful tips:
- Have fish 2-3 times per week, especially oily fish like Salmon. If you are pregnant, check with your doctor first about which types of fish you can eat.
- Snack on a handful of raw or toasted nuts.
- Top your salads, steamed vegetables, pasta and yogurt with walnuts or ground flax-seeds.
- Try to eat most vegetable oils uncooked, as heat destroys the essential fatty acids.
- Replace margarine and butter with healthy fats like olive oil or other vegetable oils. You can put this into practice even when dining out by simply mixing extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar and dipping your wholegrain bread in it, instead of having bread with butter.
A rich source of essential fatty acids is Evening Primrose Oil, an active ingredient that will benefit your health by:
- Helping regulate your mood and can also help in relieving chronic fatigue syndrome- Affecting how your body utilizes insulin and helping in weight maintenance - Helping you experience relief from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms
Now that you know your essential fats – make the most of them to enjoy a higher quality of life and a healthier way of eating.