When we consume oils and fats, they are digested to forms that can be absorbed in the body. These forms are known as fatty acids. Fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated depending on the chemical structure. Unsaturated fatty acids fall into two major categories :- Omega 3 and Omega 6. The best fats for you and your body are Omega-3 fats.
Omega 3 fatty acids need to be included in the diet because the human body cannot create them from other fatty acids. It is found in three forms which are; Alphalinolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) - all are polyunsaturated. Although the human body cannot synthesize the omega 3 fatty acids, it can create the EPA and DHA from ALA; EPA and DHA are composed of longer chains than ALA.
However, the supply of these fatty acids is more effective when they are obtained directly from food rather than being converted as conversion is affected by other factors. Additional supply can be obtained from fish oil capsules. It should however be noted that daily intake of these supplements should never exceed 3 grams unless under supervision by a health care provider.
Dietary Sources of EPA & DHA
* It is important to note that fish do not synthesize omega 3 fatty acids themselves, they obtain them from algae or plankton in their diet.
Dietary Sources of ALA
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
Soybeans and soybean oil
Omega 3 fatty acids can also be found in other foods like Kidney beans, navy beans, Broccoli, cauliflower, Romania lettuce, Raspberries, strawberries, free range beef and poultry, organic butter, coconut oil and avocados among others. It is important to add as many of these foods as you can to your diet.
Importance of Omega 3
They reduce inflammation and help lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, arthritis. Inflammation is a serious problem that you should attempt to minimize by eating healthy and getting plenty of Omega-3.
Omega 3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and help increase ability to concentrate, brain memory and energy levels.
They help lower cholesterol levels in the body as well as blood pressure.
They are important to the unborn foetus development such that infants with inadequate supply of omega 3 will be at risk of developing nerve and vision problems.
Improve skin condition and development. Many people notice that their skin feels soft and young again after taking Omega-3 supplements. Also people with acne have noticed a reduction in blemishes.
Symptoms of Omega 3 Deficiency
Fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression and poor circulations are just but a few indications that one should consider as an indication of the need to take capsule supplements of omega 3. Fish Oils with Omega-3 and high levels of DHA and EPA can help with these symptoms. The changes are often noticed after just a few weeks and can be significant.
Jerry Cahill is a blogger who blogs about health and food. He has a couple of new popular blogs - Diners Dive
and Oils with Omega 3
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