To build a healthy cell, you need healthy fats. It really is just that simple. Healthy fats are essential building blocks of our body and it’s time we start embracing and enjoying them more.
Incorporating a variety of healthy Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) is important to maintain joint and muscle health, particularly for those with more of an active lifestyle, or experiencing more wear and tear on the body. There are a range of omegas, and all are classified as EFA’s. These are Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9, and all are available is supplement form. The most popular is Omega 3, usually a staple in supplement programs.
Why is Omega 3 the most popular of the healthy fats?
Omega 6’s and 9’s are easier to get in our daily diet, but in order to get Omega 3 we need to convert the Omega 6 and 9 into Omega 3. This conversion can be a challenge, hence the popularity of Omega 3 supplements. Typically, Omega 3 is derived from fish or krill. These sources are popular, as they convert the omegas into the concentrated Omega 3. If you prefer to use plant-based sources, there are vegan DHA oils available.
Variety of Healthy Fats is Key
To obtain a regular dose of Omega 3’s, supplementation is usually needed. But let’s not forget about our diet, and the omega family. It can be a top source of healthy fats that are easy to add to your diet, and often very versatile.
Here are some tasty favourites;
Avocado – Great addition, especially in cases of inflammation. The phytosterols, antioxidants and high alpha-linolenic acids all aid as anti-inflammatories. Also loaded with carotenoids, you’re receiving added vision support. There are some delicious pudding recipes, and we like to use mashed avocado (in recipes) instead of mayonnaise.
Coconut Oil – Although it is high in saturated fats, these are mostly comprised of MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides). MCT’s are known to be metabolism-friendly, assimilating easily in your body. Basically, your body recognizes and uses these fats as fuel. There are also components of unsaturated fats, polyphenols and Caprylic Acid. Caprylic Acid is a popular supplement to aid in re-balancing the intestinal flora. Look for extra-virgin, organic coconut oil when shopping. Nutiva Coconut Oil has a very light, clean taste.
Coconut Butter – Much like Coconut Oil, it’s so versatile and delicious, but creamy. Truly decadent and easily used as a topping on oatmeal, yogurt, or by the spoonful. We love Nutiva Coconut Manna. A spoonful into a smoothie, curry dish, or soup are our favourite uses.
Hemp Hearts – A sustainable, Canadian crop that’s a high in Omega 3’s and 6’s. A complete protein and an easily assimilated source of omegas. These are soft, slighty nutty, and easy on the digestive system. A great alternative to the harder, crunchier counterparts. Hemp hearts can easily fit into any diet or routine. Sprinkle on salads, grab a handful, or soak and blend into a hemp milk!
Reasons to Fuel with Fat
Omega 3 has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can drastically affect your recovery time for workouts. The anti-inflammatory effects differ from taking over-the-counter ibuprofen. They work to repair and support the inflamed areas, as opposed to masking the inflammation and pain temporarily.
Muscle Repair Power
Repair is a key phase to your workouts. It seems silly, to invest so much time building your body, yet not invest in the repair of your temple (a.k.a your body). Rest, sleep and down time are essential as your fatty acids. Feeding your joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles is key, and protein can’t do it all alone! Adding in Omega 3 will help keep your muscular & skeletal systems running like a well oiled machine.
Your brain is your fattest organ, approximately 60% fat. You may want to consider the types of fat you’re using to build that beautiful mind of yours. Choosing healthy fats has great benefits for cognitive function; focus, mood, memory. If you’re going to all the efforts to look good, it’s worth supporting your whole body so that you also FEEL good.