Thursday 22 October, 2020

Wellness with Natalie: Antioxidants, fatty acids and amino acids

I know you want to feel amazing and have the energy, vitality and health to be the best you possible. We are therefore focusing on the elements that you need to optimize your wellness.

Last week we addressed vitamins and minerals. You can read that article here if you missed it.

This week we look at antioxidants, fatty acids and amino acids.

ANTIOXIDANTS - Every metabolic process in the body creates free radicals as a by-product to metabolism. These unstable molecules are also produced by the body as a response to environmental and other pressures (cigarette smoke, inflammation, pollution etc). Free radicals cause damage to the body in the form of oxidative stress and as such is linked to the onset of chronic non communicable diseases. You can readily see that we do not want free radicals to linger. Antioxidants are substances that act as paper towels to mop up the free radicals thereby eliminating them from your body and reducing the potential harm. Some vitamins act as antioxidants (A, C, E); some minerals do as well (selenium, magnesium) as do some plant based compounds ( Flavonoids, flavones, catechins, polyphenols, phytoestrogens). Each antioxidant serves a specific purpose not accomplished by others, so it is important to consume ALL.

FATTY ACIDS - We need fatty acids for optimal health as they help to increase our absorption of vitamins and minerals, nourish our skin, hair and nails, promote proper nerve functioning, help produce hormones, ensure normal growth and development, and prevent and treat disease. Essential Fatty acids are unsaturated fats that we must consume from food sources as our body does not manufacture them. The essential fatty acids are omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA) and omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega 6 derivatives: gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid (AA) and omega-3 derivatives: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are not truly essential because our bodies can manufacture them. That said, we do need those fatty acid derivatives as we also need omega 9.

AMINO ACIDS - Amino acids are the building blocks of our body. Without them, the foundation of our body will not just be right. They are required for the development of our muscle structure, our nervous system, our organs' proper functioning, and the production of our hormones. Like fatty acids, there are “essential” amino acids that we must consume from food and there are also “non-essentials” that our body can make. There is a third type though: conditional. Conditional amino acids can be made by our body, but we cannot make enough of them if we are sick. Whereas deficiencies of these three types of nutrients will lead to demonstrable impact in our body, it would be beneficial to know if we are getting adequate amounts before we reach the stage of showing symptoms. Don’t ya think? This is where Epigenetic Testing comes in.

You can learn more here. Look out next week for more elements of your optimized wellness.

Natalie Murray is an Integrative Health Coach. She runs individual and group detox programs, offers corporate wellness programs and maintains an individual coaching practice.  If you want to learn more about how working with a Health Coach can help you in making gradual sustainable shifts towards a healthier lifestyle visit or email her at

This article is for information purposes only.  The information presented is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.  The Information provided is NOT a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem and disease.  You should consult your health care provider if you have or suspect you may have a health problem.

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