What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Now at the center of healthy living trends across the country, omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that have received a lot of recent attention. Omega-3 fatty acids are a fat considered to be crucial for human survival through its support of brain function, facilitating of normal growth in children, maintaining bone health, and regulating metabolism. As an essential fatty acid, however, it is a substance that cannot be manufactured by the human body. It must therefore be consumed in the diet, in the form of EPA and DHA fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, or in the ALA fatty acids found in flax seeds. Fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements are a source of these types of omega-3 fatty acids respectively.
What are the health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids have a large variety of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and circulatory conditions, treatment of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and eczema, being helpful for depression and stroke, and having anti-cancer properties.
What foods are good sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Along with fatty fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil, Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA can be found in chia sage, kiwifruit, black raspberries, walnuts, and as trace amounts in pecans and hazel nuts.
What is the relationship between Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-6 fatty acids, a nutritional counterpart of omega-3 fatty acids, are also crucial for human survival. Excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in relation to omega-3 fatty acids, however, may instigate inflammatory symptoms in the body. The average American consumes as much as thirty times the amount of omega-6 fatty acids as it does omega-3 fatty acids, though it is generally recommended to only consume approximately four times the amount of omega-6 over omega-3. When a person consumes a more appropriate ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, they are better equipped to enjoy the benefits of both nutrients—of which there are many.
The reason Americans tend to consume more omega-6 fatty acids is that there are more available than omega-3 fatty acids, as they exist in great abundance in common oils such as canola, soybean, olive, and corn, as well as peanuts and sunflower seeds.
To unlock more health secrets from the Natural Health Dictionary, download your copy for Amazon Kindle.