What are essential fatty acids and why do you need them? Read on to find out…
Contrary to popular belief, not all types of fats are bad for you. There are certain fats that are essential in making your body and all of its systems function properly. For example, essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3 are necessary parts of your diet for cardiovascular health, brain function, and more.
But before you load up on all the bacon and burgers you can find, you should research what the essential fats are because not every type is good for you – and ratios of fats to one another also matter. Here are a few things you should know about essential fatty acids:
What Do These Essential Acids Do For the Body?
Fatty acids aid in multiple bodily functions including:
1. Cellular Development
Essential fatty acids have a hand in the development of cells and healthy cellular membranes. Their role is integral enough to halt the formation of tumors and the growth of breast cancer cells.
2. Regulates the Brain and the Nervous System
You might not know this but essential fatty acids can help with the symptoms of certain mental conditions like depression and anxiety. This is because these substances regulate the thyroid and adrenal activity.
3. Maintains Normal Blood Pressure
Another reason to eat more good fats is because they play a role in keeping the circulatory system from going haywire. Fatty acids help thin the blood, which prevents clots that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. They also regulate blood pressure and break down harmful cholesterol.
4. Keeps Skin Healthy and Bright
A diet lacking of essential fatty acids can cause major issues with your skin. Deficiency in these nutrients can cause your skin to appear dull and lifeless. Development of eczema, dandruff and other skin conditions also are most likely to happen.
What Happens If You Do Not Get Enough EFAs?
With all the roles essential fatty acids play, there are some very daunting consequences in not getting enough of these critical substances. The effects vary from person to person; however, essential acid deficiency symptoms may include:
* Impaired vision
* Development of skin conditions
* Memory Loss
* Mood Swings
Fatty acids come in many forms and you can help with these symptoms by including them in your diet.
Where Can You Find Essential Fatty Acids?
Not all fats are harmful to the body and knowing the difference between a good fat and a bad fat is important.
Below are a few healthy sources of essential fatty acids to include in your diet. Just remember the golden rule of healthy eating: everything in moderation!
- Nuts & Seeds
- Cold Water Fish
- Canola Oil
- Walnut Oil
Along with including plenty of these good fats in your diet, you will also want to avoid the bad ones. The best way to do this is simply to stay away from fast food and processed foods. You can also learn more about good fats versus bad fats here.