Last week, we talked about the importance of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Now, let’s turn our attention toward Omega 6 fatty acids. Linoleic acid is the primary Omega 6, and while the average American diet gets plenty of Omega 6s—through poultry and eggs, for instance—we don’t always get enough of the extra-awesome Omega 6 called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). In addition to having the power to fight everything from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis, it also helps reduce inflammation and combat eczema and dermatitis.
The best sources of GLA include:
- Borage oil: Borage Oil supplements are the best way to up your GLA intake. The seeds of the borage plant (pictured) is the richest source of this powerful acid.
- Hemp oil: Of all the vegetable oils available, hemp oil contains the highest amount of GLA. While it shouldn’t be used for cooking (it has a high amount of unsaturated fats), add it to a salad or drizzle it over grains or veggies to punch up the flavor.
- Spirulina: Mix spirulina powder into smoothies, sprinkle it on a salad, or use it to zest up your grains.
Other Omega 6-rich foods to incorporate into your diet:
- Avocado: Avocado is not only great for your body, it’s great for your palate. This rich vegetable can be sliced into salads, mashed into a fresh guacamole, or even folded into an omelet.
- Seeds & nuts: Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of a stirfry or salad to add some Omega 6-packed crunch. Other nuts and seeds rich in Omega 6s include pine nuts, pistachios, raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.
- Vegetable oils: These oils, including corn, safflower, sunflower, and grapeseed, are rich in linoleic acid but read labels carefully as many oils are refined and lose nutrients in the process.
- Grass-fed butter: Grass-fed cows produce milk fat with a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 1, making it a great balanced choice for butter-lovers.
While consuming too much Omega 6 fatty acids can prove unhealthy, make strategic choices so you are reaching for the healthiest sources of GLA. Your clear, even complexion will thank you.