Are You a Grape...Or a Raisin?

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2023

Do you struggle with dry skin, hair, and nails?  Many people do at this time of the year.  It is the unfortunate result of a combination of cold outdoor air and dry furnace heat.  Fortunately, there are solutions as you wait for spring.

Adequate water consumption could be beneficial.  So could a trip to the tropics.

Still a third strategy - and one of the best - is ensuring adequate healthy oils in our diet. 

The reason for this is because the outer layer of our cells is made up of fatty acids that help hold water in the cells, preventing them from drying out.  Hence the grape-raisin analogy.  We want plump juicy cells for optimal health and beauty!

Enter omega-3 and omega-6.

Omega-3 and omega-6 are what we call essential fatty acids.  This means that our bodies cannot produce them on their own so it is essential that we obtain them through our diet. 

The typical North American diet tends to contain significantly more omega-6 fatty acids than it does omega-3.  Omega-6 is found in unhealthy foods such as salad dressings, potato chips, pizza, pasta dishes and  processed meats and may be the reason why omega-6 has earned a reputation as  being "bad" or "inflammatory".   

Truth is, we need both for optimal health: omega-3 and omega-6.  And we need them in optimal balance.

What are the benefits?

In case you were thinking essential fatty acids are there to address vanity issues alone, know that their benefits are more than skin deep:

  • Reduces inflammation -  the demon behind many chronic conditions
  • Supports brain health - improves cognitive function and reduces risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease
  • Supports heart health - lowers triglyceride levels, reduces blood pressure, and prevents the formation of blood clots.
  • Supports eye health - may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration
  • And, yes, supports skin health -  reduces skin inflammation (as in acne, eczema, and psoriasis), improves skin hydration, and supports skin elasticity.

Best Sources

The best sources of essential fatty acids are whole natural foods. 


Nuts and seeds -   Flax seed is particularly rich in omega-3.  Also consider adding chia seeds and walnuts to your diet for an omega-3 boost.  Hemp seeds contain oils in a balanced 3:6 ratio so eating them will get you a bit of both.

Fish - Salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and herring.  They can supply you with beneficial long-chain omega-3s, DHA and EPA, which are sometimes challenging to get from plant sources because of the conversion factor involved.


Nuts and seeds -  Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and pistachios.

Beef, chicken, and eggs are whole food animal sources of omega-6.


Fish oil, flax oil (omega-3 sources), evening primrose oil,  borage oil (omega-6 sources), and Udo's oil 3-6-9 blend may be used therapeutically to optimize your fatty acid intake - and your health, including that of your skin, hair and nails.

Certain conditions and medications  contraindicate their use so it is advisable to consult your health care practitioner before starting a supplement.  In the mean time, let your food be your medicine!




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