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We all are conscious about eating healthy and nutritious meals when our aim is to remain fit and active. If you have been keen in understanding the nutritional categorization of your meals, you surely would be aware of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are important for the wellness of our brain and heart. You would be consuming oily fish and flaxseeds to obtain omega-3s as our body does not produce these essential fats.
You would also have consumed eggs, sunflower or walnut oils to obtain omega-6 and avocados and cashews to obtain omega-9 fatty acids. But, there is one more to this group of essential fats that we hardly talk about - Omega-7 unsaturated fatty acids. These are highly important for the proper functioning of the body. These are found in specific forms of fish, such as anchovy and salmon, and also in olive and macadamia oils.
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The Lesser Known Nutrient: Omega-7
According to Rick Hay, nutritionist and nutritional director at Healthista, omega-7 fatty acids that are found in good amounts in sea buckthorn oil are important to maintain the wellness of the body's mucous membranes. Healthy mucous membranes will be able to keep the eyes, mouth, intimate areas and skin well lubricated. Sea buckthorn oil is obtained from a shrub that is known to grow in sandy coasts.
Orange berries and the sea buckthorn seeds contain a high quantity of omega-7 fatty acids. They also possess omega 3s, polyphenols and beta-carotene. These are also known to provide anti-inflammatory effects. Hay further says that sea buckthorn oil can be used for the treatment of hay fever and also to get rid of cold symptoms such as streaming eyes and nose.
The presence of beta carotene, in sea buckthorn oil, is also associated with better immune functionality. Hay also says that especially for vegetarians who do not consume fatty fish, sea buckthorn oil can be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Symptoms That Show That Your Body Needs More Of Omega-7
If you are facing any of the below-mentioned symptoms, then it is probably associated with your low or no intake of omega-7.
• Red, dry eyes
With the excessive use of smart phones, computers, tablets, etc., most of us, at some point of time would have surely faced the issue of red and dry, itchy eyes. According to a research that was published in The Journal of Nutrition in the year 2010, a trial was conducted on 100 people who possessed symptoms of blurred vision, redness, watery eyes, burning and soreness. Half of the group was given omega-7 supplements while the remaining half was given a placebo. Over a period of three months where the supplements were consumed daily, people who had the intake of omega-7 showed considerably reduced symptoms of red and dry eyes.
• Dry skin
For the production of collagen, essential fats such as omega-3 and omega-7 are necessary. Sea buckthorn, when taken orally or applied to the skin, can keep the skin well hydrated. According to Rick Hay, sea buckthorn possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. It can also be used to treat mouth ulcers. Sea buckthorn has also shown effective results in curing sunburn and rosacea; this is possible especially due to its ability to maintain the wellness of mucous membranes.
• Dryness in the intimate areas
People prone to facing dryness and irritation in the genitals and of the urinary system should use sea buckthorn supplements. Omega-7 is known for its intimate lubrication capabilities. Women approaching menopause tend to face vaginal dryness to a great extent; this is because the oestrogen levels drop and causes reduction in the natural lubrication. Trials have shown that issues related to vaginal burning, dryness or itching can be treated through the intake of omega-7 supplements.
• Dry mouth
People, mostly the elderly and women, tend to complain about facing issues related to dry mouth. There could be several causes of dry mouth - stress, intake of certain medication (mostly antidepressants) or a salivary gland dysfunction. Research has shown that the dry mouth symptoms can be alleviated through the intake of sea buckthorn supplements. A prolonged dry mouth, due to reduction in salivation, can lead to dental plaque, accumulation of food debris, apart from risks of severe tooth decay and gum diseases.
The Amount Of Omega-7 That The Body Requires
When considering omega-7 supplements, the ideal dosage, according to research data, would be four capsules per day. However, according to the manufacturers, four capsules daily are recommended for the first two weeks, and then on, two capsules per day should be fine. Nevertheless, if you find yourself facing any of the symptoms related to the deficiency of omega-7 in your body, you could consult your family physician, who would be in a position to guide you correctly about the required dosage of omega-7 supplements.