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linoleic acid

Linoleic Acid – Are you getting enough?

Essential fatty acids are getting a lot of press at the moment, but how much do you actually know about what they do? And where can you get them? Today we’re focusing on a particularly important fatty acid, an omega-6 called linoleic acid, which is responsible for lowering cholesterol and also helps to maintain healthy skin. 

How does it work?

Linoleic acid is an omega-6, part of a family of fatty acids that are known as ‘essential’ because we can’t live without them. Linoleic acid is important for the healthy function of the skin because it forms part of the hydrolipidic film, an invisible barrier made of oil and water that protects the skin from bacteria, the weather, harsh chemicals and other environmental attacks. It also helps the skin to retain moisture which is extremely important because, without it, water can evaporate out of the skin, leading to dryness and even dermatitis. 

What happens if I don’t get enough?

A weakened hydrolipidic film can lead to premature sagging because collagen in the skin will be damaged by environmental attacks. Constant attacks will also cause thinning of the skin, which makes it more delicate and prone to wrinkles as well. Making sure that your diet is rich in Linoleic acid can help make the skin stronger, keep it hydrated and help you to keep looking younger for longer. 

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Where can I get it from?

Luckily there are a huge variety of food sources, so it’s unlikely that you aren’t getting enough! However, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your diet is well balanced, so here are some of the foods with the highest concentration of Linoleic acid:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts

It’s important to make sure that you don’t over-consume these sources because many of them are high in other fats too, so aim for a well-balanced diet and stick to the recommended serving sizes of these foods!

image:istock.com/Sofia Zhuravets

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