Our draw to the outdoors is instinctive when the afternoons turn golden and summer temperatures become balmy. Spending time outside allows us to enjoy many natural health benefits that include detoxification, stress and anxiety reduction, and improved short-term memory. Scientific research has also revealed that spending a moderate amount of time in sunlight is healthy for us, as it helps our bodies produce Vitamin D3, ward off depression, promote cardiovascular health, and more. We all know, however, that too much sun exposure can wreak havoc on our skin, causing wrinkles, skin damage, and even cancer in serious cases. Fortunately, there are natural solutions we can implement in our nutrition to fortify our skin’s health, and the Omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 are among our best defenders. Let’s take a look at how these remarkable fat compounds go to bat for our skin against toxins, UV rays, and other aggravators that we face during the summertime.
The Skin-Boosting Benefits of Omega Fatty Acids
Fatty acids play a vital role in the human body, as they are the building blocks of a cell’s basic structure and help govern cellular metabolism functions. The Omegas 3 and 6 are responsible for a variety of health benefits that can improve digestive concerns, cardiovascular health, mental disorders, and skin health. Scientific studies suggest that these Omega fatty acids help protect the skin from the harmful effects caused by UVA and UVB rays, as well as assist in fighting cancer when combined with cancer-fighting drugs. They are more effective at hydrating the skin than conventional moisturizers because they help the skin retain water from the inside and promote skin health from within. As a result, the Omegas 3 and 6 are backed by science to contain age-fighting properties and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne, and skin damage. They are also effective at easing eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff.
Omega 9 is a fatty acid that the body produces on its own and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. The Omegas 3 and 6, however, cannot be produced by the body and must be incorporated into nutrition in order for their skin-boosting benefits to go into effect. Omega 9 levels could deplete if Omega 3 and 6 consumption is very low. Good sources of Omega 3 and 6 include nuts, olive oil, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and the oils of seeds like chia, pumpkin, and grape seed. Eating low-mercury fish like wild caught salmon and tuna twice a week is also a good source of these key fatty acids. If none of these foods are available, then taking a quality Omega dietary supplement regularly is recommended.
Omegas in the Balance of Skin Health
It’s important to be aware of how the Omega fatty acids interact with each other In order for your skin to gain their maximum benefits. Achieving the right balance levels for each Omega can make a difference in helping or hindering your body. Ideally, your Omega 6 intake should be about twice the amount of Omega 3 each day. But in reality, the average American consumes 15 times more Omega 6 than Omega 3 by eating a diet rich in land animal fats and processed foods. The key to a healthy body is consuming a 2:1 ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids to restore the optimum balance and promote healthy immune system responses in your skin and other vital organs. This ideal ratio is also beneficial for firm glowing skin and beautiful hair.
With this in mind, the Omegas 3 and 6 act as natural checks and balances in your body’s “operating” systems. Omega 3 is helpful in reducing inflammation and calming the body down while Omega 6 activates the immune system response by promoting the body to release white blood cells and prepare to fight off ‘intruders’ like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and foreign objects. Thus, Omega 3 and 6 are essential to the body and work together to achieve balance in the proper amounts, promoting overall wellness and health that you can see in your skin. As mentioned before, consuming a 2:1 ratio of Omega 6 and 3 is the ideal amount that is healthy for your body.
It is also important to note that Omega 9 supplements can help help when your Omega 3 and 6 levels need to balance out. Nutritional experts, however, have just now begun to look into a new Omega fatty acid’s remarkable health benefits: Omega 7. This special type of Omega is rare in nature, but fortunately, our naturopathic clinic specialists already have it in supplement form, along with our Omega 3 by itself. We encourage you to consider these high-quality Omega oils as part of your routine skin care regimen.