CAT | Oil Supplements
Decades of clinical research have provided many reasons to add more fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acids to our diets—from better digestion and elimination to improved heart, joint and immune health—but are Americans consuming enough Omega-3s to reap the benefits? New research says no.
Results of a new study published last month in Nutrition Journal show a significant number of U.S. adults (age 19 and over) are falling short of the daily recommendations for Omega-3 consumption laid out in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) issued by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services—and that consuming more Omega-3s from food sources as well as fish oil supplements may be necessary to help reduce the risk of heart disease* and benefit overall public health.
Using data compiled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for a period of approximately five years, researchers analyzed how much fish U.S. adults were consuming and whether they were significant sources of fish-derived Omega-3s. As it turns out, although older adults and males typically consume more Omega-3s than younger adults and females, most are not meeting the daily recommendations for Omega-3 fatty acid intake—about 250 mg, according to the 2010 DGA (the next edition will be released in 2015).
Because there is extensive evidence that fish-derived Omega-3 EPA and DHA are good for the heart, the American Heart Association recommends consuming the equivalent of about 500 mg per day of EPA and DHA if you are healthy and want to maintain heart health. For those with documented coronary heart disease, they recommend 1 gram (1,000 mg) per day, and those with high triglycerides should aim for 2 to 4 grams (2,000 to 4,000 mg) per day. If oily fish is lacking from your diet, consider a high-concentration, purity-guaranteed fish oil supplement, and be sure to look at the label to see how much EPA and DHA you are getting.
*Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Do you suffer from occasional constipation? What does it really mean to be constipated? And can occasional constipation impact your overall health? All of these are important questions to ask. Occasional constipation slows down food transit time and allows undigested food to remain in the colon longer. The putrefied material then releases harmful toxins, which can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.
So Just what is Occasional Constipation?
Occasional constipation is often defined as having infrequent bowel movements with stools that are typically hard, dry and difficult to eliminate. You may even experience some cramping and bloating. While many factors can lead to the development of constipation, the following are some of the most common:
- Diet: Because a diet that consists of too many refined sugars, starches and processed foods can lead to constipation, eating plenty of fiber-rich, non-starchy foods that are low in sugar is an important part of maintaining healthy bowel movements.
- Lack of exercise: Exercise triggers the lymphatic flow that helps stimulate peristalsis (the natural muscle contractions that move food through the intestines and help ease elimination).
- Changes in routine: Changes in normal daily activity can often throw off your internal schedule, which can affect your bowel movements and lead to occasional constipation.
- Lack of time: Although taking the time to eliminate regularly is an important part of good bowel health, many people simply don’t do it. Try setting aside time in your day to go to the bathroom, even it means setting the alarm a bit earlier.
3 Simple Steps for Natural Relief
Follow this easy 3-step approach to achieve at least one healthy bowel movement every day.‡
- HYDRATE the Colon
Properly hydrating the colon will promote regular peristalsis. Drink plenty of water and use hydrating minerals such as magnesium hydroxide and gentle (laxative) herbs such as cape aloe and rhubarb to assist with natural bowel movements.‡
- ADD BULK with Fiber
A healthy colon requires bulk in order to eliminate regularly, and fiber can help provide that bulk.‡ Many people do not consume enough fiber through diet alone. A flax-based fiber supplement is ideal for promoting at least one healthy daily bowel movement because it provides a better balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.‡ Avoid fibers that could be binding, such as psyllium, as they can leave the colon dehydrated and in turn reduce peristalsis.
- LUBRICATE with Oils
To achieve bowel regularity and a healthy elimination schedule, it is critical to keep the colon lubricated. Beneficial oils such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats from fish oil, flax oil and borage oil help in providing the necessary lubrication for smooth and gentle bowel elimination.‡