It seems like today more than ever, so many people are suffering from depression. It’s certainly a topic familiar among my friends. And what about all the “learning issues”? As a Mom, this is an all too familiar conversation in my social circles as well.
Unfortunately the culprit for our brain and mood issues may be due to our “fast food” conveniences. I am not talking about the obvious fast food choices like McDonalds and Burger King. I am talking about the convenience of any and all “pre-made” food. If you didn’t make it yourself it is a “fast food”. I am talking about salad dressings, cereals, breads, cookies, chips, pastas…really anything and everything that is not a fruit, vegetable, nut, meat or fish.
The big problem with all this “fast food” is that it is loaded with vegetable oils which give us lots of Omega 6 Fatty Acid oils. We end up with a huge imbalance of Omega 6 oils to Omega 3 oils. Too much Omega 6 causes inflammation, a major cause of disease and aging. According to Dr. Andrew Weil this imbalance explains the rise of asthma, depression, heart disease, obesity, dyslexia, hyperactivity/ADD, and even the tendency towards violence. The good news is that consuming EFA’s in the correct ratio may relieve these symptoms.
Before the rise of “fast foods” most Americans got 1 Omega 3 EFA for every Omega 6 EFA. Today the average American gets 16 – 17 Omega 6 EFAs for every 1 Omega 3 EFA’s. The recommendation today is to get 4 Omega 6 to every 1 Omega 3.
Where can you get Omega 3’s? Wild Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, blue fish, walnuts, and flax seed. So unless you are eating these foods every single day, you are deficient in Omega 3 EFA’s.
Omega 3 oils contain DHA and EPA fats that are essential for maintaining good health. Our bodies do not produce these fats, so the only way to replenish them is through diet or supplementation. According to Dr. Mercola at mercola.com scientific research indicates that DHA and EPA may:
- Promote heart health
- Boost your immune system and help promote a healthy immune response
- Help you in positive mood support
- Enrich your blood with omega-3s
- Help you maintain blood cholesterol levels within the normal range
60% of the human brain is made up of structural fat consisting of DHA and EPA. So it certainly makes sense that the standard American diet is not providing what the brain needs to function optimally.
At the recommendation of my doctor I recently switched from a fish oil capsule to a liquid fish oil. My doctor explained that I was not getting enough EPA and DHA from the capsules. She said that a liquid insures that your body digest the fish oil and gets the full benefit. Sure enough when I checked the amount I was shocked.
1 capsule of My Trader Joe’s Wild Salmon Fish Oil
- EPA 90 mg
- DHA 110mg
1 teaspoon of Pharmax finest pure fish oil with essential oil of orange (it does not taste fishy at all)
- EPA 1,050 mg
- DHA 750 mg
I now have my entire family on Pharmax liquid fish oil. We take 1 teaspoon a day. I order mine from www.pureformulas.com
A balance of EFA’s is at the top of my age less list. It is crucial for long term health and brain development with an added bonus of beautiful skin, hair and nails.
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