Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Superstar Fat
At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, one of the overarching complaints we hear relates to a collection of symptoms that includes inflammation of the joints, joint stiffness, and pain. These symptoms usually point to one of the 100+ types of arthritis. Arthritis prevalence is alarming: estimates vary, but some say that 1/5 Americans today have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Out of these 2/3 are between the ages of 18 and 65. Of course, there is a correlation between arthritis and age: most experts agree that 1/2 people over the age of 65 are affected by the disease. Arthritis is a condition with no cure as of yet, but it can be managed to a very effective extent with the support of your chiropractor, and with a proactive approach to diet and exercise. Today, I would like to discuss a nutrient that is not only beneficial to the arthritis sufferer, but to anyone looking to mitigate inflammation, whether it is due to injury or the wear and tear of age: omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are probably the only fat in the world that you don’t need to cut back on. While the human body can make most of the fats it needs, whether from ingested foods or other fats. This standard is not true for omega-3s: they are known as an essential fat because they can’t be made from scratch; they must be ingested with food. They are good for a whole range of conditions including the prevention of heart disease and their protective role against certain cancers. From the chiropractor’s perspective they are great because they block inflammation pathways. With rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, the body attacks its own healthy tissue, creating inflammation which wears down the joints.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish, vegetable oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and green, leafy vegetables. It is easy to change your diet to accommodate for these nutrients and if not, there are fish oil supplements that can also make a difference. For help on optimizing your life to deal with any pain or obstacle that is holding you back from leading a full life, give our office a call at (408) 263-8025.
Dr. Gregory A. Lind, D.C.