Your eyes are not deceiving you. Your body really does create its own cannabinoids.
Such cannabinoids are generated in response to omega-3 fatty acids. Tetrahydrocannabinol, marijuana’s most popular cannabinoid, is integral to the plant’s ability to create blissful feelings.
Yet cannabinoids play roles beyond generating euphoria. A recent study shows cannabinoids produced in response to omega-3 fatty acids—like the ones found in eggs, fish oil and chia seeds—leads to significant anti-inflammatory benefits. This process occurs without being subjected to the psychotropic high of marijuana.
University of Illinois academician Aditi Das and comparative biosciences specialist Daniel McDougle conducted the aforementioned interdisciplinary research effort in tandem. The American Heart Association and the National Institute of Health provided additional support for the research effort. The findings were detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cannabinoids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods like meat, fish, eggs and nuts. These foods are also rife with helpful omega-6 fatty acids to boot. Omega fatty acids are naturally transformed through biological processes to become endocannaboinoids. Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids naturally produced by the human body. Both endocannabinoids and the cannabinoids from marijuana play important roles in supporting the human body’s immune system. This means they are excellent targets for therapeutics that thwart inflammation.
A Brief Look at THC
Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli chemist, is the first to pinpoint THC in marijuana. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is one of more than 100 cannabinoids in marijuana. Mechoulam discovered THC in marijuana 54 years ago. He proceeded to isolate THC in marijuana.
Mechoulam put 10 mg of THC in cake slices, provided them to friends in a social setting and observed their responses. The results were quite intriguing: those who consumed the THC-laden cake slices interacted with one another, laughed and reported feeling quite lazy. It was clear THC functioned as a euphoric psychotropic cannabinoid.
The Importance of Cannabinoids Produced by Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Three decades following Mechoulam’s experiment, scientists determined endocannabinoids were made in the human body in a completely natural manner. Several endocannabinoids have been pinpointed in recent years.
Modern scientists are uncertain as to exactly what types of functions each endocannabinoid provides. The scientific community is sure of one thing: cannabinoids connect two types of cannabinoid receptors in the human body. One such receptor is in the immune system while the other is in the nervous system. Some cannabinoids like marijuana’s THC bind to receptors and generate important anti-inflammatory responses that fight the onset of pain.
Why the Finding is Important
The research performed by McDougle and Das shows there is an enzymatic pathway that converts endocannabinoids generated by omega-3 to form incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory molecules. These molecules connect to the human body’s natural immune system receptors.
In a nutshell, the research shows omega-3 fatty acids create many of the medicinal qualities that result from marijuana. The difference is the consumption of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids does not cause a psychotropic effect.
How You can Take Advantage of the Finding
You have the power to fight inflammation with your body’s natural cannabinoids if you are willing to consume food containing generous amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Print out this article and place it in your purse or wallet so it is within reach while you shop for groceries.
Here is exactly what you should buy at the grocery store to take advantage of omega-3 fatty acids’ interactions with your body’s natural cannabinoids:
- Soy Milk
- Chia seeds
- Cod liver oil
- Alaskan Salmon
- Salmon oil
- Atlantic Mackerel
- Peanut butter
- Halibut Oysters
- Flour tortillas
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brussels sprouts
- Firm tofu
- Fontina cheese
- Grass-fed beans
- Navy beans
- Winter squash
- Mustard seeds
- Wild Rice
- Red Lentils
Focus on the Seeds!
In particular, flax seeds are especially important as they provide the “good” fat that reduces risk for heart disease. A single tablespoon of flax seeds provides an incredible 2,330 omega-3s, six grams of protein and eight grams of fiber. Chia seeds are also quite helpful, providing more than 2,450 mg of omega-3s in a single tablespoon. These seeds are gluten free and rife with protein, fiber and additional nutrients that help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol.
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