Best Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Omega -3 fatty acids are essential nutrients and they are known for providing lots of health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats which means they contain several double or triple bonds between carbon atoms. These fats are considered as healthy fats and they enhance overall functions of our body. The three most talked about and important omega-3 fatty acids for health are - alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Scientific research indicates that these three fatty acids play crucial roles in the prevention and treatment of many disease including heart disease, diabetes and depression.

It must be noted that our body cannot make these essential fatty acids, so you have to get them through natural foods. There are many foods that considered very good food sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, it is not difficult to have a good diet high in omega-3 fatty acids foods. Let’s find out more important facts about omega-3 fatty acids and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. A good balance between these two essential fatty acids can give you a real healthy body.

Why Do You Need Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 15 Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids at a Glance

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body
  2. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Also, they increase good cholesterol or HDL levels.
  3. These essential fatty acids are important for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower blood pressure levels.
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids prevent excessive blood clots.
  6. One of the major health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is that it controls blood sugar levels.
  7. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.
  8. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for improving bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
  9. Omega-3 fatty acids rich foods prevent the growth of the cancer cells.
  10. These fatty acids are important in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and joint pain.
  11. Eating omega-3 fatty acids foods is good for the skin and hair health.
  12. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  13. These essential fats are responsible for reducing the chances of developing macular degeneration.
  14. Omega-3 fatty acids can prevent asthma.
  15. Omega-3 fatty acids are also a part in the treatment of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).



Best Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are many foods from which you can get omega-3 fatty acids very easily. Best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids including seafood, fortified dairy products, nuts & grains, vegetables and some oils. Given below is a table of specific foods which are known as the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.


Seafood:
Mackerel, Sardines, Tuna, Herring, Halibut, Carp, Trout, Mullet, Shrimp and Anchovies.
Fortified Dairy Products:
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Margarine, Soy Milk and Omega-3 Eggs.
Nuts & Grains:
Walnuts, Cashew Nuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Soybeans, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Cereal and Oatmeal.
Fruits & Vegetables:
Strawberries, Raspberries, Turnip Greens, Collard Greens, Spinach, Winter Squash, Summer Squash, Romaine Lettuce, Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Parsley and Mint.
Oils:
Flaxseed Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Mustard Oil, Soybean Oil, Walnut Oil, Corn Oil, Wheatgerm Oil and Hemp Oil.

Omega -3 fatty acids are also found in the form of supplements. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can be found from fish oil capsules. If you want to take Omega-3 dietary supplements you must take it under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.


Omega -3 fatty acids are also found in the form of supplements. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can be found from fish oil capsules. If you want to take Omega-3 dietary supplements you must take it under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Balance

Omega-6 and Omega -3 essential fatty acids are best consumed in a ratio of about 3:1 - three
omega- 6 for one omega-3. 


There is no standard RDA (recommended dietary allowance) is defined by the scientists but many experts believe 500 to 1,000 mg omega-3 fatty acids daily can provide all the important health benefits.

Add the above mentioned best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. But remember, in case of any doubt or if you have any health problems, you must consult your doctor before changing your diet.





Image courtesy of FrameAngel / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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