Why Chia Seeds Win in Battle of Omega-3 vs. Omega-6

February 12, 2008

You’ve heard of Omega-3, but what about Omega-6?

That compound of fatty acids is just as important to the success of Chia seeds in your diet as its more famous counterpart in the Omega family. The reason why is balance.

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Omega-6 acids are much more prevalent than Omega-3 in most foods consumed in Western diets. Nutrition experts say a healthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 in a diet ranges between 1:1 and 4:1, but the typical North American diet has a ratio of up to 30 times the amount of Omega-6 than Omega-3.

A food such as corn oil can be as skewed as 50:1 in favor of Omega-6 and even the soybean, used in tofu and as a staple in diets of the Far East, has a disproportionately high amount of Omega-6 with a 7:1 ratio.

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The Chia seed, on the other hand, has three times the amount of Omega-3 than Omega-6 in its makeup. Therefore, by consuming more Chia in your diet you will balance out the ratio of fatty-acid intake in your daily nutrition. A correct balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 leaves you with healthier brain function and allows for normal development of the body.

While Omega-3 is available in products such as fish oil and eggs, the purity of its concentration in those non-grain forms is questionable. For example, eggs from organic chickens fed with greens rather than corn have a greater amount of Omega-3, but knowing what kind of eggs you’re buying isn’t easy when they’re already boxed in your grocery store. Meanwhile, fish oil is a processed food, a fact that diminishes its nutritional value.

By contrast, the Chia seed can be eaten unprocessed and without any chemical spray necessary, making it the most reliable form of Omega-3 we know.

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