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 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.
This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com