Omega-3 is considering as a good fat, which you find in oil-rich fish and some plant oils. Omega-3 is polyunsaturated fatty acids, has health benefits and is essential in the diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy fat; it can lower triglyceride values in your blood.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats; the body can make some fatty acids, and others cannot. The essential fatty acids are vital means the body must need to maintain proper health; however, the body cannot make it and need it as a dietary supply.
Types of Omega-3 fatty acids
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids; they are:
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a short-chain fatty acid.
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is a more important long-chain fatty acid.
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is another vital long-chain fatty acid.
Essential fatty acids ALA, DHA, and EPA, cannot be made in the body and require to get them from the diet.
The short-chain essential fatty acid ALA is in abundantly in various plant sources such as flaxseed, walnut, etc. Humans can convert this omega-3 fatty acid to long-chain forms (EPA, DHA) with efficiency below 5% (Only about 5 percent of the ALA is converting into EPA or DHA). Women have higher ALA conversion efficiency than men do.
Food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids
The omega-3 acids in most plants are alpha-linoleic acids (ALAs); they are flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seed, and chia seeds. Oils rich in ALA are oils from canola, olive, flaxseed and soybean. The microalgae Crypthecodinium cohnii and Schizochytrium are wealthy sources of DHA (but not EPA). Oil from brown algae (kelp) is a source of EPA. A study found butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows contains substantially more CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Animal sources are Salmon (cod-liver oil), trout, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, kipper, eel, and whitebait. Usually, in the animal foods, the ALA already converts into DHA and EPA and is more efficient sources of omega-3 than plant foods. Eggs produced by hens fed with greens, and insects contain higher omega-3 fatty acids than grain fed. The seaweeds and algae are the sources of omega3 fatty acids present in fish; similarly, the grass is the source of omega3 fatty acids present in grass fed animals. The omega6/omega3 ratio of grass-fed beef is about 2:1 whereas, grain-fed beef usually has a ratio of 4:1. The brains and eyes of mammals are extremely rich in DHA as well as other omega-3 fatty acids.
Importance of omega-3
- Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for normal growth and development,
- It required for maintaining cardiovascular health and brain function. It appears to be important for cognitive (memory and brain performance) and behavioral function.
- It is required for the normal function of the eyes, nervous system, kidney, and liver, in fact, all body systems.
- Functional benefits include the contraction of muscles and the dilation or constriction of blood vessels, blood clotting, and inflammatory processes.
- It can reduce inflammation and may help lower risk even for cancer, and arthritis.
- It helps improve depression, poor circulation, mood swings, dry skin, fatigue, vision and nerve problems.
9 Amazing Health Benefits of Omega 3
Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. Also, fetal brain development benefits from omega-3 supplementation, and this continues after the birth.
- Blood Cholesterol - Omega 3 improves blood lipid profile, lower blood pressure, minimize inflammation, reduce coronary calcium scores and slow plaque formation.
- Vascular Health - Omega3 supplementation improves macro and microvascular function, thus lower coronary and peripheral arterial disease.
- Cardiovascular System - Omega-3 fatty acids improve the cardiovascular risk profile of subjects with metabolic syndrome, including markers of inflammation and auto-immunity.
- Homocysteine - Omega 3 supplementation will decrease homocysteine levels in diabetic patients and heal's inflammation conditions cystic fibrosis.
- Anticoagulant - Omega-3 fatty acids possess strong anticoagulant effect and antiarrhythmic effect. You can find Omega-3 fats in fish. Anticoagulant is the direct thrombin inhibitor and thus prevents plaque and heart disease. Heart arrhythmia is a disorder of the heart rate (pulse) or heart rhythm; omega 3 normalizes the heart rhythm.
- Beneficial for brain function - thus useful attention, behavior, and emotional problems. Some of these conditions are bipolar disorder, mania, depression, ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism, cognitive decline, etc.
- Vision health - Omega 3 is helpful for various eyes related conditions such as dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
- Immune system function - omega-3 fatty acids support the immune system, thus good for pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, decrease the severity of autoimmune disorders, treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and inhibit the growth of cancer.
- Liver - Omega 3 supports liver function, thus useful for chronic hepatitis C, fatty liver, and other liver conditions.