All about Omega 3 and 6

April 3, 2015

 

Hi everyone!

 

Has everyone had a good start to the week and made it to the gym at least once?

 

A question that’s been up for discussion in the gym has been Omega 3 & 6. I encourage you all to eat fish and if it’s oily then even better.

 

Oily fish are a Polyunsaturated type of fat. This means that the fish and his oil are liquid at both room and cold temperatures.

 

A sub category of polyunsaturated fats are called essential fatty acids. These cannot be made by your body so they have to come from the food that you eat! 

 

They are the Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory)  and the Omega 6 (pro-inflammatory) series.

 

We need both omega 3s and omega 6s to be healthy but it’s common for us to be deficient in Omega 3. We should shift this balance and take in more Omega 3. 

 

Omega 3
 

Omega 3 is found in oily fish and is used for blood clotting, inflammation, immune system, regulation of hormones and blood flow. Studies have shown improved brain function, prevent Alzheimer’s, treat depression, lower the risk of heart attacks and improve ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia! Clever hey!

 

For us gym bunnies Omega 3s increase the delivery of oxygen to muscles, improve aerobic capacity and endurance, speed up recovery and reduce joint stiffness.

So what should I be eating for Omega 3?

 

The government recommends 2 portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily which is approx 2 -3g of Omega 3 per week.

 

Oily fish – mackerel, fresh tuna, herring, salmon, rainbow trout and sardines

 

Linseeds, flax seed, flax oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cod liver oil & rapeseed oil

 

Dark leafy green veg such as kale, broccoli, spinach and soybeans

 

Omega 6

 

Omega 6 is more widely found in food than Omega 3. 6’s are important for healthy functioning of cell membranes and healthy skin.

 

However eating too much Omega 6 can lead to a pro-inflammatory state. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection and should be a temporary self protective response. Omega 6 overload can increase the risk of free radical damage (cancer), cardiovascular disease, stroke & arthritis. A low Omega 6 intake is suggested.

 

Where do I find Omega 6?
 

Vegetable oils (soya, corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut or sesame), polyunsaturated margarine, fried food, cakes, stir-fry, biscuits and crisps.

 

Nuts – a small amount of omega 6 is found in nuts but nuts have so many other benefits that it’s totally fine to continue eating them.

 

So how do I get the balance right?
 

·         Limit your intake of processed and deep fried foods – you know this guys!

·         Use oils rich in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil instead of vegetable or seed oils.

·         Eat 1 – 2 portions of oily fish per week

·         Eat grass fed or free range animal products – higher in Omega 3

 

 See you soon

 

“Stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen.” 

 

Rosie

 

 

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