Essential fatty acids (EFAs) have many functions in the body. No cell, tissue, gland, or organ can function normally without them. Optimal EFA levels are critical in reducing inflammation, increasing endurance, shortening recovery, protecting the joints, improving mood and concentration, and promoting deeper sleep.
Our EFA status becomes stronger when we eat foods that are similar to those eaten by our primitive, human ancestors—a diet abundant in lean meats, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and fats with a high omega 3 to omega 6 EFA ratio. Due to the increased amount of unhealthy, processed fats in our food supply, most Americans consume too few natural omega 3 fats (from fish, grass fed meat, seeds such as hemp and chia; and nuts such as macadamias and almonds) and too many processed omega 6 fats (from corn, soy, canola, and safflower oils). This formula has led to performance-reducing imbalances in the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats.
Recent research suggests that we should strive for a low omega 6/omega 3 ratio ( less than 3:1) and a high omega 3 index (greater than 10%) in order to reap the full benefits of essential fatty acid supplementation. While you may hear that taking flax, chia or krill oil is a good solution, studies prove that the best way to achieve these critical ratios is with the regular use of a pure, high-quality fish oil.
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