Omega 3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated that is great importance with number of functions in the body. Omega 3 is made of up three kinds: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA).
DHA and EPA are mainly found in fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and shellfish like mussels, crab and oysters. Whereas ALA is found mostly in plant sources like flaxseed, soybean oils, canola and vegetable oils.
Omega-3 is essential for bodily functions, including blood clotting, muscle activity, cell division and growth. DHA is significant for brain growth and its function. ALA is a vital fatty acid, which are not manufactured by the human body. Therefore have to get it from either supplements or food.
Benefits of Omega-3s
Omega 3s are important fatty acids with different effects biologically in human health and disease. The American Heart Association has recommended the intake of fish at least twice a week. The following are some of the benefits that have been supported by research and studies.
- Supports baby growth: DHA is found in fish oil has a considerable effect on the development and fetal growth of babies. Studies have shown that kids they have less of the Omega-3 from their mother are prone to vision disorders and develop nerve problem.
- Supports cardiovascular health: Who are having different cardiovascular problems can increase oily fish intake to improve the circulation of blood. The Omega-3 fatty acids do reduce triglyceride level, reduce blood pressure and decreases the tendency of having a heart attack.
- Macular Degeneration: Studies have also shown that people who have a balance diet of fishes and fish oil are less prone to developing macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an eye disorder which advances with one’s age and might end up in blindness.
- Regulates cholesterol level: Omega-3 help in effectively normalize and regulate the cholesterol level and reduce triglyceride to significantly low level.
8 ways to add omega-3 into your diet
Many health organizations have recommended a minimum of 250-500mg of Omega-3 every single day for a healthy adult. Here are some ways you can add omega-3 into your diet.
- Flaxseeds: Richer source of omega-3, Vitamin E, Fiber and magnesium
- Soybeans: Rather than omega-3, this is a good source of vegetable protein and fiber. It contains high quantity of other nutrients, which include magnesium, folate, riboflavin, potassium and vitamin K
- Mackerel & Sardines: Good source to boost your omega-3 level.They are also rich in other mineral such as selenium.
- Salmon: It has a high level of protein couple with different nutrients, which include potassium, magnesium, B-vitamins and selenium. Studies have shown that people who frequently consume fatty fish, like salmon, are less prone to diseases such as dementia, heart disease and depression.
- Vegetables and fruits: Vegetables have ALA in them, which is an essential element in Omega-3. Fruits do have antioxidants properties as well which safeguard fats over oxidation.
- Nuts and seeds: Add nuts and seeds to yogurt, salad or morning muesli. 1 handful nuts and seeds is recommended per day to decrease the diseases.
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