by Dana Samu, Holistic Nutritionist //
What most people don’t know is that by far the most powerful ECS activators are produced INSIDE THE BODY (where they’re called “endocannabinoids”), and that the body can ONLY make endocannabinoids from dietary omega fatty acids.
Spring has made its entrance fashionably late this year on the West Coast where I live, but that has made its arrival all the sweeter. I spent the weekend immersed in one of my favorite springtime rituals – “waking up” the raised beds in my vegetable garden, and prepping them for this year’s plantings. As I tilled the soil, working in the early season amendments – like compost and worm castings and seaweed and glacial dust – I reflected on the amazing fact that every single nutrient that my future veggies will contain depends on what I am feeding them right now, before a single seed has even been planted. Sure, plants need water and sunlight to thrive, but how healthy my veggies will be is most intimately connected to the health of the soil in which they grow.
The human body works exactly the same way.
As a nutritionist, I have always been a huge proponent of the “food first” approach. If you give the body the raw materials it needs to build healthy cells, tissues and organs in the first place, a lot of illnesses are less prone to develop, and injuries are more likely heal quickly and completely. Instead, we tend to pay less attention to how we nourish our bodies, and then try to compensate after the fact when things go awry – with natural health supplements if we catch the symptoms early enough, or with medications and/or surgical interventions if we don’t.
This top-down mentality, where we have to guess at what the body needs, and in what forms and dosages, in order to heal once the signs of imbalance have shown up is never as effective as supporting the body’s intuitive impulse towards health and wholeness from the bottom up. One bodily system where this principle is especially important is the master regulator of balance in the body as a whole: the endocannabinoid system, or ECS.
The Most Critical System in the Body: The Endocannabinoid System
Most people have heard of the ECS in the context of the plant compounds called “phytocannabinoids” that have the ability to activate it, like CBD and THC from cannabis, and other lesser known but even more effective botanicals. But what most people don’t know is that by far the most powerful ECS activators are produced insidethe body (where they’re called “endocannabinoids”), and that the body can ONLY make endocannabinoids from dietary omega fatty acids. Specifically, the ECS needs omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in very specific ratios to function properly. It also needs them in constant supply, because, unlike neurotransmitters, hormones and other chemical messengers the body uses to communicate, endocannabinoids cannot be stored, so they must be made “on demand”, at the site where the body needs them.
To visualize how this works, imagine that your body is a car, and your endocannabinoid system is the engine. Omega-6 fatty acids act like the accelerator and omega-3 fatty acids act like the brakes. Both are essential to getting you where you need to go, but too much of one without the other can spell disaster. Take the critical role the ECS plays in our immunity as an example. When we are fighting an invasion by an infectious agent, we need the accelerator to rev up the immune system to defend us. But then we need the brakes to end the siege as soon as the enemy is vanquished. Otherwise, we have a hyper-reactive, hair-trigger immune system that attacks everything, even if it’s not inherently dangerous, which leaves us at risk of developing conditions like allergies, asthma, eczema and that, if allowed to become chronic, could eventually lead to autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. On the other hand, too much brake and we have a sluggish immune system, leaving us susceptible to catching every cold and flu going around, with potentially serious long-term consequences like an increased risk of cancer. A balanced and consistent supply of omegas helps our ECS keep our immune system, and virtually every other system in the human body, on cruise control.
Unfortunately, the standard Western diet delivers omegas in the wrong ratios (estimates place our omega 6:3 consumption at about 10:1, while it should be closer to 3:1), and in nowhere near sufficient dosages to support vibrant health. Trying to keep track of the quality and quantity of your omega consumption on a daily basis can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there’s a solution on the horizon.
Introducing Endo Omega: The World’s First Omega Exclusively for the Endocannabinoid System
Brought to you by the folks at Emerald Health Bioceuticals, global leaders in all things endocannabinoid-health-related, Endo Omega will be the first product of its kind specifically formulated to provide the body with the precise building blocks it needs to produce its own endocannabinoids, and keep the ECS functioning optimally. It will come in regular and vegan versions, and contain a research-backed blend of omega-3s from fish or algae, omega-6s and anti-inflammatory GLA from organic hemp seed oil, and the extra cognitive support and metabolism boost of coconut MCTs, all in a highly bioavailable, creamy and delicious sugar-free, keto- and Paleo-friendly formula.
Grow your own endocannabinoids, from the inside out!