Nourishing your cells with healthy fats

With more than 100 trillion cells in our bodies, do you ever stop and wonder what they are these made up of?

Every single cell should be constructed of high-quality fat; the better the fat quality, the better your body will function. There are clear signs of your body crying for help when you’re not consuming enough vital fat, including: dry, itchy skin, brittle or overly soft nails, achy or stiff joints, memory problems, diabetes and even weight gain.

Society generally sees fat as a negative thing, however much like our human bodies, not all fats are created equal - we should choose the more energy-efficient and high-quality fats in order to function better. It can seem easier (and deceptively tastier) to choose the lower-quality ingredients such as corn, soy or safflower, which consist of low-quality omega-6 fats. However, these have a direct impact on your cell health and cause cell walls to become rigid and inflamed.

To enhance cell quality, we should eat more omega-3 fats, which increase flexibility and improve how quickly your body can respond to messages. They also encourage production of prostaglandins, which are the hormones that cool down inflammation and can help avoid the root of nearly every chronic disease. You can find omega-3 fats in cold-water fish like salmon and sardines, as well as in flax and hemp seed oils, walnuts, brazil nuts and sea vegetables.

Omega-3 makes the blood more slippery and able to move around the body, reducing the likelihood of artery disease and improving overall heart health. The brain is also made up of 60% fat, and is completely dependent on high-quality fats, which boost happiness, cognition, learning and memory. Deficiencies of omega-3 have been studied to cause depression, anxiety, bipolar and even violence.

Good sources of healthy fats include wild, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, butter or ghee, avocado, grass-fed meat, extra-virgin olive oil and olives. These foods are all delicious, and contain high levels of vitamins A, D, E and K. These good fats both nourish our bodies and can encourage weight loss, as a result of lowering blood sugar and insulin levels, encouraging the burning of fat, rather than storing it.

For cooking, is best to use stable fats that won't be destroyed when heated at a high temperature - for this reason, I like to fry with coconut oil, avocado oil or ghee. I often bake roasted vegetables with olive oil or coconut oil and I use my best quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling after cooking, or in salad dressings. I like to hide this at the back of my cupboard so no one uses it!

Healthhanna mathilde