There are two types of essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. You must get these fatty acids from the foods you eat because your body can't make them. They both offer unique health benefits and are necessary for building cell membranes, proper blood clotting, providing insulation, and a healthy immune response.
Essential fatty acids also make up the myelin sheath, the fatty layer that surrounds and insulates the nerves, which is important for facilitating nerve impulses. When consuming essential fatty acids, it’s important to ensure that you consume the appropriate ratio of about 4:1 of omega-6 to omega-3-fats for overall good health. The average American is currently consuming a 20:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats—way too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s! So ensuring that your omega-6 to omega-3 fat intake is closer to this ratio will help you get back into balance.