Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Fat is not all bad. In fact, some fats are not only good for you, they are essential to your health and well being. Omega 3 fatty acids are identified as an essential fatty acid and are a good fat. These fats are hugely important to your health. Omega-3 are often called “essential” fatty acids because they are just that, essential to your health and well being. Unfortunately our bodies are unable to manufacture these essential fatty acids so it is important that they are included in our diets.
Where To Get Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
You may already be familiar with the fact that oily fish contain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. So consuming tuna, salmon, sardines and trout on a regular basis will ensure you get an adequate intake of Omega 3. But what if you’re not a lover of fish or have a fish allergy? Don’t worry, you do have other options. Other foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include walnuts, soybeans and flaxseeds; we’ll go into that a bit further later.
There are three major kinds of omega 3 fatty acids
All three of these fatty acids combine to work together to form the building blocks your body needs for better health. Your body will absorb the ALA and turn it into EPA and DHA, which your body needs for enhancement and improvement. However, this conversion isn’t very efficient and it is recommended that you include EPA and DHA sources in your diet as well.
ALA is found in plant sources like canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, linseeds and pumpkin seeds, but the richest source of ALA is flaxseed, which can be purchased from a health food store.
DHA is found in seafood, algae, and coldwater fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna. You can of course take supplements such as fish oil if you can’t stomach the taste or smell of fish.
EPA is found in many of the same foods as DHA as well as cod liver, herring, mackerel, and halibut.
Health Benefits of Omega 3
Making sure you consume a healthy amount of Omega 3 will give you these health benefits:
The bad cholesterol (LDL) found in our bodies is lowered by increasing the amount of omega 3 we have in our diet. Many former heart attack patients adding supplements or foods high in omega 3 to their diet reduced their chances of another heart attack by almost 30 percent.
More Brain Power
There are not a lot of foods that contribute to improving the function of our brain. But Omega 3 fatty acids certainly do. These wonderful fatty acids have been shown to reduce depression and memory loss. Research has also unearthed a link between low levels of Omega 3 in the body and mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bi polar disease and ADHD
Inflammation Prevention and Reduction
Research shows that omega 3 fats reduce inflammation, helping to prevent many inflammatory diseases. Arthritis and Osteoarthritis are major inflammation and autoimmune diseases that benefit from adequate amounts of Omega 3’s in your diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to alleviate the symptoms of chronic Inflammation diseases of the bowel such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Lung diseases, such as Asthma can be helped and symptoms alleviated by ensuring you are consuming good levels of Omega 3.
Alleviate Skin Conditions
Omega 3’s have been proven to alleviate the symptoms of skin disorders like acne and psoriasis.
How Much is Enough?
There is really no need to consume huge amounts of Omega 3’s. Simply add fish to your diet twice a week, or if you aren’t into fish or are allergic, try snacking on a quarter cup of seeds and nuts three times a week, or you could simply add a tablespoon of Flaxseed oil to your breakfast each morning. Otherwise there is always supplementation.
Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats which are essential to our diets. The health benefits they provide are amazing and should not be underestimated. If you are considering taking supplements of omega 3, discuss this with your doctor. Determine how much a good recommended dose is for you and make certain it will not interfere with any prescription medications you are currently taking.