Omega 3 Fatty Acids
What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids, how can they help me, and what foods do I need to eat in order to obtain a sufficient amount on a daily basis.
As seen in the Balanced Diet page, fat is an essential dietary requirement of the body. Some vital fatty acids that make up certain fats and oils are used as primary materials in the manufacture of cell membranes
One of the biggest problems related to our health is the lack of proper nutrients in our diets, and one of the first deficiencies are Essential Fatty Acids.
Within the polyunsaturated fat category, there are two important subclasses of fatty acids:
Omega 6, a polysaturated fatty acid known as linoleic acid and
- Omega 3, which is a super unsaturated fatty acid, known as alpha-linoleic acid.
Benefits Omega 3 Fatty Acids
In order to appreciate Omega 3 fatty acids, we must know what their role is in maintaining proper function of our body.
Omega 3s are important components in each of your body's cells. If you lack the proper amount of Omega 3s in your cells, your body becomes pro-inflammatory, which means your body is more prone to injury and will heal at a slower rate.
Most scientists and health professionals agree that omega 3 fish oil contains an array of health benefits pertaining to areas of the body such as your:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids appears to have a positive effect on heart rhythm and according to one recent study, may even reduce the incidence of the most common type of stroke.
- In fact, on the basis of the current research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a qualified health claim for dietary supplements of omega 3 fatty acids relating them to a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Brain and and Visual Function
- Better brain function though more efficient neurotransmitters leading to improved concentration, memory, less likelihood of depression and reduced risk of ADHD in children.
- As some research suggests they may have a role in preventing macular degeneration, a common form of blindness.
- Cholesterol & Triglycerides
- By lowering triglycerides and help balancing your cholesterol.
- Joints and Arthritis
- Better joint function from reduced inflammation and a reduction in pain.
- Skin and Beauty
- Improves the health and appearance of your skin, helps keep nails strong, as well as your hair healthy and shiny.
- If you are pregnant, you should know that Omega 3s are an essential in the development of the fetus's brain.
- Continuing research involves the role of omega 3 fatty acids and the
immune system, and suggests a positive influence on rheumatoid
arthritis, asthma, lupus, kidney disease and cancer, as well
as promising research at the National Institutes of Health on depression.
Sources of Omega 3 fatty acids
The common sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids is the Seafood (Fish, especially cold-water Fish, shellfish and Algae)
Because of the water pollution, often fish contain high levels of mercury (methylmercury) which can be dangerous for pregnant women and children.
What to do? We need to find sources of pure, unspoiled Omega 3s. Fortunately, there are companies like Xtend-Life who are concerned with the purity of this product and the health implications. Read more in their Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil Supplement Overview
Another good source of Omega3s are the Eggs
Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, can also be found in Vegetarian food, like flaxseeds, walnuts and some oils like: olive oil, Grapeseed oil and Hamp oil.
There are several sources of food and supplements which contain Omega 3s, such as:
- Flax seed oil tablets,
- Fish oil tablets,
- Or liver cod oil.
Although you will receive various health benefits from Omega 3's when taken from plant sources such as flax seed, you may miss out on the special benefits from DHA and EPA. This is because your body has to convert the Omega 3's into DHA and EPA. If you are elderly this conversion may not take place.
Only fish oil provide DHA and EPA in a natural form that your body can easily assimilate. No conversion is required by the body.