2 for the show
3 for Omega and Go Go Go!!
As runners our bodies take a pounding every time we lace up our shoes. Each time our foot hits the ground approximately 8 times our body weight goes through our joints... Imagine how much that equates to over a 5km park run? Joint health is vital to our park run longevity and our health.
This is where omegas can come into play. These very important and fabulously fit fats are essential to our health and wellbeing. They are essential as our body can’t make them so therefore our diet must contain them.
Although the body can use any fat including trans fats (the very nasty ones), saturated fats (nasty ones) and omega 6 fats (non essential) it’s how the body uses these fats that is the difference. Omega 3 fats have an anti- inflammatory effect on the body. They reduce inflammation such as that caused by intense exercise, increased soreness of muscle and joints as well as muscle breakdown. Research confirms that omega 3 reduces both pain and inflammation in a runner’s poor old achy knees and aid with associated pain and symptoms of arthritis (including osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid)
Omega 3 fatty acids also play a valuable role in heart lungs and blood vessel function. When these 3 work together and function well it has the capacity to improve your running performance whether you are an elite athlete, fitness enthusiast or a runner with goal.
The correct balance of omega 3 in the body can improve insulin sensitivity therefore aid with weight loss and reducing body fat. Research also shows that by improving your omega 3 intake it has a positive effect on the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone which when overly active increases stress which increases inflammation which increases weight gain and breaks down our muscle...Not Good for any runner!!
These wonderful essential fats have many other roles within the body including reducing the risk of stroke, they are crucial for brain function, skin and hair health, correct blood clotting, hormone function and blood function including blood pressure.
To supplement or not to supplement:
Research suggests that food is our best source of nutrients. Holistically this is due to the fact that food provides us with more than just that one nutrient- it is a whole and all these nutrients work synergistically together. Where as a supplement is only one part of the whole product. A supplement is exactly that. It is there to supplement your diet when your intake is inadequate or your health is impaired. It can get you back on your feet and help speed up your healing but ultimately food will keep you healthy, fit, strong and running better for longer.
We need a good balance of omega 3 and 6 in the body to ensure the correct chemical communication within the body and to keep heart disease, chronic inflammation and diabetes out of our lives. We can’t change omega 3’s into omega 6 or vice versa so the type of fats we store and the effect they have on the body is related to the fats we eat in our diet.
You can start to restore this balance by replacing 2 red meat meals a week with salmon, tuna or deep sea fish such as cod and regularly include walnuts, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds (you know I love them!!) into your diet everyday. Limit your intake of saturated fats (animal fats, fried foods and fatty take away meals) and say no to Trans fats – read your labels carefully (typically found in margarines, fat used in deep frying and pastry dough)
We really are what we eat.
Enrich Health & Nutrition