Essential Fatty Acids: Why Are They Essential?

After decades of being told otherwise, it’s difficult to swallow the idea that fat can be good for your health. However, for our bodies to remain healthy, we need to take in the right amounts of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Are you eating the right fats? You need enough essential fatty acids in your diet to prevent deficiency and keep you healthy.

Essential fatty acids are those fats that our bodies cannot produce by themselves, so they must be obtained from our diets. Although your body can synthesize most of the fats it needs from the food you consume, there are two essential fatty acids that your body is unable to synthesize – linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). These fats can only be found in our foods and they’re used to build some specialized fats known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help in the normal functioning of all body tissues.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are types of omega-3 fatty acids that originate from ALA. These highly unsaturated fats play important roles in brain development and functioning. Arachidonic acid (AA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) are omega-6 fatty acids derived from LA. The derivation of these fats can be easily impaired by several factors, which makes it necessary to supplement them with dietary sources.

There are many health benefits associated with consuming EFAs with the biggest being that they are essential for our wellbeing and our bodies cannot produce them. They also have a positive impact on heart health, brain function and the bodies natural responses.

EFAs can be obtained from a variety of high-quality food sources. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include organic Wild Microalgae®, salmon, sardines, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts. Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids include almonds, cashew nuts, and sunflower seeds.

The modern diet typically contains more omega-6 fatty acids than required. Therefore, although omega-6 fats are essential, most people should reduce their intake.

Why Take Essential Fatty Acids Supplements?
Oftentimes we don’t get everything required for a healthy internal ecosystem. Consuming high-quality nutritional supplements can help fill these gaps and help to improve the quality of your overall health.