Get Fat – Get Health? A Guide to Omega 3
Omega-3 fatty acids are synonymous to ‘body health’. Scientists have devoted many years to discovering the benefits of omega 3 and explaining why they are so important for the human body. These acids are found in foods of both animal and vegetable origin. You may consider it surprising that fish is not the only source of omega 3. Moreover, it may turn out that you consume these acids without even knowing about it, yet the amount you consume still may be insufficient. So if you want to gain some good knowledge of the use of omega-3, determine a daily standard amount, and change some of your habits to get healthier, then keep on reading.
What is omega-3?
To date, omega-3 fatty acids are named among the substances that our body needs. They are basic elements that help your health, youth, and beauty. There are 3 types of omega-3 (this is where the ‘3’ index comes from):
EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid
DHA – docosahexaenoic acid
ALA – alpha-linolenic acid
None of these fatty acids are synthesized by a human body; we get them entirely from foods. Among omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA affect metabolism, including metabolism at the cellular level. They protect cells from premature aging, help to preserve their genetic information, and regulate fat metabolism and vital activity of the bacteria in the digestive tract. Modern food is poor in omega-3, that is why it is highly suggested to take omega-3 food supplements to compensate their shortage.
Knowing what is good about omega 3 fatty acids
Since the question what is omega-3 is answered, let’s discover the importance of omega 3 for being healthy. The thing is that these fatty acids are the main structural components of cell membranes. Many processes in the human body depend on membranes’ properties, for example, nerve-cell-to-nerve-cell signal transmission, brain functioning, heart work, and the retina of an eye to name a few. Put it all together and the health benefits of omega-3 are the following:
- Improve heart health. As the studies show, the risk of death from heart disorders reduces by 50% in men who eat fish at least once per week. Also, fish oil products minimize the chance of recurrent stroke and heart attack. In this regard the benefits of omega 3 fatty acid supplements for people with any heart disorders are great.
- Normalize the level of triglycerides. If you are not aware of what triglycerides are, they are the type of fat in the blood, actually the main source of energy. Too many triglycerides can be harmful. The high level of triglycerides may cause heart and metabolic disorders. In this context, omega 3 krill oil or other fish oil products can significantly reduce the number of triglycerides. People with high triglycerides should take omega 3 dietary supplements to always keep the level of triglycerides under control.
- Improve learning. Among omega 3 fatty acids DHA is very important for brain work. It helps to maximize the intellectual capacity, improve memory, reading, and other cognitive functions. That is why it is important for a growing child to get enough omega 3 either through omega 3 products or omega 3 food supplements. Some children don’t like fish, in this case, omega 3 capsules might be helpful.
- Protect brain. DHA and EPA keep the amount of dopamine in the brain at a certain level, promote the growth of brain cells in the frontal cortex and improve blood circulation in the brain.
Thus, omega 3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) derived from fish should be an essential part of a person’s diet.
Sources of omega-3 fatty acids
For an average person, a daily norm of omega-3 is 0.5 oz (1.6 g) for women and 0.7 oz (2 g) for men. With this amount of omega 3, all cells will work correctly and smoothly, providing the body with vital nutrients.
- The main source of omega 3 fatty acids is sea fish, primarily fatty species such as herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna, halibut, shellfish, codfish, and sardines. These are the fish you can find in a supermarket and cook to your liking. Krill is also rich in omega 3 but you are unlikely to cook it so as an alternative there are omega 3 krill oil supplements that provide pure krill oil.
- Other foods that are high in saturated animal omega 3 are chicken eggs, pork, and beef. They are normally a part of your daily diet, which is quite beneficial. But don’t be too obsessed with such omega 3 products, eat them in moderation.
- Certain vegetable foods contain natural omega 3. Among them are flaxseed oil and flax seeds. Being the leader among other products, flax oil has a disadvantage – only cold-pressed oil is healthy. The thing is that alpha-linolenic acid or ALA is destroyed during thermal treatment. So you should not cook it, instead, use it as a salad dressing. In addition to flax oil, high omega 3 is also found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds and some types of oil like soybean oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil and pumpkin seeds oil. The broccoli and kidney beans are also rich in natural omega 3 fatty acids.
- Supplements make another source of omega 3. The market of omega 3 vitamins is very rich today. With all the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids discussed, there is no doubt they are important for a healthy body. You will come across many choices but if you want to be sure that omega 3 capsules bring the intended result, you should consult your doctor.
Today you may find much information about exceptional properties of omega 3 fatty acids, their curing effect on the human body and the shortage of omega 3 people may experience. While the first two statements are right, the last is not. There are a variety of options where to get natural omega 3 from but it is up to you whether you want to change your food preferences or not. Do you?