I can remember specifically how many people would comment on my thick, shiny hair and clear, youthful skin, especially from complete strangers in the supermarket, book store...actually, just about everywhere.
And did I mention this was when I was pregnant? Once I would tell people how far along I was (7-8 months), they always would say the same things,
"No way! Really? How did you stay so fit?"
Or... one of my absolute favorites,
"Your hair looks so healthy!"
Besides mentioning the fact that I stayed consistent with my exercise, I always told them my #1 reason for being able to ward off the usual excessive pregnancy weight gain was by watching what I put into my mouth! And when it came to my skin and hair, an energized and youthful appearance is a great indicator of how well you take care of your insides. As obvious as this may sound, not everyone realizes just how much of an impact essential nutrients and fats have on your entire body.
Is maintaining a healthy weight and eating regimen really any different than what I would normally do even when not pregnant? Not really. Healthy principles are healthy principles. What's good and healthy for someone not pregnant (men included) is just as healthy for the pregnant girl (with a few exceptions, of course).
It's also important to note that it wasn't (and still isn't) easy to stick to healthy principles all day every day, even for me, but there is one thing I refuse to go without.
I put a special emphasis on one specific food and ingredient through the whole duration of my pregnancy and that is Omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish oils. Before I got pregnant, I always included Omega-3s into my everyday meal plans for their fat burning and anti-inflammatory effects. But during pregnancy, I included them for the healthy development of my baby's brain and spinal cord. The benefits of Omega-3s are so far reaching, I don't think anybody should be without them, regardless of sex, age, or activity level.
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Here are just a few of the incredible benefits of Omega-3s:
- Relief and prevention of pain and inflammation. Omega-3 fish oil fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, have a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. Through several mechanisms, they regulate your body's inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, cystitis, and pretty much anything else ending in "itis."
- Better brain function and higher intelligence. Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great impact on the intelligence and happiness of their babies by eating foods high in Omega-3s and supplementing with Omega-3 fish oil (Everybody wants a smart baby, right?). For adults, fish oil improves memory, recall, reasoning and focus. You'll swear you're getting younger and smarter (wouldn't that be nice!).
- Uplifts mood and prevents depression. Making you smarter is not all that fish oil does for your brain. Psychiatry department researchers at the University of Sheffield UK, along with many other research studies, found that fish oil supplements "alleviated" the symptoms of depression, bipolar, and psychosis, and they even help to alleviate PMS (which sometimes brings on the same symptoms of depression and psychosis).
- Superior cardiovascular health. Fish oil's docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and EPA have also been proven to work wonders for your heart and the miles and miles of arteries and veins that make up your cardiovascular system. They help lower cholesterol, tryglicerides, LDLs and blood pressure, while at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol. This adds years to your life expectancy.
- Strengthens hair and improves skin elasticity. The essential fats in Omega-3 fish oil also nourish and hydrate skin from the inside out, which is key in maintaining glowing, elastic skin. A deficiency in DHA and EPA can lead to irritating skin and scalp conditions, such as psoriasis, dandruff, eczema, hair breakage, and thinning hair - all of which can prevent healthy and lustrous hair growth.
- Burns unwanted body fat. Omega-3 fats help you burn fat by helping your body respond better to a hormone called Leptin. Leptin tells your body (your brain) to suppress your appetite making you eat less so you can maintain or lose weight. Leptin also increases your metabolism by increasing your thyroid output and causes your body to burn fat for energy. A better response to Leptin will decrease your hunger and increase your burning metabolism. Omega-3s also help control hunger by stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Being less hungry = portion control = increased fat loss!
Don't want to miss out?
You can easily increase your intake of DHA and EPA on a daily basis by eating several servings a week of Omega-3 rich foods. However, if you are anything like me - a busy schedule, kids, full-time career, etc. - you know that life sometimes gets in the way of a getting just the right amount of healthy nutrients into your diet on a regular basis .
The absolute easiest and sure-fire way of getting Omega-3 into your diet is with Spring of Life Premium Omega 3. With everything else I trust and recommend to family, friends, and Beyond Diet members, I've tested and found that Spring of Life offers a fish oil supplement of the highest caliber, and I feel good about taking it every single day.
Want to know more about the Omega-3 fish oil that has improved my heart, brain, skin, hair, joint, and mental health from the inside out, while also keeping those unwanted pounds off?