Enhanced Health with Lifestyle Tweaks and Omega-3 Fatty AcidsNovember 24, 2021
Hi this is Dr. Annie Savage one of the naturopathic doctors at Bay Wellness Centre in the heart of downtown Vancouver. I’d like to invite you into the conversation we’re having this month about how Omega-3 fatty acids help you regain vitality in your life and limit the damage inflammation inflicts on our bodies. We’re sharing what has helped our clients, busy people like you, including professional women working to fit career, studies and time with family and friends into hectic lifestyles. You can start now to reverse inflammation’s harm and to improve your overall health and especially your heart health. And if you have extended health benefits, why not use them before they expire to help you and support your health journey.
You’ll want to know about how Omega-3 fatty acids appear easily in your diets and can provide some protective qualities. Yes, they do support your overall health and your heart health and they do so while also reducing overall inflammation in your body.
Let’s go, step-by-step.
What is inflammation and how does inflammation affect our body?
Inflammation is your immune system’s response to negative stimuli. When negative stimuli from pathogens to damaged cells, toxins to radiation are active in our body, our immune system turns on to initiate our healing process. One of its tools is inflammation.
The way we live our lives currently, what often happens is that we all experience too much negative stimuli. That excessive load leads to our body being always turned on and our immune system always at the ready. So, what was meant to be a temporary, helpful fire of inflammation then becomes a hazardous chronic situation. We definitely want to avoid this state in our bodies.
Can we decrease inflammation and increase the inflammation fighting with the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids?
Yes, you can increase your Omega-3 fatty acid profile and at the same time decrease bothersome inflammation. Some symptoms associated with inflammation being present in your body can resolve.
Omega-3 fatty acids, reduce our body’s overall inflammation and we can even track how well it is working.
We can test different cells from that immune system response. Cytokines and interleukins are just two examples of how we can track your inflammation objectively through the blood.
One situation our patients experience is with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It’s an inflammatory type of arthritis that can cause joint swelling and joint pain, especially in the hands. Based on studies that we’ve looked at has shown that we can increase our Omega-3 fatty acids and it actually will help to decrease that interleukin one or that inflammatory response. And we also see less joint swelling and less joint pain.
For our patients suffering with an inflammatory arthritis such as RA, we also know that Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease their risk of heart disease. We know that it can also decrease our risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer, and arthritis. It can even impact depression positively.
How is Omega-3 fatty acid helping to protect our heart?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a part of all of our cell walls and they are meant to help maintain the fluidity and flexibility of those cell walls. You can imagine how important it is to keep your blood vessels supple, especially the blood vessels in and around your heart. You need those vessels to be very flexible. If they are malleable with a lot of fluidity then your blood can flow through without a lot of turbulence.
When you include a lot of omega 3 fatty acids in your daily diet, you are eating your way to health. The way that omega 3 fatty acids are broken down, creates metabolites that help to ‘clean up’ or remove inflammatory cells, such as free radicals. This is a positive thing because this is one of the ways that the body clears out inflammation, and they help build all of our cellular walls, creating this fluid and flexible cell wall which helps protect your heart. This also helps to lower our blood pressure by reducing that turbulent blood flow.
Lifestyle tweaks and Omega-3 use that lead to enhanced health
Now, let’s get back to how as North Americans, just the way we live actually increases our inflammation – a lot.
What can we do if our lifestyle contributes to our body’s inflammatory load?
You can elevate Inflammation just by the way you live, meaning our high stress lives. If we want to shift that pattern – here’s are some action steps you can take. Add them in, one at a time, to your daily routine to see results in your health and well-being:
Add Omega-3 fatty acids
They help protect us and to reduce our overall level of inflammation
One of the ways we can do that is by supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids.
- For busy women on the go, the news is good. Omega-3s come in either a liquid form or a capsule form. And here’s a tip our patients found helpful. If you have difficulty swallowing pills, avoid the capsule form because they are typically quite large and if you don’t like the flavor of fish oil then you would probably want to take the capsules. However, the flavor of liquid fish oil now is vastly improved from when you were a child or you had to take krill oil or any other type of oil.
- Got kids at home? You’ll find there are now lots of flavors that make Omega-3 kid friendly. First the taste. One of them I know is key lime pie. About the texture, they’re actually coming out with gel form. So they’re not just oils with a weird texture.
TIP: Keep your fish oil in the fridge and that will help you avoid any type of fish burps throughout the day.
Get enough sleep
- Try sleeping on a schedule
- Get to bed by say 10 o’clock at night, getting up around six or seven and find your ideal sleep schedule
- It’s best for your hormones and can also reduce that inflammation
- Exercise in the gym or simply add more movement
- Do some type of exercise every single day. It doesn’t have to be wildly strenuous. It can be walks, stretching yoga, an exercise class, anything to move your body about 30 minutes a day.
- Choose what you will actually do and what you enjoy – it’ll help reduce overall inflammation and begin to protect your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Clean up your diet, and your kitchen pantry
- Cut out processed foods or fast foods
- Reduce or cut out highly inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol and dairy.
- If you want to avoid supplements altogether, you could also shift your diet.
- So increase those fatty fish in your diet. Wild caught salmon, sardines, trout, halibut, tuna, other seafood like algae and krill. These would be your omega three fatty acid foods.
- One serving size of fish, is 6 oz of cooked fish. Aim for this serving 3-4 times per week.
We can reduce overall inflammation really well when we avoid triggering foods in our diet such as dairy, gluten, processed foods, sugar and alcohol.
Do you find yourself consuming all those foods? Most people are and why not? They are all around us, made appealing by marketing. They are often right there when we are pressed for times between our rush to work, care for family, study and fit in all the extra things we take on or even want to do!
What’s the one thing common to the many different types of people we work with in our naturopathic practice at Bay Wellness Centre? They are busy. They can be stressed. Just as we all seek that balance of taking care of all our responsibilities in the community as well as hitting our personal goals, we may need some help. So in our practice we work to get you to feel so much more energy, to be more productive in life and work. Reducing inflammation, is often one of the most powerful keys to getting to healthy and even to happy!
Oh, don’t forget that 2021 is coming to a close. If you’ve got any extended benefits that you haven’t used, they don’t roll over, they actually expire so don’t lose them, use them to boost your health journey with proper diagnosis and treatments.
Dr. Annie Savage
Dr. Megan Maycher
Your holistic health advocates &
Founders of Bay Wellness Centre
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Office is downstairs