Let’s Talk: Omega 3 for Great Skin

30 Jan

Back in the day–way back, kids would line up to get their daily spoonful of cod liver oil from mom.  The old cod liver oil was an acquired taste…not!  I don’t imagine anyone could ever come to relish its taste.  I can imagine that there were a lot of threats and promises to cajole kids into taking it.   However, families then knew the importance of omega 3 (cod liver oil is high in omega 3) in the diet, but somehow that’s been lost in more recent generations.  Even my mom remembered being made to have a spoonful of cod liver oil daily, but she never gave it to her children.  Although, we did eat a lot of fresh fish, nuts, and fresh greens (food sources of omega 3). 

Well, the word is out.  Americans are deficient in omega 3.  We aren’t eating foods that are high in omega 3, instead our diet is mainly meat, processed foods, and junk foods–all low in omega 3.   Omega 3 is one of two essential fatty acids that the body needs; the other is omega 6.  These two need to be in balance.  Because of the typical western diet, American diets are high in omega 6.  Omega 6 causes inflammation, and omega 3  fights inflammation.  So, for skin inflammations, such as acne, bacne, eczema, and psoriasis having omega 3 in the diet is imperative.  Omega 3 also helps with oil production; this benefits dry skin and acne (by keeping oils in balance).

Omega 3 – Just the Facts:

  •    Body does not make it on its own.   Needs to come from food.
  •   Most Americans are deficient in omega 3.
  •   Omega 3 and 6 need to be balanced.  Estimates are the typical American diet has 14- 25 times more omega 6 than omega 3.
  •   Omega 3 has two main fatty acids, DHA and EHA.
  •   EHA fatty acids helps the skin:
    boosts hydration – prevents and aids acne and eczema – slows aging process of skin – prevents collagen loss – repairs the skin – offers some protection against the sun and sun damage – regulates oil production – helps dry, itchy skin.
  • DHA aids in brain function.  It’s very important that pregnant women get omega 3 so their babies aren’t born omega 3 deficient. It can affect brain, eye, and nerve development.  More than half the fat in the brain is DHA.
  • Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids are:
    fish, especially salmon – salmon, flaxseed – chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds – walnuts – dark green leafy vegetables (a different kind of omega 3 is in nuts and vegetables)
    .
  •  Supplementation is another way to get omega 3.  Not all omega 3 supplements are equal; some contain little DHA or EHA.  Buy only those that have been independently tested.
  • Omega 3 is good for other conditions, such as eye conditions, depression, ADHD, heart disease, arthritis and other inflammations, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and stomach disorders.

BTW – Just like “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…in a most delightful way…,” cod liver oil now comes in orange and lemon flavors.  As far as  “delightful”…well….

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Reference:

“Omega 3 Fatty Acids,” University of Maryland Medical Center.  Online: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

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2 Responses to “Let’s Talk: Omega 3 for Great Skin”

  1. FitnessPal January 31, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    Great post – thanks for sharing this information 🙂

    • yumscrub January 31, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Your welcome. Thanks for visiting; I really appreciate it.

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