What is the story behind the Omega’s?

A few years ago, there was an idea that a person must cut out all fat from the diet to prevent heart disease and what happened ? Some people tried to follow this advice but [besides having to try to get very uninteresting food into their bodies,] they started to develop certain health problems.

It was then found that one needs certain fatty acids in the diet, because the body can not produce them and they were called essential fatty acids. When you consume these, your body can manufacture the other fatty acids that it needs. Fatty acids are the building blocks for fat that are found in the body. Your body needs a certain amount of fat, in fact, fat forms part of the membrane around each cell in your body.

These essential fatty acids can be grouped into Omega 6, Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids. The first are found mostly in oils of plant origin like sunflower oil, the omega 3’s are found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel, while flaxseed oil contains all 3 groups.

Now why are these fatty acids so important in the body ?

    They are necessary for the formation of substances that play a vital role in memory and concentration.

    They help to lower high blood pressure.

    They help to lower the “bad” cholesterol in the body and increase the “good” cholesterol.

    For healthy hair, skin and nails.

    For protection of the liver against the toxic effects of alcohol and other poisons.

    For normal kidney functioning.

    For normal functioning of the membranes around the body cells.

    They help the red blood cells in the body to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

    They help to reduce the risk of developing blood clots (thrombosis).

    It has been found that they prevent the growth of cancer cells.

    They improve the body’s immunity.

    They can help to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual tension and menopause. ( Health and Happiness by A van der Merwe)

How can one be sure that you consume enough of these valuable ingredients ? Eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout or sardines 2 to 3 times per week and take 15 ml of sunflower oil per day. Flaxseed oil contains all 3 groups and the recommendation for adults is to take 1 tablespoon per day; for children the amount can be halved.

If you are not keen on the above, one can take supplements of the essential fatty acids available at various chemists or health shops or contact us to ask about hempseed oil, which contains it all.