Omega 3 fatty acids - Benefits, Foods, & More
Omega 3 fatty acids can be defined as an important part of our cell membranes that impacts the functioning of the cell receptors. Our body cannot make these fatty acids itself and therefore, we need to incorporate omega rich foods in our diet.
They are a part of polyunsaturated fatty acids and play a defining role for making hormones responsible for anti-inflammatory properties, blood clothing and other important functions throughout your body. (1)
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A number of health benefits can be attributed to the consumption of foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
It Can Take Care Of Your Heart Health
When you consume EPA or DHA Omega 3 foods, it can actually help you in keeping your triglyceride levels in check and therefore taking care of your heart health. (2)
It Is Very Good For Pregnant Women
The most important thing to note is that breast milk and formula milk are endowed with the goodness of DHA and therefore its importance for an infant and growing baby is paramount. (3) Having said that, pregnant women should check with their health care provider and dietician while looking for foods containing omega 3 fatty acids. The correct choice of dietary options can play an integral role in promoting good health for your child.
It Can Take Care Of Your Brain Health
Some studies have been carried out to deduce that omega fatty acid foods can be helpful in improving your cognitive abilities and the anti-inflammatory properties possessed by these fatty acids can provide neuroprotective effects to your brain activity. However, more studies are solicited to support this claim in a substantial way.
#ISO PRO TIP: You can keep a mixture of dry fruits and seeds in different rooms of your home, so that you can remember having some while going about your day. This is great for healthy snacking as well as consuming Omega 3 food sources.
Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The three main types of Omega 3 fatty acids are: (4)
Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)
ALA is one of the most commonly found Omega 3 fats. It is derived from plant based sources such as flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts etc. Our bodies cannot produce ALA and therefore it is important to look for Omega 3 rich foods that can provide this fatty acid. ALA is a source of energy for the body and it can very insignificantly be converted into EPA and DHA.
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
This is often referred to as marine Omega 3 because it is derived from fish, fish oils etc. (5)
Some parts of it can also be converted into DHA.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
This is one of the most essential Omega 3 fats that plays a noteworthy role in taking care of your brain activity and other rimpeitnat functions of your body. This is mainly derived from animal sources like meat, eggs, fish, dairy, etc. Vegetarian people must make conscious efforts to incorporate DHA Omega 3 in their foods through supplements as their natural diet lacks it.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Other Nutrients
The combination of Vitamin D and Omega 3 can produce exceptional benefits for your bone health and heart health. It can also play a potent role in reinforcing the efficacy of the immune system in your body.
However, if you are taking certain anticoagulant medicines or prawritiyon meds for some health conditions, we advise you to consult your doctor to know about the reaction that the Omega foods and supplements can cause upon coming in contact with the medication. (6)
Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids into Your Diet
You can adhere to the following tips for including omega-3-rich foods into your daily diet:
- Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids foods. You can use chia seeds in your morning smoothie while having breakfast. In fact, they are an excellent substitute for eggs during your baking sessions.
- Green leafy vegetables have some quantities of Alpha-Linolenic acid. You can incorporate spinach, Brussel sprouts, kale etc., in your diet in the form of salads or smoothies.
- While choosing cooking oils, look for plant based oils such as canola oil, flaxseed oil etc. by using these oils you can significantly increase the Omega 3 sources in your food.
- It is always advisable to chart out a proper meal plan for yourself that incorporates the necessary Omega 3s food products in your diet.
- While buying breads, pasta etc., you can look for food items that have been fortified with Omega 3 fatty acids.
If you want to enrich your diet with foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, you can check out I Say Organic to pick out the right products for yourself. They have a great product range pertaining to Omega 3 foods in india.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements
If a person is unable to incorporate essential fatty acids in their diet, the physician or health care provider might prescribe some dietary supplements that will contain the Omega 3 fatty acids in condensed form. In reference to these supplements, the following points can be taken into consideration:
- If you have a certain health condition that prohibits you from certain kinds of foods that are abundant in Omega 3, you can opt for the necessary supplements to safeguard your overall health. This will help you increase your immunity, ward off autoimmune problems and also enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits of the supplements.
- Vegan or vegetarian people might find it hard to consume natural sources of omega 3 and therefore these supplements can make up for the dietary losses.
- It is always advisable to check in with your physician before making any profound changes in your diet. Certain medications don’t go well with Omega 3 fatty acids shipments and that needs to be checked by your doctor.
There is absolutely no discounting the fact that Omega 3 sources should be an indispensable part of your diet. From green leafy vegetables to walnuts and seeds, there are a number of choices that you can make to boost the consumption of these particular fatty acids.
People who have a limited access to natural Omega 3 food sources by virtue of their dietary preferences, can always opt for respective supplements. However, it is important for you to consult your physician before including or excluding anything from your diet.
FAQs For Omega 3 Fatty Acids
What are the benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 rich foods and fruits can be very helpful in safeguarding your overall health because these fatty acids are blessed with anti-inflammatory benefits as well as other endowments that can be good for your eye health, brain health and heart health as well.
What are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids?
The best Omega fatty acids foods that you can incorporate in your diet are fish such as salmon, trout, etc., chia seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, green leafy vegetables etc. In addition to that you can also opt for various supplements that are enriched with Omega 3 fatty acids.
How much omega-3 fatty acids do I need?
It is advisable for an adult to consume 1.1 to 1.6 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids in a day. (7) You can fulfil this requirement with the help of natural food sources or supplements.
Can I get omega-3 fatty acids from supplements?
Yes, you can get your quotient of Omega 3 fatty acids from supplements. Having said that, you should always opt for supplements that come from a reputed brand and are thoroughly tested. The EPA and DHA Omega 3 are two of the most solicited sources of fatty acids that are seeked in supplements.
How should I take omega-3 fatty acids?
When it comes to Omega 3 fatty acids foods, you must always ensure that you consume them consistently, so as to reap the full benefits of those food products. Omega 3 fatty acid supplements should always be consumed with meals to aid proper absorption. You can also talk to your healthcare provider for acquainting yourself with the best practices associated with Omega 3 foods and supplements.
What are the different types of omega-3 fatty acids?
There are mainly three types of Omega 3 fatty acids. These are Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (AHA). The first two sources are derived mainly from marine sources and the AHA's can be obtained from green leafy vegetables and other plant based sources.
How do omega-3 fatty acids work in the body?
The Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential part of the cell membrane structure and by consuming Omega fatty acids foods, we facilitate proper cell fluidity and function.