Monday, November 23, 2009

Omega O'Mama

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are crucial for healthy skin, organ function and immunity. Omega 3 & 6 in a 1:1 ratio is the optimal balance. This happens in diets rich in leafy greens, grass fed chicken, bison, beef and fatty cold water fish. Studies show a ratio of 1:3 Omega 3 to Omega 6, is considered effective in preventing many types of cancer and inflammatory disease and promoting cardiovascular health. There is some quite technical information on how Omega 3 interacts with Omega 6 but I'll spare you the details. Basically one balances the other and you want the ratio to be better than 1:15 which is primarily where Western diets are at.

Quite simply, Omega 3 is found in cold water fatty fish, flax and hemp seed oil, grass fed chicken and cattle and a small amount of soy. Omega 6 can be found in all of the aforementioned food sources plus evening primrose(GLA source), walnut and safflower oils. Most people have adequate but more likely too much Omega 6 in their diets. This is primarily due to soy supplementation in a number of processed foods. Read labels and you may be surprised on all the soy derivatives.

Too much Omega 6 causes inflammation in your system and can manifests itself through the skin and organs leading to several imbalances and disease. Soy is notorious for being rich in Omega 6 and imbalanced in Omega 3. Soy's ratio is about 1:6 in Omega 3 & 6, respectively. If you eat alot of soy really look at the Omega 6 mg values and supplement with Cold Water Fish Oils to somewhat balance it out. I like Nordic Naturals Omega 3D. It has no detectable amounts of heavy metals and rich in Omega 3's of DHA, EPA and has Vitamin D. Omega 3's of DHA and EPA are readily assimilated without the liver having to convert it.

The winters in Montana can be dark with short days and lots of snow. Inversions are a wonderful remedy for winter blues and spectacular to view. Inversions are what lead to the naming of my business. Anyway, the best way to get Vitamin D is through sun exposure directly on the most skin surface area possible. With numerous cloudy days this far north we supplement with fish oils and vitamin d during the winter. Vitamin D supports a healthy immune system and Omega 3's of DHA and EPA are especially important for developing brains of young children and support brain, eye and nerve function for adults. Children that are still breastfeeding will receive adequate amounts through mother's milk that is supplemented with Cold Water Fish Oils.

Swan Range Inversion

Omega 3's found in plants are known as ALA. Our livers convert ALA into usable DHA and EPA. Food sources include two of my favorites Kale and Hemp Seed Oil. Kale is in a near perfect 1:1 ratio. Hemp a 1:3 ratio also provides additional fat and protein into diets. It is quite palatable for children and easily consumed in milk or powder form. I like Living Harvest for Hemp Milk and Hemp Powder and Nutiva for Hemp Seed Oil. All Sun Loving Baby Herbal Salves are made with Organic Hemp Seed Oil because your skin is your largest organ. In addition, Organic Hemp Milk can be used in place of recipes that call for cow's milk. Those chocolate chip cookies are now REALLY good for you.

You heard this all before, but healthy diets in children and adults(although most of us have our processed food addictions) should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains like spelt(ancestor to wheat with minimal gluten content), brown rice and quinoa. Plenty of fluids like herbal tea of raspberry, anise hyssop, nettles or lemon balm, Alaskan salmon or Arctic Cod and grass fed cattle or chicken products and some type of probiotic. Meats, in my opinion, should not be introduced till the canines come in. This is a similar philosophy to not introducing food till they can sit upright on their own. It simply aligns with body and molar development as indicators for food introduction. Children's food beginnings will have a lasting impact on their overall health today and in the future.

Our family has limited our processed foods to organic tortilla chips and wheat free figs. Corn in the form of tortilla chips does not leach out vital niacin in your body like whole corn because it is slacked with lime. Figs are a healthy sweet treat but do create heat in your body. We no longer ingest wheat or soy. Wheat allergies can manifest itself through skin rashes, redness and indigestion(gluten intolerance). These food choices may sound so bland to most but really after committing to this a few years ago I no longer crave the usual processed salts and sugars. Well, maybe some homemade cookies, chocolate ginger cake with maple frosting (1800mg Omega 3-Believe It!)and there's hope that the occassional consumption of organic ice cream is from grass fed cattle and boosting my Omega 3's too.

Trying to limit if not eliminate soy consumption all together can prove challenging from the standpoint of a meat free diet but many other beans may provide an adequate source of protein. Soy has been linked to hormonal imbalances in young girls and boys, kidney stones and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Studies have concluded that too much soy consumption leads to earlier onset of puberty in young girls and later on in life longer periods, infertility and thyroid dysfunction. So, if your a heavy Soy consumer especially, your young children consider switching to Hemp and pick maybe one Soy item to eat daily.

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