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So here’s the thing, when was the last time you heard that fats are essential for your brain? Yep, you read that right – fats are essential for your brain to function. As it happens, fats are also very much a part of the equation for happiness. The better your blood levels of omega-3 fats (found in oily fish and seeds), the better level of serotonin – our “happy, happy, joy, joy” neurotransmitter.
The seed rich oils include flax, hemp, walnut and pumpkin. These fats can be converted in the body to EPA and DHA, the ultimate essential fats responsible for our brain health. However, conversion in the body for most of us is poor so thankfully, nature has provided an alternate solution by dousing oily fish like sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies, kippers with high levels of DHA and EPA.
For vegetarians or vegans, including a good source of algae will also provide a good hit of DHA. Other essential fats include those obtained from borage, blackcurrant seed and evening primrose oil. Supplementing with these has proven effective in a wide variety of problems.
Happy thoughts and youthful skin are not always about what you include in your diet but often, what you leave out! With fats, this is no exception and it is imperative we do not trigger inflammatory responses in the body by consuming high levels of damaged and processed fats from deep frying, homogenising, hydrogenating (think margarines!). These fats are present in processed foods like biscuits, cookies, baked goods, pastries, even hydrogenated dairy products.
Our skin is another major area desperate for its share of the fat bounty. If you have itchy, dry skin or are prone to excema, dermatitis etc then chances are, you are deficient in essential fats. Whilst we are all familiar with the idea that skin repair starts from within the body, it is also important to use good quality, organic oils topically to help nourish, repair and rejuvenate our skin to give a protective, plump, hydrated and resilient outer layer of skin.
Those essential fatty acids will soak into the epidermis layers hydrating as they go, eventually reaching the blood supply where they can be carried to specific tissues and organs. Because our skin is more permeable than we have previously thought, it is essential we use only top quality organic oils on our skin without any of the pesticides or other toxic chemicals that many skin care products contain, preventing the penetration of toxic chemicals into our body.
So, are you getting enough fat? Is your skin silky smooth and moist? Or do you suffer itchy, irritated skin, stiff painful joints, inflammation, weight gain?
Add some fat to your diet today by eating oily fish or using a good quality fish oil supplement. Throw together a seed mix of hemp, flax and chia and sprinkle a tablespoon over your meals. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and fluids and use an organic seed rich oil to smooth over your skin every day, like Omega Body with its high content of hemp seed oil or the 3.6.9 Omega with its rich supply of borage oil.
Caroline is a graduate of Newcastle University NSW, a qualified dietitian and a published author. She is now based on the Gold Coast after spending 2 years studying with a UK based nutritionist, working in the area of whole foods. With a background in holistic health encompassing Western herbal medicine and naturopathy, Caroline is a dynamic, well rounded speaker and practitioner with years of experience in private practice here on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Caroline’s passion is for sharing and educating people about the nature and sustainability of whole food choices. How to prevent and reverse disease using healthy whole foods and how to maintain healthy eating habits surrounded by a fast paced culture of convenience and cheap food. Click here to learn more about Caroline.