Omega 3 fatty acids are critical for a healthy brain and a healthy heart. In my own struggles with depression, diet high in omega-3 fatty acids has been a key strategy. Our brains are made of fat and if we do not have enough healthy fat in our diets, our brains simply cannot function effectively. Not only might Omega 3 fats support a brain that is healthy and free of mental illness, it may prevent diseases of the aging brain. Research also links Omega 3 fats to heart health.
When I wrote the book Rebuild From Depression, I provided resources for consumers who wanted to test their levels of brain-building nutrients. At the time, there were no reliable tests for omega-3 fatty acids on the market. Consumers were only beginning to develop an awareness of the importance of these healthy fats for long-term health. Since then a number of companies have offered simple at-home blood tests to help us track the Omega 3 fatty acids in our blood. I am excited to recommend tests to you to help you track your levels. I have only just ordered the test myself so I cannot give you the recommendation based on my own history in using the test, but the test offers a lot of promise to those of us who want to track and optimize health measures.
Omega 3 Blood Test Tracking Allows Optimization
We all know that if we start tracking a health measure, our behavior will change. It is the reason people step on the scale when they are dieting (shudder) — the number staring back at you makes you think twice about the cookie you are about to eat. It is the same premise behind the double-blind experiments in science where you do not want the researchers or subjects aware of their treatment, lest that awareness change how they behave.
In the case of our Omega 3 levels, we want to inspire change in ourselves. I know that I have not been as a rigorous in my own Omega 3 intake as I should be and my results may be lackluster. My results may inspire change in my own kitchen.
Brain and heart health are certainly good motivations.
Why This Omega 3 Blood Test?
Omega 3 blood test kits are fairly new. Years from now doctors will be able to tell us which test is best in their clinical experience. This wisdom will come down the pike with time and it is something we should be looking for as consumers. Until then, looking at the reports you receive from the lab, the test I am recommending is far more educational than any other I have seen.
The test will help educate you about your levels of both Omega 3s and Omega 6s. The fact is that we could have a diet loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, but if it is also loaded with Omega 6s, then we just have a lot of dietary fat in our diet. The key to good health is increasing Omega 3s and decreasing Omega 6s. It is the healthy ratio of these fats that is important for the long-term health of our brains and hearts.
When you visit the website for this Omega 3 blood test, you can download a sample report and you will see that your test results will include Omega 3s, Omega 6s, and information about how your results fit into the typical American diet. (Let’s cross our fingers that we are doing a little better than that….)
How Often to Use The Omega 3 Blood Test for Tracking?
If we are tracking and optimizing our Omega 3 levels, we obviously want to plan to take an initial test and then at least one follow-up test to make sure our regimen is working. If you click through the link, you will notice that you can buy two test kits for this very purpose — a pre-test and a post-test.
I encourage you to buy two kits to save money.
Our body creates new blood cells every day and creates an entirely new set for us in about a three month period. You could test after one month and you should see a change, but if you test after three months and you have really made major changes in your diet, you should see the effect of those changes in your test. Most of us without critical health concerns who are just seeking optimum health will want to test again in about three months. If you have a health concern, you will want to work with your doctor who may want to see results sooner depending on your circumstances.
For the long-term, we may want to test every six months or every year, just to make sure we stay on track.
Administering the Omega 3 Blood Test at Home
If you have not taken a home blood spot test before, you might wonder how in the world you are going to administer it. The kit will come with detailed instructions and a lancet which you will use to prick your finger and provide a few drops on the lab card. It is quite simple. When I administer mine, I will post a video showing you my process which will be especially useful if your blood coagulates quickly as mine does.
How to Optimize Your Diet to Improve Your Omega 3 to Omega 6 Profile
The key to improved Omega 3 blood levels is both to increase your intake of Omega 3 foods and to decrease your Omega 6 foods. Most foods have some of each fat, so the strategy is to find those with the most healthful ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats.
I offer some resources on the Rebuild website for you to explore:
In the Rebuild book, I offer a grid of cooking oils that examines ratios of these fats, but also takes into account the quantity of the fat itself. I will write more about this issue later and perhaps post the grid, but I want to alert you to a plan in development on our Traditional Foods website. We are currently developing an extensive resource for you to help you create a diet rich in Omega 3s. It may be six months before we introduce it, so please if you are interested in this topic, do not lose touch with our website. Find us on Facebook or subscribe to the feed here or at the Traditional Foods website so you do not miss it.
Buy The Omega 3 Blood Test
Go ahead, buy the Omega 3 blood test here and begin monitoring this important health measure.
Disclaimer: Buying through this link helps support our website network but does not increase the price you pay for the product. Thank you for your support.