Essential fatty acids are fatty acids that must be obtained from the diet for good health because they cannot be constructed within body. EFA have a vital role in the health of our hormones, and they lubricate all our tissues including the fatty layer just beneath the skin.
These “good fats” are known as omega 3, 6 and 9. Omega-6 oils, which include linolenic and gamma-linolenic acid, are found primarily in raw nuts, seeds, legumes, borage oil, grape seed oil, primrose oil, sesame oil and soybean oil. Omega-3 EFA's, including alpha-linolenic acid, are found in fresh deepwater fish, fish oil and certain vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut oils. While most of us get an abundance of omega-6 from vegetable oils, we don’t get enough of omega-3.
Omega-3 have an anti inflammatory effect in the body, and are extremely beneficial for helping most skin conditions ranging from inflamed through to dry skin. Sun exposure increases the need for EFAs as UV diminishes EFAs already present in the skin.
Most of us are seriously deficient in essential fatty acids. It is therefore no surprise that we see increasingly numbers of our friends and family coming down with skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis and other disorders such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis. Found in high concentrations in the brain, EFA's aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and are needed for the normal brain function and development.
EFA's improve the quality of both skin and hair. Whether your skin is dry or oily, it will benefit from the balancing abilities of EFA's. An EFA deficiency gives cause for concern. Skin cells require a steady supply of EFA's to retain their youthful quality. If you want our skin cells to absorb all of those expensive moisturizers and treatments you so carefully apply, consider EFA supplementation to be an inexpensive addition to your skin care program.
EFA's do not tolerate heat well, so in order to benefit from them you must either take them in supplement form or without processing or cooking. Heating them will not only destroy them, but convert them into dangerous free radicals. Always look for cold pressed oil for better quality and this extracting method is the best way to preserve phytonutrients and EFAs from crops.
Hormone balance: GLA (EPO, borage oil)
Antioxidant: vitamin E (wheatgerm oil), OPC (grapeseed oil)
Scarring: wheatgerm oil
Nourishment: Udo’s oil (omega 3,6,9), flax oil, walnut oil, olive oil
Constipation: sesame oil, coconut oil