It is well known that omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart, but did you know that they are also good for your skin? There are two essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6. Our bodies can’t make these compounds, we have to get them from food. Omega 9 can be made by the body so it is not classed as an essential fatty acid.
Omega 6 is found in abundance in our diet. Processed vegetable oils and animal fat are the main sources. In fact, they are too good at providing omega 6, and we tend to have too much in our diet. Omega 3 on the other hand, is found in much smaller quantities in foods and is mostly absent from commercial cooking oils, so we don’t get enough in our diet.
Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1:1. However, the modern western diet has a ratio of around 16:1. So our diets often contain far too much omega 6. Too much omega 6 is pro-inflammatory and has been linked to the development of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Adding more omega 3 to your diet may reduce your risk of developing these diseases.
The health benefits of omega 3’s can also be great for the body’s largest organ, the skin. There is evidence that omega 3’s prevents wrinkles and work against the ageing process. Improvement may be seen in skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, psoriasis and acne.
One of the biggest reasons omega 3 leads to healthier skin is because it reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a contributor to many diseases and disorders including skin disorders such as rosacea, psoriasis, acne and eczema. So it’s no surprise that getting more omega 3 in your diet should help with these conditions.
Where do I get omega 3 from?
Omega 3 is found in abundance in foods such as avocado, walnuts, flax seeds and also in oily fish. Whilst oily fish is an excellent source of this nutrient, sadly much of our fish now comes with a heavy dose of contamination in the form of heavy metals such as mercury. One of the best sources of omega 3 is plant based, from flax seeds. Flax seeds can be purchased from health shops and larger supermarkets. Flax needs to be ground in order for us to absorb the nutrients. It can be sprinkled on salads, added to breakfast cereals, added to baked goods such as home made bread and muffins.
If you would like a skin health assessment then call us on 02380 270 698.