Tagged: Omega 3 fatty acids

Sources of vitamin D for mood support

Cod Liver Oil and Vitamin D will help support mood, especially during winter months. Cod Liver Oil is one of those time-tested remedies, that your parents and grandparents may have talked about. It has been used as a food and medicine for centuries. Reports indicate ancient Vikings would store cod livers in caskets to ferment.

The first official medical documented use of Cod Liver Oil was in 1789 when a doctor in Manchester, England, used it to treat rheumatism. In the following centuries doctors began to use Cod Liver Oil to treat rickets; a disease linked with vitamin D deficiencies. The use of Cod Liver Oil for this condition and related conditions continued into the 20th century.

 Vitamin D and Fatty Acids for mood support

Only in the last 15 years or so has the idea of a vitamin D deficiency became more apparent. Researchers have discovered that this deficiency is far more common than previously thought. An area of concern regarding this is in depression. Studies indicate that  approximately 63% of women and 35% will experience clinical depression at some point in their life.

Research from Oregon State University shows that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with significant clinical symptoms of depression in otherwise healthy individuals. Receptor sites for vitamin D are located in the same part of the brain that processes emotions. Exhibiting some similar symptoms to depression, evidence exists that suggests Seasonal Affective Disorder is linked to the level of vitamin D in the blood.

So how can vitamin D support mood? A supplement can help regulate the production of key brain chemicals, such as serotonin, that are involved in the regulation of mood. Vitamin D also dampens the inflammatory response in the brain, which is key in influencing mood by activating the stress response.

Fish oil supplement

In addition to supplementing with vitamin D, adding a fish oil supplement such as Fermented Cod Liver Oil to your diet can help counter a deficinecy. Studies have also reported that there is a correlation between countries with high rates of fish oil consumption and low rates of depression. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fermented cod liver oil improve cell membrane and nerve function, which is critical to the richest source of fats in the body, the brain.

The bottom line is that fish oils rich in fatty acids provide powerful nutritional support for brain health and a positive mood. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fatty acids and vitamins A & D. To starve off mood disorders, it is recommended to supplement with vitamin D and fish oil.

Beneftis of Extra Virgin Hemp Seed Oil

There are certain fats that your body
requires. These fats are called essential fatty acids. They play an
important role in many of your bodily functions. They are needed to keep
you cells healthy, your skin supple and to keep your brain boosted to
name a few. Essential fatty acids are also referred to as omega fatty
acids. The most common omega fatty acids are Omega 3, 6 & 9. The
intake of these oils should be in a balanced ratio to keep the body
healthy and to avoid a fatty acid imbalance.

Omega Fatty Acid Balance

Omega
6 fatty acids are abundant in the American diet and are found in
vegetable oils such as soy, canola and olive oils. Because these oils
are consumed in abundance and consumed regularly an imbalance begins to
manifest. There is a danger to this imbalance, as omega 6 fatty acids
are responsible for the hormones that increase inflammation in the body.
Where as Omega 3 fatty acids encourage hormone production that is
anti-inflammatory. And, the average Western diet is lacking the proper
ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

There is no
shortage of omega 6 fatty acids in the Western diet. This is mainly
because vegetable oils such as soy and canola are ubiquitous. They are
found in a wide range of packaged and prepared foods. They fall in the
range of unsaturated fats and are therefore considered healthy. This is a
misconception and this misconception has led to a great imbalance in
the fat intake of Westerners.
Omega
6 fatty acids contribute to ill health in a number of ways, mainly
through the way they contribute to inflammation. The class of drugs
known as COX inhibitors works to block the conversion of Omega 6 fatty
acids into arachidonic acid, a major contributor to inflammation related
diseases. Consider the health imbalances that could be avoided if we
have a balanced fatty acid intake. Of course there are many factors to
health but the importance of fatty acid balance is often overlooked. We
are now beginning to hear more news about the benefits of adequate Omega
3 fatty acids in the diet and its relation to health.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

This group of
fatty acids is not as common in the Western diet as omega 6 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from cold water fish such as tuna,
mackerel, salmon and cod, to name a few.  And it is also available from a
select group of plant oils, mainly flax and hemp seed oil.
There are more than a few concerns about obtaining your fatty acid
intake solely from fish. The concerns are mainly around the high levels
of PCB’s, mercury and other heavy metals in fish. And, there is also the
major concern of over fishing of the world’s oceans. So to rely on fish
as your main source of fatty acids is not a wise choice, when you can
get them from hemp seed oil.

Hemp -vs- Flax

I also mentioned
flax oil as a source for omega 3 fatty acids. This is true, it is a
great source for omega 3’s. There is an issue though. The issue is flax
seed oil is omega 3 unbalanced, meaning it contains a high ratio of
omega 3 fats that is not balanced with the other essential fatty acids.
While it is good for short term use, in the long run it will contribute
to an imbalance of fatty acids in the body.
This is where hemp seed oil
comes in, hemp seed oil is balanced in its ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9.
This is rare and it is what makes hemp oil such a special and beneficial
oil. The ratio of omega fatty acids in this oil is very close to the
ratio a healthy human body likes to maintain. This means you can use
hemp seed oil on a long term basis and with much concern of causing an
essential fatty acid imbalance.
Hemp
seed oil has a delicious nutty flavor, it is light green in color and
goes well with salads and other vegetable dishes. Because hemp seed oil
is delicate it should only be used raw and never cooked or heated.
At
Zebra Organics we package our hemp seed oil in dark green bottles and
it is stored under refrigeration. This is optimal in delivering you a
healthy and fresh product. To purchase some delicious fresh healthy hemp
seed oil visit this link.

Health Benefits of Oceans 3 Omega Fish Oil

Garden of Life’s Oceans 3

Some of the health-giving attributes of the omega-3 fatty acids as found in Garden of Life’s Oceans 3 include the
following: regulation of inflammation, alleviation of pain, prevention
of excessive blood clotting, maintenance of the integrity of cell
membranes, reduction in elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, optimal
fetal development, reduced cardiovascular risk factors, anti-cancer
properties, better cognitive function, reduced incidence of depression,
among many others.

The way that omega-3′s produce their health-giving effects is through
the conversion of a substance called eicosapentaenioc acid (EPA) into
eicosanoids. Specific eicosanoids, known as prostaglandins and
leukotrienes are ultimately responsible for the beneficial effects. Again, the health-promoting biochemicals that are produced from omega
3′s originate directly from EPA. For this reason supplementing with fish oil such as Garden of Life’s Oceans 3 is the best way to receive the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids from Fish or Vegetable Source?

Fish oil such as Garden of Life’s Oceans 3 fats
contain EPA in them naturally. On the other hand, vegetarian sources of
omega-3 fats do not actually contain EPA. Instead the body must convert
the components contained in those (vegetarian) sources into EPA. Here is
an example of how it works. Flax oil contains something called
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which then needs to be converted to
stearidonic acid. Stearidonic acid then gets converted to
eicosatetraenioc acid, which then finally gets converted into EPA. Then
of course, the EPA gets converted into the beneficial eicosanoids.
Remember, these eicosanoids (certain prostaglandins and leukotrienes)
are the biochemicals that exert the anti-inflammatory, etc. responses
that we hope to achieve from ingesting the omega-3′s in the first place.

What’s the Problem?

The problem is with having to make all these conversions
(ALA to EPA to prostaglandins) is that those processes can be impeded
by various things. Essentially the main issue arises in the initial
conversion of ALA. This step will be impeded or blocked in the presence
of alcohol, trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils), and/or
deficiencies in vitamin B6, magnesium, and/or zinc. Considering that
magnesium and zinc tend to be the most deficient minerals in people,
it’s quite probable that many people are not reaping the full benefits
of omega 3′s from vegetarian sources. Fish oil on the other hand
such as Garden of Life’s Oceans 3 already contains EPA, and therefore does not require the conversions
that vegetarian sources do. As a result, one is much more likely to
benefit from taking fish oil.

Zebra Organics stocks only the highest quality supplements available. Each product is hand selected and tested by by our staff before we put them on the website. We are pleased to offer you this fine product Garden of Life’s Oceans 3 and we encourage you to visit our website and shop more great products we offer.

Omega Fatty Acid Balance – Hemp Seed Oil

Extra Virgin First Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil

There are certain fats that your body requires. These fats are called essential fatty acids. They play an important role in many of your bodily functions. They are needed to keep you cells healthy, your skin supple and to keep your brain boosted to name a few. Essential fatty acids are also referred to as omega fatty acids. The most common omega fatty acids are Omega 3, 6 & 9. The intake of these oils should be in a balanced ratio to keep the body healthy and to avoid a fatty acid imbalance.

Omega Fatty Acid Balance

Omega 6 fatty acids are abundant in the American diet and are found in vegetable oils such as soy, canola and olive oils. Because these oils are consumed in abundance and consumed regularly an imbalance begins to manifest. There is a danger to this imbalance, as omega 6 fatty acids are responsible for the hormones that increase inflammation in the body. Where as Omega 3 fatty acids encourage hormone production that is anti-inflammatory. And, the average Western diet is lacking the proper ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

There is no shortage of omega 6 fatty acids in the Western diet. This is mainly because vegetable oils such as soy and canola are ubiquitous. They are found in a wide range of packaged and prepared foods. They fall in the range of unsaturated fats and are therefore considered healthy. This is a misconception and this misconception has led to a great imbalance in the fat intake of Westerners.
Omega 6 fatty acids contribute to ill health in a number of ways, mainly through the way they contribute to inflammation. The class of drugs known as COX inhibitors works to block the conversion of Omega 6 fatty acids into arachidonic acid, a major contributor to inflammation related diseases. Consider the health imbalances that could be avoided if we have a balanced fatty acid intake. Of course there are many factors to health but the importance of fatty acid balance is often overlooked. We are now beginning to hear more news about the benefits of adequate Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet and its relation to health.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

This group of fatty acids is not as common in the Western diet as omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from cold water fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and cod, to name a few.  And it is also available from a select group of plant oils, mainly flax and hemp seed oil. There are more than a few concerns about obtaining your fatty acid intake solely from fish. The concerns are mainly around the high levels of PCB’s, mercury and other heavy metals in fish. And, there is also the major concern of over fishing of the world’s oceans. So to rely on fish as your main source of fatty acids is not a wise choice, when you can get them from hemp seed oil.

Hemp -vs- Flax

I also mentioned flax oil as a source for omega 3 fatty acids. This is true, it is a great source for omega 3’s. There is an issue though. The issue is flax seed oil is omega 3 unbalanced, meaning it contains a high ratio of omega 3 fats that is not balanced with the other essential fatty acids. While it is good for short term use, in the long run it will contribute to an imbalance of fatty acids in the body.
This is where hemp seed oil comes in, hemp seed oil is balanced in its ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9. This is rare and it is what makes hemp oil such a special and beneficial oil. The ratio of omega fatty acids in this oil is very close to the ratio a healthy human body likes to maintain. This means you can use hemp seed oil on a long term basis and with much concern of causing an essential fatty acid imbalance.
Hemp seed oil has a delicious nutty flavor, it is light green in color and goes well with salads and other vegetable dishes. Because hemp seed oil is delicate it should only be used raw and never cooked or heated.
At Zebra Organics we package our hemp seed oil in dark green bottles and it is stored under refrigeration. This is optimal in delivering you a healthy and fresh product. To purchase some delicious fresh healthy hemp seed oil visit this link.
Wishing you health and happiness.
Zebra Organics
This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com

Vitamin D for the Winter

 Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin most known for its role in maintaining proper bone health and density.  It is a necessary nutrient produced in the body through the skin’s exposure to the sun.  General daily sun exposure is usually enough to maintain healthy levels of this vitamin.  In winter when the sun is not in the sky as much and we are not outside as much using vitamin D supplements may be an option.

                                                                                      
Why is Vitamin D so important?

Because it has a positive affect on:

  • Heart Health
  • Immune system function
  • Bone Health
  • Calcium uptake
  • Integumentary System 
  • Mood

Over the past few years researchers have discovered Vitamin D has a wide range of health benefits, some of which are listed above.  Its role of maintaining a healthy immune system is what I want to talk address now as we are headed into the winter.   Commonly during winter there is a rise in colds and the flu, which makes it a good time to do what we can to stay healthy.   Knowing that Vitamin D can play a role is promising because we need it anyway for general health.  So making sure we get enough of it now may help us stave off the common cold or something more serious. 

Recent Study*

A study in Japan on vitamin D3 and bone density found that subjects taking the  supplement were three times less likely to report cold and flu symptoms.  These unintended findings led to more research. Further research was conducted and the findings indicated that subjects using a 1,200 of D3 were 58% less likely to catch influenza A.  The study included 334 subjects half received a placebo and half received Vitamin D3 1,200 units a day.  Out of these two groups 31 people in the placebo group caught influenza A and out of the group who supplemented with D3, 18 subjects caught influenza A.

Safety and Food Sources
Vitamin D is relatively safe, toxicity beginning to occour at around 50,000 IU’s a day.
Food sources of Vitamin D include fatty fish:

  • mackerel
  • sardines
  • salmon 
  • anchovies 

Many foods are also enriched with Vitamin D including milk and orange juice; egg yolks are also a good source of Vitamin D.  If you look to eggs for this nutrient and other nutrients it is best to source eggs from local chickens who have time in the yard to feed on insects and who receive healthy feed.

The Linus Pauling Institute at the University of Oregon is a great source for scientifically detailed information on Vitamin D and its benefits.

Another Excellent Source of Vitamin D is Fermented Cod Liver Oil.


 * American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online March 10, 2010.

This blog is for informational purposes only.  It is not medical advice and is not intended to substitute medical advice from your doctor.  You should not use the information in this blog for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

A Healthy 2012

Add More Greens to Your Diet

It is the new year a time when many people resolve to get healthy and make changes to their diet. We fully support the positive changes people wish to make; especially when it comes to cleaning up their diet and exercising more.  Because lets face it without these two factors supplements, pills and powders just aren’t going to give you the results you are looking for.  

                                                                                                           
Along with a healthy diet and exercise certain supplements and herbs can give you the extra nudge with achieving your health and fitness goals.  One really simple thing you can do that will make significant changes over the long term is to add more plants to your diet.  Specifically add more leafy green plants to your diet. Do this everyday for a year and you will see and feel the changes it makes in your life. Try spinach, kale, broccoli, brussle sprouts, collards, lettuce and fresh green herbs like parsley and cilantro. After doing this if you still want support go for it.  Below is a list of a few key supplements that will support your health and fitness goals.

Yerba Mate
This hardy South American wonder tea has been used for centuries to help control hunger and nourish the body.  On top of that it also boost metabolism helping the body to burn fat.  Yerba mate is a well known appetite suppressant and it is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
 Yerba mate has been used as a tea by natives of South America for centuries, where it is still widely consumed and sometimes referred to as a liquid vegetable.  So if you need an extra boost in the morning skip the coffee and go for Yerba Mate. It will not only give you the boost of coffee but the nutrition of vegetables.  It is available in loose for or in tea bags.

Vitamineral Green 
This powerhouse supplement contains more nutrient dense foods than you can shake a stick at.  Over the years green supplement powders have become popular because they are highly nutritious, low in   calories, regulate blood sugar and they are convenient and easy to use. Simply mix Vitamineral Green  into water or juice and you’ve transformed it into a wonder health drink. 

 

Salad Booster
Give a boost to your salads with Living Intentions “Salad Booster” a smart product containing a variety of raw and sprouted nuts, seeds and nutrient dense superfoods.  This product is a tasty way to increase nutrient intake with just a few shakes.  Salad booster is easy to use, portable and tastes good, besides the sprouted nuts and seeds it also contains spirulina and chlorella. 

Hemp Seeds

Nutty and delicious, Hemp seeds add protein, healthy fats and vitamin E to your diet, they are fun to eat and easy to incorporate. Simply sprinkle them onto salads, grain dishes or add to a smoothie.  Hemp Seeds are a good source of digestible protein. They are 33% protein by weight and contain all 8 essential amino acids.  They are also a great source of vegetable based omega 3 fatty acids.

Superfood Smoothie Mix
With eight potent, organic superfood ingredients, this is one of the most powerful sources of nutrition available! It’s incredibly rich in complete protein, cell-protecting antioxidants, heart-healthy omega 3s, cholesterol-balancing phytosterols, and an array of immunity-supporting bioflavonoids, minerals and natural vitamins.  Superfood Smoothie Mix contains hemp, maca, acai, mesquite, lucuma and goji berry extract.
Health is not a complicated formula, all it requires is some simple changes to diet, activity levels and managing stress in a balance way.  Add to this a few key supplements because they offer concentrated nutrition thus boosting vitamin, mineral and anti oxidant intake without much effort.  We are here to  support you by offering you a selection of hand picked top quality products and valuable information.
All the Best and Happy New Year to you and yours!
From the Zebra Organics team

Fish Oil the power of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are part of a group of fats known as Essential Fatty Acids. They include omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. They are known as ‘Essential Fatty Acids’ because the body cannot synthesize them and they must be obtained from food or by supplementation. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in both fish and certain plant oils. The difference is omega 3’s from fish contain DHA and EPA and omega 3’s from plants do not contain DHA or EPA. The body can convert the elements of plant based omega 3’s into EPA and DHA.* But with fish oi they are readily available to the body for immediate use.

Benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids include: 
  • alleviation of pain
  • reduces inflammation
  • prevents excessive blood clotting
  • enhanced cognitive function
  • important for fetal development
  • boosts mood
  • regulates cholesterol and triglycerides
Zebra Organics features a variety of fish oil supplements including Fermented Cod Liver Oil.  Beyond the widely known benefits of omega fatty acids, fish oil and particularly fermented fish oil contains a variety of fat soluble nutrients in a bio available form.
Nutrients from Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • Wide spectrum of Vitamin A components*
  •  Wide spectrum of Vitamin D components
  • CoQ enzymes, Vitamins E & K
  • more nutrients per tablespoon than regular fish oil
Anyone can benefit from omega 3 supplements and when using fermented fish oil you can know that you are getting one of the most bio-available nutrient rich essential fatty acid supplement on the planet. Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is cold processed and produced in the old world tradition.
* While the body can convert plant based omega 3 fats into EPA, this process can be easily blocked by alcohol, trans fatty acids and a zinc deficiency.
* Vitamin A is more than just beta carotene there are up to 15 different types of Vitamin A