15 Health benefits of Omega 3 + Ultimate Nutritional List
Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy. That is something that all health organizations and food experts fortunately agree. More and more food producers are responding to this and you see the slogan ‘omega 3’ on the packaging.
Many health claims are made about omega 3. But are all those claims true? I searched out which health claims have a proven scientific basis and share them here.
What you will discover in this article is:
Why one omega 3 fatty acid is not the other
Why you should pay attention to omega 6 (not why you think)
Why fish is so important
What are the health benefits of omega 3
The top 30 – ultimate – omega 3 diet
The most important omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids is a collective name for a group of 11 different polyunsaturated fatty acids.
One of these fatty acids is by far the most important, namely alpha-linolenic acid.(ALA)
ALA is the most important because the other 10 omega 3 fatty acids, by the body, can be made from ALA if this can not be taken from the diet. We therefore call ALA an essential fatty acid; a fatty acid that can only be obtained via the diet.
EPA and DHA
Other important omega 3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, from EicosaPentaenoic Acid) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, from DocosaHexaenoic Acid).
It is these EPA and DHA fatty acids that are extremely important for our health.
A deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids is associated with, among others, cardiovascular disease, depression, lower intelligence, cancer and arthritis (source, source).
Despite the fact that EPA and DHA can be made from ALA, we are always looking for foods with these fatty acids. This has to do with the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. This is a process, in our body, which is difficult.
It is estimated that only 0.3% to 10% ALA can be converted to EPA. However, the conversion from ALA to DHA is even more dramatic; it is estimated that only 0.01% ALA can be converted to DHA (source).
EPA and DHA fatty acids are found in fish, shellfish and crustaceans and algae. ALA is found in certain plant foods.
In foods that contain EPA, there is always DHA and vice versa. That makes a difference with the composition of your diet.
ALA which can not be converted to EPA and DHA is used by the body as an energy source or stored as fat like other fats (with a calorie surplus).
EPA and DHA are active forms of omega 3 and are not used as energy but are used in important processes (such as fighting inflammation) in the body that serve our health.
Health benefits omega 3
The fact that omega 3 fatty acids are important for health is clear. The health benefits are almost too much to mention. But we are going to make an effort.
Vitamin C: 12 Proven Benefits + What is it and What Is Too Much?
Disclaimer: Vitamin C is a very complex subject with many different opinions. The following is my vision. Everyone is free to have a different opinion.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most famous vitamin. This vitamin is essential for supporting the natural immune system.
A vitamin C deficiency occurs less and less in the Western world, but some groups of people are still at risk.
Given the benefits, it is not surprising that vitamin C is a popular supplement. But how much would you have to take each day? And what is the best form of vitamin C?
And how do you know if you have a vitamin C deficiency? In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about vitamin C.
You discover include:
The effect of vitamin C and what makes this vitamin so special
How much vitamin C you need for optimal health (hint: it is more than 15 times more than what most Nutrition Center would advice!)
The symptoms and consequences of a vitamin C deficiency
The 12 most important health benefits of vitamin C
The answer to the question “can vitamin C help with weight loss?”
And much, much more …
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin and antioxidant that you ingest through food and is also used as a dietary supplement.
Important to know is that vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins are not properly stored in the body.
The concentration of vitamin C in the blood is controlled by the kidneys through a process known as renal absorption.
This prevents vitamin C from being lost in the urine. However, the body can not store and process large quantities of vitamin C, so the extra amount will leave the body through the urine within a few hours.
Vitamin C will, therefore, have to be sufficiently absorbed by eating certain food sources or taking supplements.
Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen synthesis, L-carnitine and certain neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism.
Where is Vitamin C more good for?
Vitamin C supports many essential body functions, including:
Antioxidant effect: the human body uses antioxidants to protect itself against oxidative stress (source).
Support collagen formation: without vitamin C, the body is unable to synthesize collagen, the most important protein in connective tissue. The result is that a deficiency affects the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones (source).
Support immune function: contain high concentrations of vitamin C. During an infectious disease, this concentration is quickly depleted (source).
In the past, vitamin C was used to prevent and treat scurvy.
Scurvy is a disease that arises as a result of a vitamin C deficiency. The deficiency of vitamin C leads to symptoms such as anemia, gum disease and skin problems.
This is because vitamin C is necessary for making collagen, an important protein that is used to make and maintain the skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Vitamin C also helps to better absorb the intake of non-heme iron from plant sources (source).
You do not have to worry about scurvy today. Scurvy is now relatively rare, but it used to be common among seamen and pirates who had to spend a long time on board a ship.
When the trips lasted longer than originally planned, the fruit and vegetables got lost and the sailors started to suffer from a vitamin C deficiency, which led to scurvy. More about this later.
Today, vitamin C is the most commonly used for the prevention and treatment of colds.
Top 16 Lies of Agencies and Regular Media about Nutrition
Despite the scientific progress, we make every year in the field of nutrition and health, some dietary myths do not seem to go away.
There are a lot of untruths about healthy food on the internet and on television. Most people, therefore, think they know a lot about weight loss and healthy food.
They have heard what is and is not healthy through agencies, regular media, friends, family and nutritionists. Whether this is all right, they have not really thought about.
In this article, I count for good with the 16 biggest myths, misconceptions and lies that are about healthy food.
You learn, among other things:
The biggest misconceptions about food
Which products are a better alternative than bread (to prevent iodine deficiency)
Why dinner is not as bad as you think (if you pay attention to one thing)
How many pieces of fruit you can eat every day if you want to lose weight
Why the use of vegetable oil is not as healthy as you think
What is most important for permanent weight loss (more important than exercise)
Why eggs help very well in weight loss
How many grams of salt you can consume daily (it is more than you think)
How is saturated fat in bad daylight
And much, much more …
# 16: if you do not eat bread you get an iodine deficiency
Many Western people eat a few slices of bread daily with their meals. It has become an important part of the modern diet.
Because iodine is the biggest shortage in many western countries, the governments have decided to enrich the baking salt with iodine (not surprisingly that the Nutrition Center will continue to recommend bread forever).
The recommended daily amount of iodine is 150 mcg. Each slice of bread contains 25 micrograms of iodine and at 6 sandwiches you reach 150 mcg.
Iodine is a mineral that is important for a properly functioning thyroid gland. The mineral increases the production of thyroid hormones. If you have a shortage (together with selenium and other factors) you can develop a slow thyroid gland.
A common claim is that you have to eat bread to prevent an iodine deficiency with eg misleading messages from different mdia sources. It states that you do not necessarily get too much salt if you eat bread because it depends on what you eat more BUT you do get by definition an iodine deficiency if you do not eat bread.
If you think somewhat logically, you know that the previous reasoning can never be correct …
Whether you get an iodine deficiency also depends on what else you eat. You can also extract iodine from many more products than bread. A piece of cabbage or haddock (fish) already yields 4 times more iodine than bread and in its natural form.
Below you can see an overview of products with a high iodine content:
# 15: skipping breakfast is bad for you
Breakfast is still seen as healthy, more important than other meals. The Nutrition Center even calls breakfast ‘an indispensable start of the day’.
These are pretty hefty claims. But are they scientifically proven?
Is skipping breakfast bad for you? The results from recent studies will surprise you.
Let me start by saying that people who eat breakfast are generally healthier than people who skip breakfast. They are less likely to be overweight and have a lower risk of different chronic diseases. That is because they mainly eat healthy.
However, the studies that show this are observational. In other words, these studies show that breakfasters are healthier on average, but they can not prove that breakfast is responsible for this.
It is more plausible that people who skip breakfast are also the people who drink more, smoke more often, are more often unemployed, go out late, etc. And that is reflected in bad health.
So you do not measure if breakfast is bad, but you measure the health of people who have an unhealthy lifestyle.
However, new randomized controlled trials (also called RCT) show a completely different story. RCT is seen as the gold standard for scientific research.
From these new studies, it appears that:
Breakfast does not stimulate your metabolism
Some people claim that skipping your breakfast slows down your metabolism. But this is big nonsense. These people mean the thermal effect of food. This is the increase in calories that are burned after you have eaten something.
The only thing that matters for your metabolism is the total amount of food you eat one day. It actually makes no difference at what time you eat or how often you eat.
Over a period of 24 hours, scientists saw no difference in the number of calories burned between breakfasters and people who had skipped breakfast.
Skipping breakfast does not cause weight gain
Contrary to what is often thought, skipping breakfast does not make you fatter. The theory behind this is that skipping your breakfast later on triggers your metabolism and that you will eat more for the rest of the day to compensate.
I have now negated the metabolic myth. But what about overeating the rest of the day when you skip breakfast?
That would be logical in the first instance, but is not supported by scientific evidence. It is true that you may be a bit more hungry at lunch, but this is not enough to compensate for your skipped breakfast.
Several studies show that skipping breakfast can reduce the total calorie intake by 400 calories per day. This is not surprising when you realize that you have removed a full meal from your diet.
Interestingly, this was not reflected in a 4-month study, in which more than 300 obese men and women were examined.
The participants were divided into two groups: one group had a daily breakfast, the other group skipped breakfast. After 4 months there was no difference in weight between the two groups. It simply did not matter whether you opted for a breakfast or not.
These results are supported by other studies, which show that skipping breakfast has no visible effects on weight loss or weight gain.
There are a whole series of more benefits of skip meals such as accelerating growth hormone production, delayed cell aging, becoming more insulin sensitive, etc. So please review my article on intermittent fasting about this or watch the video in which the myths about breakfast skipping are debunk:
In summary: high-quality studies show that it makes no difference whether people eat breakfast or not. Skipping your breakfast does not cause a delayed metabolism.
FLUORIDE NOW OFFICIALLY TOXIC + HAS FLUORIDE SIDE EFFECTS?
The mineral fluoride would be necessary for healthy teeth, but in pure form, it is also a toxic industrial waste product. So the question is whether fluoride, certainly in high doses, is as healthy for our body and our health, and whether it outweighs the so-called beneficial effect on our teeth.
You can read more about this in this article.
This waste product is released when producing aluminum and phosphate fertilizer. It is a widely used ingredient of toothpaste, mouthwash and other tooth products and in several countries, such as America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, it is even added to the drinking water. In Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium no additional fluoride is added to the water. However, the water naturally contains a small amount of fluoride. In the Netherlands, in 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the government was not allowed to add fluoride to the drinking water, something the government wanted to prevent tooth decay. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the teeth of people in countries where fluoride is added to the water nowadays are not stronger, firmer or better protected against holes.
There is no difference in the percentage of people with holes in the different countries. In America, it is then added to the drinking water, but the tablets with fluoride prescribed there for people who do not drink the water, have never been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in fact, the tablets that they have examined have been rejected. Fluoride returned to the news when a major medical journal, The Lancet, wrote last month that six chemicals are now classified as a neurotoxin. In many countries, it’s banned.
These six chemicals, including fluoride, have been added to an existing list of five chemicals from 2006. A neurotoxic substance can damage the brain and other organs under a prolonged load. Neurotoxins can block or strengthen the impulse transfer, which means that the nervous system can partially fall out or become overactive. This involves large quantities. According to research, which once again came to the fore in the publication of The Lancet, these chemicals, including fluoride harmful to the development of the brain, have been demonstrated in children in this study (Dr. Philippe Grandjean and Dr. Philip J Landrigan).
This is not the only study that shows that fluoride may cause brain damage: there are more than 34 studies performed on humans and more than 100 studies that demonstrate this via animals. One of these studies, of Harvard University in 2012, has received a lot of publicity and has been published in ‘Environmental Health Perspectives’ by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The conclusion of this research (Choi et al.)
States that children living in areas where more fluoride is added to the water have a significantly lower IQ than children living in areas where a lower percentage of fluoride is added to the water. Research from 2011 (Ding) states that water with a lower percentage of fluoride has negative effects on the brain and even the intelligence of children.
Researcher Choi later said about the research: “For us, it is incomprehensible that both children and adults are exposed to a substance that can cause brain damage, under the guise of protection against tooth decay. Does the reduction of tooth decay have more priority than brain health? “Choi and his team also state that fluoride is a substance that reaches an unborn child through the placenta and can already cause damage to the developing brain. Although no additional fluoride is added to our drinking water, these examples say something about the effect of fluoride on our body. Moreover, our drinking water naturally contains a small amount of fluoride.
Maybe you are afraid of this information, but it involves large quantities or years of use that will accumulate in the body. The intention of this article is to raise awareness so that you have more information about a subject and can make your own choices.
CBD Oil: Explanation, Operation, Experiences and Buy Advice
CBD oil is currently flying over the counter. For real. According to some druggists the best selling product in decades.
This oil is available without a prescription and is used in chronic pain, epilepsy and sleep problems to name just a few examples. And on the internet, you really stumble on the health claims that are made.
Because CBD oil is not a medicine but a food supplement, only a limited amount of scientific research has been done. In this article, I will zoom in on the health claims that have a scientific basis.
What you will learn in this article:
What CBD oil is used for
What CBD oil is used for
What the health claims are with a scientific basis
CBD oil is a food supplement and not a medicine and may, therefore, be sold freely. You can simply order it at the pharmacy or order it at a webshop.
The oil is made from hemp and is therefore also called cannabis oil.
You’ve probably heard of medicinal cannabis.
In the United States, this has received a lot of attention in recent years because of the strict policy against (soft) drugs is relaxed and more and more states can sell (medicinal) weed.
Thanks to the tolerance policy in the Netherlands, they do not know better than that you can simply buy cannabis in the coffee shop and quietly smoke your joint in a park without being fettered.
That weed also has a medicinal effect has been known for a long time. A disadvantage of weed is the side effects. You become stoned and high. That can sometimes be just as good, but that is of course not desirable if you have to go to work and it is downright dangerous and irresponsible if you still have to drive a car.
The difference between cannabis oil and hemp oil
The substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in weed is responsible for the feeling of being high. For use as a soft drug, cannabis is consciously grown with an extremely high THC content.
A chemical that looks chemically like THC is CBD (cannabinal). CBD does have medicinal properties without the side effect of stoned and high from THC.
CBD oil is extracted from fiber hemp. This is a hemp variety that can be legally grown because it contains only minimal amounts of THC.
Calling CBD oil ‘weed oil’ is therefore not entirely correct. The term weed is used for hemp (marijuana) with a high THC content that (usually) high as a target. CBD oil can, therefore, better be called hemp oil. Or just CBD oil of course.
The term cannabis oil is meant for THC oil. THC oil can not be sold legally. You can simply make THC oil yourself from cannabis that you have bought at the shop or have grown yourself.
THC oil, like CBD oil, has medical applications and reportedly mainly cancer patients benefit from THC oil, this in combination with CBD oil. The CBD oil inhibits the high feeling of what is caused by a high dose of THC oil. CBD inhibits the breakdown of THC by the liver enzymes.
If you want to make CBD oil yourself, remember that the cannabis that you can buy to smoke a joint is not suitable for this. This weed has been grown with the highest possible THC content at the expense of the CBD content.
For CBD oil you need hemp that is grown as fiber hemp. Hemp can be grown on most farmland throughout the U.S. This fiber hemp has a very low THC content and a high CBD content.
Another advantage of CBD oil is that you can not become dependent on it as can be the case with THC. It does not work mind-expanding and it does not cause hallucinations.
CBD oil that is not pure can cause hallucinations, this is because there is (accidentally) THC in the oil. This may be due to, for example, poor final inspection or insufficient sampling in the production of CBD oil.
Multivitamins, minerals, and extracts in tablet form, powders or capsules. When does it make sense to take these nutritional supplements?
You can not think of it as crazy or there is a dietary supplement to correct your problem. Do you have difficulty eating vegetables and fruit? Take a multivitamin. Not a dairy lover? Take a calcium supplement. So there is a solution for everything. But to what extent do these dietary supplements have an effect?
What is a dietary supplement?
A dietary supplement is a concentrated source of certain vitamins or minerals. Other substances such as fibers or antioxidants are also offered in supplements. The most added vitamins and minerals are the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, and iron.
The nutrients contained in a supplement usually have a different form than how you find them in nature. This way your body can absorb them better and faster.
You have supplements of all kinds of brands in tablets, chewable tablets, powders, capsules or drinks. The differences between brands are great. It is important how many active substances there are in a supplement. The higher a supplement is dosed, the more active substances and the better the effect. This is an important difference between private labels and A-brands names.
Varied food is the most important.
If you get a shortage of vitamins and minerals you can get sick. This is called a deficiency disease. In principle, you do not need nutritional supplements to prevent this. Normal, healthy food with lots of whole grain products, vegetables, fruit, dairy, healthy fats and a lot of variation is sufficient to get the minimum quantities of all nutrients you need. But for some people, it may be wise to use a supplement to supplement the daily healthy diet.
For whom are nutritional supplements useful?
Groups that can use something extra are:
Pregnant women. From four weeks before you become pregnant until eight weeks after you are pregnant, you will have extra folic acid. This is important to prevent an unborn child from becoming an unborn child. During pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding you also need some extra vitamin D for a good bone to build up in your child.
Babies up to three months. They need the extra vitamin to prevent (brain) bleeding.
Children up to four years. They need tablets or drops with vitamin D for a good bone build-up and firm teeth. They also need the extra vitamin to minimize bone loss.
If you do not eat certain products such as meat, dairy or fish, if you eat vegetarian or if you use a lot of medicines, it may also be advisable to take a supplement.
When do you have to be careful?
Most nutritional supplements are safe. You can take them without risk for your health. The amounts are usually not so high that you get a harmful dose. And what your body does not need you to pee out of most vitamins and minerals. Yet it is wise to pay close attention to the quantities. Some ingredients are not so innocent. If you get too much of it, you can get all sorts of health problems.
How many supplements do you need?
Always make sure that the supplement you use does not contain a higher dose of a particular nutrient than indicated below. Also, take into account your daily diet, because that way you also get nutrients.
Maximum per day (for adults): Vitamin A, 3000 mcg Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide), 900 mg Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid), 10 mg Vitamin B6, 21 mg Folic acid, 1000 mcg Vitamin C, 2 grams Vitamin D, 100 mcg Vitamin E, 300 mg Calcium, 2500 mg Fluoride, 7 mg Iron, 45 mg Magnesium, 250 mg (on top of the amount of magnesium from your diet) Manganese, 11 mcg Molybdenum, 600 mcg Sodium, 2.4 grams Selenium, 300 mcg Zinc, 25 mg
In addition to dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and other healthy substances are also increasingly being added to products such as margarine, dairy drinks, fruit juices, and sweets.
Do you want to do more?
As mentioned earlier, there are minimal amounts of all vitamins and minerals that ensure that you do not get sick. Nowadays, dietary supplements are also increasingly used to make your body function optimally. This is particularly popular in America. 70% of people take a dietary supplement, in other countries it’s often way less.
Why would you choose more vitamins and minerals?
Think for example of extra vitamin D in the winter or if you are inside a lot. Your body produces vitamin D itself under the influence of sunlight. In the winter or when you do not get out much, your body makes much less. Supplementation can then be pleasant.
Or what about stress? We live in a hectic society, the bar is always high and we are always in the highest gear. Supplementation with a supplement with vitamin C can help to make you more resilient to stress.
Other reasons to use a supplement may be if you lose a lot of blood during your period (extra iron), if you can temporarily sleep less well during a busy period (relaxation formulas with Valerian or melatonin, for example), if you have a lot of problems of muscle pain after exercise (magnesium) or if you never eat fish (omega fatty acids).
Realize that nutritional supplements can supplement your diet but can never replace a healthy diet. This is because food also contains antioxidants and other undetected substances that are important for health.
Examine your diet: do you get enough vitamins and minerals?
One way to know for sure if you actually have a deficiency of a certain vitamin or mineral is to have your blood count checked.
It is also good to take a look at your diet. You can do this together with your dietitian or weight consultant.
Moreover, there are several mobile apps available that highlight your entire diet up to and including the vitamins and minerals.
If it turns out that your diet is well varied, then it is likely that you get enough of all vitamins and minerals. If your diet is not varied enough, you can get tips from the dietitian/weight consultant to improve this.
Also realizes that you do not have to get exactly the recommended amount every single day for every vitamin or mineral! One day you get more or less of a nutrient and the next day compensates again.
a pill is no substitute for vegetables and/or fruit. You can not mimic the natural composition of vegetables or fruit 1-on-1 in a pill, so again: choose fresh products and vary!
I’m curious about the supplements that you take and why! Would you go on with it now that you’ve read this piece? Or do you want to know something about another supplement that you are taking?
Feel free to ask your question in a comment on this article.