August 25th, 2014Essential Fatty Acids
Tonya Judd M.H.
Essential fatty acids are just what the name states, essential. Our bodies need EFA’s. Omega-3 fatty acids fight disease by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels and joints, protect our central nervous system, improves our mood, help with inflammation and joint pain, improve eyesight, positively affect cardiovascular health, help prevent age related macular degeneration and reduces blood sugar levels and triglyceride levels by eating only 1 ounce of EFA’s per day.
A deficiency in EFA’s can lead to mood swings and depression. Symptoms or signs of EFA deficiency in individuals include some of the following: dry skin, cracking skin on heels and fingertips, craving fatty foods, painful/stiff joints, poor muscle strength, hyperactivity, poor wound healing, learning/memory problems, dry hair, excessive thirst, and irritability to name a few.
EFA’s help with pregnancy and post-natal depression. EFA’s are passed to the baby in utero and help with the development of the brain. As the EFA’s are passed to the baby, this reduces the mother’s EFA levels, thus contributing to post-natal depression if the new mom is not consuming enough in her daily diet.
An amazing newer source for EFA’s is Sacha Inchi oil and Sacha Inchi seeds. Sacha Inchi grows in the highlands of Peru and the plant produces year after year and keeps producing for decades. The oil is derived from the cold pressing of the seeds and requires no refining. The oil is similar to olive oil but has a much lighter taste and the seeds (also called Incan peanuts) boast 50% oil content and have a nutty flavor when roasted. Sacha Inchi oil is an excellent source of amino acids, easily digestible proteins and nutrients. Sacha inchi exceeds fish oil and flax in omega-3 = 48% and omega-6 = 36%
High in fiber, high in tryptophan, no cholesterol, high in protein with a 27% protein content and is rich in iodine and vitamins A and E. Sacha Inchi oil and seeds are also an excellent source of amino acids. Another plus of Sacha inchi is that you can get all of your omegas in one shot…omega-3 (48%), omega-6 (35%) and omega-9 (9%) Sacha inchi has been shown to reduce blood sugar and triglyceride levels by eating just 1 oz. per day. Other sources of EFA’s include dark leafy greens such as spinach, flax seeds and flax oil, chia seed and purslane.
Keep in mind that when adding omega-3’s to your diet, it may take up to a month of use before you begin to see results.
Tonya Judd is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing and an Emotional Release practitioner.