In recent times, the word on the street about omega fatty acids is only getting stronger. Known to be power boosters with 360-degree health benefits, omega fatty acids find themselves being one of the top runners for good health. We have therefore decided to dig deeper and go gaga about omega! While we know about omega-3 fatty acids much is not known about omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. Here is our time to figure out how these nutrients are good for us for a healthier tomorrow.
What are Omega Fatty acids?
Omega fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids are essential fat and help in the smooth functioning of crucial organs. Except for omega-9, these are a type of fat our body cannot make; hence we need to obtain these nutrients from our diet to get its benefit.
The three important components of omega-3 fatty acids vary in their chemical size and shape. They are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
ALA is known to be heart-friendly, good for the nervous system and boosts immunity. It reduces inflammation and symptoms of depression. While ALA is found mostly in plants, DHA and EPA are found in animal foods and fungi like algae and such. The most common food sources high in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, fish oils, chia seeds, flax seeds and flaxseed oil, and walnuts.
Let us now tune in on the health benefits of omega-3 and discover its amazing potency.
It helps develop the brain in the fetus: In these fatty acids, DHA is a vital part of human cell membranes. Do include omega-3s while expecting a baby. It can help the baby tremendously. It lowers the risk of delayed development, ADHA and other brain-related disorders. It also helps the retina and gives strong eyesight. Therefore, giving formula boosted which is DHA-fortified helps infants to have better eyesight.
Fatty liver? Don’t worry as omega-3s could decrease the amount of fat in your liver if you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD. Omega-3 fatty acids greatly reduce inflammation and liver fat in those with NAFLD.
Fight anxiety and depression
We may not understand it but depression, anxiety, sadness, and lack of joy are one of the most common mental disorders in the world. EPA, one of the three omegas, is responsible for reducing depression. Consuming omega-3 regularly helps reduce the feeling of nervousness and a sense of despair hugely. These nutrients could reduce/prevent Parkinson’s disease and psychosis.
Prevent heart attacks and strokes
When these two continue to remain the world’s leading causes of death omega-3 jumps to our rescue. These fatty acids are known to balance cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels to make them heart-friendly. If you may have noticed those who consume fish on regular basis have low rates of heart disease. You can also beat the heat and reduce triglycerides with omega-3s while those with high BP can see a reduction in their blood pressure levels. The other pluses are raised in good cholesterol, prevent the formation of blood clots, and keep the arteries smooth and clean. Omega-3s reduce and fight inflammation, especially in those related to some chronic diseases.
These fatty acids are fat compounds that are found in some plant oils and seeds. They are different from omega-3 fatty acids. They help with the smooth functioning of all cells but too much omega-6 fatty acids can be harmful. This variant of fatty acids is good to reduce heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, and many other conditions.
It helps in child development. Just like omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. They too boast of multiple benefits to health which we plan to brag about.
Just get your boost of vivacity with the power of 6…omega-6. It is known to reduce inflammation. Some omega-6 fatty acids show benefits in treating symptoms of chronic disease.
Omega-6 is found in certain oils such as evening primrose oil, black seed oil and borage oil and high levels of omega-6 fats can be found in refined vegetable oils and foods cooked in vegetable oils. Nuts and seeds also contain good amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.
Oleic acid is the most common omega-9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet. It does not fall in the “essential” category as the body can produce them. However, consuming foods rich in omega-9 fatty acids has health benefits.
Foods high in omega-9 fats are plant and vegetable and seed oils like peanut oil and hemp seeds oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
All three omega fatty acids have health benefits but it is important to know the right balance of taking these components. Omega fatty acids are key to the structure of every cell wall. They are an energy source. These nutrients keep the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system functioning well. They provide the beginning of making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation.
Trivia: The term “polyunsaturated” refers to their chemical structure. “Poly” means many, and “unsaturated” means capable of absorbing or dissolving more.
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