Ten signs that you’re not getting enough fish oil
One of the main benefits of taking a quality Omega-3 is to help balance the intake of Omega-6s and Omega-3s to bring them into a more balanced ratio. Our bodies are in a proper state of balance when these are consumed at a ratio of 1:1 or a maximum of 4:1. The standard North American diet has us consuming these at a rate of 15:1 and even 20:1. This is not good, and here is why it’s a problem
The Omega-6s being consumed are converted into pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (short burst pro-inflammatory hormones). When omega-6s are consumed at a disproportionate rate, it creates low-grade systemic inflammation which is the root cause for almost all chronic diseases we face today.
More than 60% of deaths can be linked directly to inflammation. Omega-3s, On the other hand, will be converted into good eicosanoids (short burst anti-inflammatory hormones), which will help to reduce inflammation, improve circulation and balance hormones, just to name a few. To help achieve optimal health, it becomes essential to balance the consumption of these two omegas to bring yourself into a state of balance and wellness.
So how can you tell if you are taking enough fish oils and your eicosanoids are coming into balance?
There are a few different things you can do. You can take some blood tests, the gold standard being the AA/EPA test. In this test, a balanced ratio of eicosanoids would be represented by a ratio in the range of 1.5 to. You could also do a Triglyceride to High-Density lipoprotein test TG/HDL, where you will target a ratio of 1. There is also a much simpler way to know, and that is by doing a self-diagnostic status report. What does that mean? You can check in with yourself some key indicators that would indicate if your eicosanoids (good and bad) are in balance.
- Energy and mental clarity: Improvement in your daily energy and mental clarity indicate that your "good eicosanoids" are on the rise. The increase in "good eicosanoids" increases oxygen transfer between the blood to organs like the brain, heart, and muscles, resulting in more energy and mental clarity. A decrease in your energy or brain food is a sign of increased levels of "bad eicosanoids."
- Simple carbohydrates cravings: The cravings for simple carbohydrates and sweets should diminish and could disappear altogether with a decrease of "bad eicosanoids" since these stimulate the production of insulin.
- Fingernail and hair strength: Keratin is the structural protein that will determine the strength and quality of your nails and hair. Good eicosanoids increase the synthesis of Keratin, and so when your levels are good, this will result in strong and fast-growing nails, as well as strong, healthy lustrous hair. An indicator of high levels of "bad eicosanoids" would be the opposite because these will inhibit the production of Keratin.
- Required Sleep: The need for sleep is determined by the amount of time needed to re-establish neurotransmitter equilibrium. This process is more efficient in the presence of "good eicosanoids" and slows in the presence of bad eicosanoids, requiring more sleep.
- Grogginess: Waking up feeling groggy and tired is a sign of overproduction of "bad eicosanoids" taking place in the central nervous system.
- Sense of Wellbeing: "Good eicosanoids" give you a happier outlook on life and allow you to process stressful situations better. An overproduction of "bad eicosanoids" will have the opposite effect and leave you depressed and anxious.
- Focus and Concentration: Maintaining healthy blood sugars is key to maintaining mental concentration and focus. The way to maintain your glucose levels is to stabilize your insulin levels. This can be done by balancing your eicosanoid levels. Too many "bad eicosanoids" will cause insulin secretion, causing sugar cravings, causing quick spikes, and plunges, resulting in fatigue and decreased concentration.
- Fatigue: This one is tricky because overproduction of "good eicosanoids" can deplete electrolytes through increased urination. On the flip side, fatigue could also be attributed to the overproduction of "bad eicosanoids," which will hamper blood flow resulting in the poor transfer of oxygen between the blood and the organs. Try to determine what kind of fatigue you might have, and remember the latter will generally have aches and pains associated with it.
- Skin condition: An overproduction of "bad eicosanoids" will hamper blood flow and lead to dry skin and eczema. On the other hand, "good eicosanoids" will improve blood flow; they are anti-inflammatory and stimulate the natural production of collagen. This will result in a softer, more elastic skin texture.
- Joint Pain: If you are dealing with a lot of joint pain and stiffness this is a sign of inflammation and an overproduction of “bad eicosanoids”.
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