Fats are an essential part of any diet, whether vegan, vegetarian, paleo or omnivore; despite the bad reviews fat gets, it can be very good for you.
We look at what omega-3 fatty acids are precisely and some of the many benefits they provide.
We’ll also look at some best food sources and think about how best you can ensure you are including adequate amounts in your diet.
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- Omega-3s A Closer Look
- Can Fat Be Good For You?
- There Are Three Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Omega-3 Supports the Immune System
- Brain Food
- Omega-3 & Eye Health
- Hair Growth, Wrinkle-Free Skin & Strong Nails
- Want Better Sleep? Omega-3 Helps
- Fertility Issues & Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Omega-3 & Cancer
- 18 More Benefits – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Best Food Source For Omega-3
- Omega Fatty Acids The True Essential Oils
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
The fat contained in the food you eat comprises fatty acid chains that combine carbon and hydrogen atoms linked together.
The two primary fats that we generally consume are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Unsaturated fatty acids are string type formations bonded together; those with one double bond are called monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
Unsaturated fatty acids with more than one double bond are called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).
Omega-3s A Closer Look
Omega-3s are usually unsaturated fatty acids, PUFAs.
Fatty acids are involved in the normal healthy function of your immune system and every other aspect of your body health.
Omega fatty acids also significantly impact the flavour and texture of food, such as eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, salmon, and avocadoes before and after cooking.
Can Fat Be Good For You?
Despite the bad press, fats such as omega’s are incredibly healthy for you.
Omega-3s help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels, significantly lower the risks of developing heart disease.
Saturated and unsaturated fats are the two primary fatty acids we generally consume. Although some foods might be associated with only one kind of fat, they usually contain a blend of both saturated and unsaturated.
Saturated fats are much more solid at room temperature than unsaturated fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are in animal products such as meat, dairy, hydrogenated vegetable oils and tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature found in vegetable, plant-derived oils and animal products like meat, dairy and fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are incredibly beneficial not only to your physical health but to your mental health too and are in both animal and plant foods.
There Are Three Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Alpha-linolenic acid is the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids; your body cannot produce ALA naturally, so you must make sure to eat foods containing it.
Both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids provide the most benefits that contribute to good overall physical and mental health.
Omega-3 Supports the Immune System
Omega-3s, along with another essential fatty acid, omega-6, support your immune system and that both do so in very different ways.
Omega-6 fatty acids stimulate the immune system, whereas omega-3 fatty acids, also referred to as anti-inflammatory, dampen down the immune system’s response.
The omega-3 fatty acids also support and promote the infection-fighting components of immunity.
Everyone, especially children, students and the elderly, requires extra brainpower and the occasional boost.
Many studies have shown that consuming adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids help fuel brain cells so that they can function better.
They have also shown that omega-3s can help prevent and slow down the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have also shown that children and adults who suffer from ADHD and depression can benefit significantly by adding more omega-3s to their diets.
Omega-3 & Eye Health
Eye and vision health is something we sometimes forget until problems develop; omega-3 fatty acids have improved vision problems by fighting inflammation.
Omega-3 also helps keep the retina of the eyes lubricated; eye problems could indicate that you may need to incorporate more omega-3 into your diet.
Hair Growth, Wrinkle-Free Skin & Strong Nails
A study held in 2018 found that omega-3s, specifically fish oil, stimulated hair growth in rodents.
Researchers isolated rat whisker follicles and treated them with fish oil from mackerel containing omega-3 fatty acids.
After 14 days, they noticed that the hairs growing from the treated follicles were longer than those of the untreated follicles.
Want Better Sleep? Omega-3 Helps
Low omega-3 levels in the body can be associated with problems with sleep; if you want to improve your nervous system and sleep better, you should take more omega-3 regularly.
Low levels of DHA can result in lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.
Studies in both children and adults show that omega-3 supplements increase the quality and duration of sleep.
Fertility Issues & Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you are having problems conceiving a baby, omega-3s can help raise your chance of accomplishing your goal.
Studies have shown that omega-3s may improve ovulation by increasing progesterone, which regulates the uterus lining essential to pregnancy.
Omega-3s also increase the strength of the sperm, giving them a better chance of reaching their destination quicker.
Omega-3 & Cancer
Studies have revealed that omega-3s can help prevent certain types of cancer such as colon and breast cancer, reducing the risk by up to 50% with consuming omega-3, DHA, EPA and ALA fatty acids.
18 More Benefits – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There are so many benefits to omega-3 fatty acids that it would take forever to list them all.
- Omega 3 fatty acids significantly reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.
- Omega-3s help reduces blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.
- Omega-3s give the nervous system a healthy boost.
- Evidence shows that omega-3 helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in aiding and assisting the formation of cell membranes throughout your body.
- Omega-3s supports, regulates and maintains sound mental health including depression, psychosis and Parkinson’s disease in those at risk, however, research is ongoing.
- Omega-3s help reduces your LDL or bad cholesterol level, which can result in the formation of plaque that hardens and restricts the flow of blood in your arteries.
- Omega-3s can help prevent blood clots by keeping blood platelets from clumping together.
- It provides numerous benefits to people with diabetes; omega-3ss can reduce insulin resistance and help combat inflammation.
- Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to healthy weight loss and management.
- Many studies have repeatedly proved that women who regularly consume omega-3s have significantly milder menstrual pain than women that do not.
- Preventing and treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression using omega-3s has been well established for many years.
- Vital to infant brain development and cognitive development.
- Significantly helps the prevention, reduction and alleviation of the symptoms of arthritis.
- Joints, tendons, and cartilage are keep lubricated by omega-3 fatty acids.
- Regular consumption of omega-3s supports the mobility and functionality of bones and joints throughout life.
- Omega-3s can significantly reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
- Studies have shown that children and young adults who regularly consume omega-3 have a much lower risk of asthma than children and young adults who don’t.
Best Food Source For Omega-3
DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly found chiefly in cold-water fatty fish.
- cod liver oil
ALAs, are the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, so if you are a vegan, these rich sources of omega-3 are perfect for you.
- olive oil
- flaxseed oil
- hempseed oil
- chia seeds
- canola oil
- soybean oil
Omega Fatty Acids The True Essential Oils
omega oils, especially omega-3 and omega 6-, -7 and -9, are necessary and vital to life.
Without oil, an engine would become, over time, dysfunctional, sluggish, stiff, rusty and eventually cease up and get thrown on to the scrap heap.
It’s the same with your body; getting adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet is essential.
If you don’t frequently eat fatty fish, seafood or use olive oil, it may be a good idea to consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
Supplementing your diet is a simple but effective way to improve your physical and mental health and may also significantly help reduce your risk of infection, illness and chronic disease.
You can find easily find omega-3 supplements, including vegan varieties, locally or online.
You can obtain them without a prescription from any pharmacy or general store.
However, I would strongly recommend you do your research, due diligence and seek advice where and when needed.
If you have any underlying health conditions or taking any prescribed medication. Supplements can cause severe side effects if not taken in the correct dosage, so please always seek medical advice.
As always, all contributions to the discussion are always encouraged and always very much appreciated.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Strong
*Please note that this post’s information is for general information and not a substitute for healthcare professionals’ expertise and judgment.