Ninety-eight percent of the cells in our bodies are removed and replaced every year! This means if you raise your standard of eating; raise the quality of foods you consume, within one year you will have upped your body’s metabolism and begun to turn your current body situation around. This is called “healing.” Your body does it naturally! It is set up to correct ALL but two percent of the damage you have done to yourself – if you happened to eat poorly.
Your body is amazing! Once you grasp how astounding the chemistry that your body works within you – actually is, you can turn your health around. It makes what it needs for itself, however it needs certain basic ingredients, called essential nutrients, that it cannot make. These include:
- Eighteen minerals
- At least eight, and up to eleven amino acids (proteins).
- Thirteen vitamins
- Two essential fatty acids (EFA’s). The government determined these to be essential in 1981: omega-3 & omega-6.
Fats are crucial to good health. For example, the brain’s myelin sheaths are partially comprised of fatty acids. A diet which is fifteen percent or more fat is the minimum everybody should have in order to be healthy. It is said the epileptic diet is eighty percent fat, and when faithfully followed has been known to turn the disease around. Every cell of your body needs essential fatty acids (EFA’s) to implement and augment the multiple channels running throughout your body. EFA’s increase oxygen uptake and metabolism, causing quicker recovery. It was noticed not long ago, that marathon runners stoking up on carbs before a race depleted their endurance at about 20 miles, whereas those runners utilizing good EFA food sources and supplements were able to go not only the 20 miles but many times more that distance due to an increase in oxygen metabolism.
BALANCE YOUR OMEGA-3’S AND OMEGA-6’S
When it comes to these two EFA’s they need to have each other in a proper ratio in order to do their job. Some health authorities suggest four omega-6’s for every one omega-3. But the average American eats at least three times that amount of omega-6’s per one omega-3! It is thought a diet low in omega-3, but high in omega-6 may INCREASE inflammation and risk for disease.
On the other hand, if one looks at the reverse scenario, avocados at only five percent omega-3’s are a fine addition to the omega-3 menu. However, flax seeds at fifty-eight percent, are too high in omega-3’s and may cause an omega -6 deficiency (lack of skin elasticity etc.) if consumed regularly without its counterpart.
OMEGA-3’S…skip reading this part if it is too technical!
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two well-known long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids belonging to the omega-3 family. The first, (EPA) produces chemicals called eicosanoids which help decrease inflammation and lessen symptoms of depression. The second, (DHA) constitutes about eight percent of your brain weight and so is tremendously vital for normal brain growth and function. A third EFA out of the currently known eleven types of omega-3’s; coming from plant sources only is called Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is not as active in the body. Thus, your body, genius that it is, switches it to two of the other forms of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA in order to achieve its best health benefits. But your system can only make use of about five percent of ALA as EPA and a miniscule one-half percent of DHA. For this reason, you would need to eat a huge amount of ALA-rich foods to meet your omega-3 needs. But, not to worry…I have found some superb supplements out there, that take this into account and will meet your body’s requirements!
Only flaxseed oil and perilla (also known as mountain mint, beefsteak plant, wild oregano) oils deliver more omega-3’s than omega-6’s, and even then their omega-3’s aren’t in the form the body can easily absorb.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Do Opposite Jobs!
Your body needs both essential fatty acids – for opposite reasons!
It needs omega-6 EFAs to make hormones that:
- cause mucus release around foreign objects/germs
- trigger blood vessels to tighten in order to prevent bleeding
- activate stress hormones
It needs omega-3 EFAs to make hormones that:
- that halt the release of mucus, keeping inflammation from destroying healthy tissues,
- cause blood vessels to relax, allowing blood flow.
- Omega-3’s also help the brain make the neurotransmitters associated with good mood and relaxation.
SOURCES OF BOTH OMEGAS
Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, Evening Primrose oil, rice germ oil, and oat germ oil are just some plant food sources that contain EFA’s. Mackerel, salmon, trout and more also contain EFA’s. But remember, these are also the most easily damaged with heat, light and oxygen and so, may not be your most dependable sources. Fish oil omega-3’s are five times more sensitive to processing. Eating the above listed foods is helpful, but may not suffice your body’s voracious appetite for good fats.
Your body’s own genius will prefer your inner organs to your skin and send both the omegas where they are needed most – internally. So, if you begin to notice your skin losing elasticity or becoming dry you may need to up your omega-6’s. Omega-3 has the capacity also, to actively turn on your body’s ability to burn fat. Part of its power is due to its talent for breaking the “high blood sugar-insulin-low blood sugar-hunger cycle.” In fact, in recent tests it has even been said that carb addiction is eight times stronger than cocaine…so it appears that it is not a simple cycle to reverse!
THE BEST PART ABOUT FATS
Your body has the ability to make ‘feel-good molecules’ called endocannabinoids out of EFA’s. These endocannabinoids help create hormones and antioxidants. They also assist in the following:
1. reduce anxiety
2. reduce inflammation
3. relieve pain
4. control nausea
5. kill cancer cells
6. slow tumor growth
7. relax tight muscles
8. stimulate appetite in people with cancer and AIDS.
Your body is so amazing that it makes its own soothing, ‘feel better’ ambrosia out of good oils!
WE HAVE ALL HEARD THAT FATS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!
LET’S TALK ABOUT CHOLESTEROL
Some nutrients our bodies cannot create. Some it can. For example, cholesterol, which has a bad rap these days is actually a good fat created by our own bodies and is responsible for a host of extremely important functions. Just a few of these functions include the regulation of body fluids, creation of Vitamin B, and it even plays an important part in the creation of sex hormones.
Once our bodies manufacture cholesterol and there becomes too much, our bodies know enough to automatically dump it into the liver. There it is processed and goes on out the gastrointestinal system. Cholesterol is not the issue. The problem is due to too high a consumption of animal products with not enough fiber to support your body’s auto-correct mechanism. So cholesterol, not dumped according to protocol – due to a of a lack of fiber gets tagged as the bad-guy!
The omega-3’s in fish oils are five times more sensitive to damage due to heat, light and oxygen. Most fish oils sold today are stabilized (kept from spoiling) with processes which use heat, light or oxygen. This invalidates the effectiveness of the supplement and worse, it makes the quality of the omega-3 in the original, fresh oil become toxic. Recent studies show that consumption of these fish oils is actually more detrimental than helpful to one’s daily health regime!
BUT WE LOVE OUR FRIED FOODS!
DNA and RNA protein issues stem more from toxified fats than from anything else. Fats most sensitive to damage are the omega-3’s and the omega-6’s.
Damaged oils interfere with oxygen metabolism in our bodies. Frying oil changes the actual shapes of the fat molecules. This causes them to pile up in your body as unidentified substances which eventually may cause disease. Hydrogenated fats are so bad that when the oils are processed, they change form, becoming twisted as well as unrecognizable to our body systems. They are then stored as fat to protect the body from their absorption.
Our body fat is an ingenious protective device which most people in the western world have. We are all quite fat! When our body’s defense mechanisms identify an unknown, possibly harmful item, it stashes it in fat! To demonstrate this, I will tell a small story as to how this actually translated in my everyday life.
Some years ago, one of our family members battled cancer. The chemotherapy meant that her blood sometimes became too thick. With medical instruction, she taught herself how to inject her own belly with a blood thinner. Upon the conclusion of radiation and chemotherapy, when she was declared cancer free, she observed she had a couple of “spare-tires” around her middle and attacked the gym with a vengeance. Her diligence paid off eventually but the chemicals that had been locked within those fat rings made her sick enough that she had to slow down her efforts at ridding herself of them as quickly as she had hoped. Today she is “spare-tire” free, married and a mother of three children. And as a nurse-practitioner she helps others overcome their health issues too.