Omega-3 Fatty Acids : Need, Importance and Sources
Health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important. Omega-3 fatty acids are a class of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Scientific evidence is mounting that fish oil (predominantly omega-3 fatty acids) can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Some scientists also believe that omega-3 fatty acids can improve one’s blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) levels and decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
7 most important benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids are important for growing babies and children.
- Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent cardiovascular problems.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain health and dementia.
- Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish may help in preventing breast cancer.
- It’s the one supplement found to be especially helpful for bipolar depression.
- Teens feel more anxious when low in omega-3’s.
- They can have all sorts of powerful health benefits for your body and brain.
In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids.
What are omega 3 fatty acids ?
Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats with numerous health benefits, particularly regarding cardiovascular health. Many nutrients are fat soluble, without which the body can’t avail their benefits. The human body is capable of synthesizing most fats, but not in the case of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids can be obtained daily only through our diet. Omega 3 Fatty Acids have 3 main dietary types:
- Alpha Linolenic Acids (ALAs) – Found in Plant Foods
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) – Found in Fish and Seafood
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) – Found in Fish and Seafood
The adequate intake (%AI) for Omega 3 fats is 1600 mg per day.
List of food items that are rich in Omega-3
Flax Seeds (अलसी)
Flax seed are also known as super food as they are the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds are often ground to make oil. Flax seed can be consumed raw or roasted. Flax seeds are easily available in market and should be consumed daily in limited quantity. These small seeds help in fighting cancer, reducing sugar cravings and promoting weight loss. So if you are looking forward for weight loss include flax seeds in your daily diet.
Chia Seeds (चिया के बीज )
Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious. They are rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus and various other nutrients . A standard 1-oz (28 gram) 2-tbsp. serving (24 g) of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein, including all eight essential amino acids. Chia seeds are commonly mistaken with basil seeds or sabja. Chia seeds are easy to digest and can be used in any dish.
Walnuts (अखरोट )
Walnuts are very nutritious and loaded with fiber. They also contain high amounts of copper, manganese, vitamin E and important plant compounds . Skin of walnut should not be removed as it contains most of the phenol antioxidants.
Canola Oil (सफ़ेद सरसों का तेल )
It is touted to be the healthiest salad and cooking oil. It’s cheaper than olive oil and can withstand high cooking temperatures. Due to its low saturated fat content it is said to be beneficial for our health.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than a food. As the name implies, it is oil that is extracted from the livers of cod fish. Not only is this oil high in omega-3 fatty acids, it is also loaded with vitamin D (338% of the RDI) and vitamin A (270% of the RDI). Salmon is not only rich in Vitamin D but also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, protein and phosphorous. Salmon contains high levels of the omega-3 fats – EPA and DHA. These fats provide a number of cardiovascular ease such as reducing inflammation. Intake of salmon twice or thrice per week can lower the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, arrhythmia and embolism.
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