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Hemp: The Right Choice for Omega-6
In the world of nutrition lately, the essential fatty acid, Omega-6 seems to be getting a bad rap.
Omega 3’s have been touted as ‘good’ and Omega 6's as ‘bad’. In actuality, this statement may be an oversimplification and it's important to know that there is more to the story - especially in regard to hemp.
Omega-6's in Balance:
It is important to remember that Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that is necessary for optimal health. We must obtain Omega-6 from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize it on its own. Concerns associated with Omega-6 can be traced to the fact that the average Western diet today often contains too much Omega-6 in relation to the Omega-3 fatty acid. The World Health Organization recommends a ratio of 4:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3 for optimal health. Today we are seeing ratios in the range of 20:1 to 50:1. The good news - hemp contains a healthy winning ratio at 3.75:1.
Some Omega-6's are better than others. But it's important to distinguish between the good and the not so good Omega-6's. Dietary intake of Omega-6 is on the rise due to our increased consumption of processed vegetable oils and processed foods. Omega-6's become less than favorable when they are subject to light or heat, as is the case when these oils undergo standard processing. In addition, processed oils are usually bleached and deodorized to increase shelf-life and cover up the tracks of the damaged oil which would otherwise smell rancid. The body doesn't recognize poor-quality processed oils. What's more is that bad oil can actually cause a deficiency of essential fatty acids. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed Oil on the other hand, is an exceptional, balanced source of Omega-6. It is unbleached, undeodorized, nitrogen flushed, stored in a light-resistant bottle, and cold-pressed to ensure that all the valuable nutrients remain intact and preserved.
GLA = An Omega-6 Not to Miss:
Hemp provides Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is a unique and extremely important Omega-6 in the family of Essential Fatty Acids. It's known for its:
- Powerful anti-inflammatory properties
- Hormone synthesis and balance
- Premenstrual health in women
- Healthy blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Improved joint function
- Maintenance of beautiful hair, skin, and nails
Still, obtaining adequate levels of GLA can be challenging. Besides hemp, there are only a small number of foods that contain GLA. While the body has the ability to convert Linoleic Acid into GLA, most of us are not making this conversion effectively, or are missing out on the conversion all together.
Factors that get in the way of making this conversion include:
- Sugar consumption
- Low levels of zinc, magnesium, and vitamins B6, C, and niacin
- Intake of poor quality Omega-6
- Certain health conditions (cancer, high cholesterol, viruses, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disorders)
The good news - Manitoba Harvest hemp contains GLA in a readily available form - no conversion needed.