We all need essential fatty acids for optimum health, but most Americans consume far too many omega-6 fatty acids (mainly from vegetable oils), and not enough omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish, walnuts and freshly ground flaxseed). This imbalance can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, inflammatory conditions, cancer and other health concerns.
While eating several servings of oily fish (I prefer wild Alaskan salmon and sardines) per week is a start, you may want to consider fish oil supplements, especially if you don't enjoy fish. Available in liquid or capsule forms, fish oil is effective at helping to reduce blood pressure, is beneficial to the nervous system, and can even help alleviate mild to moderate depression. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help support the health of breast tissue by maintaining healthy breast cells, a positive note for women with a family history of breast cancer. Look for capsules or oil that are certified free of contaminants, and begin with small daily doses, building up to the recommended amount.
Don’t miss Saturday’s post when we cover cancer-protective foods.