Omega-3 fatty acids have many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system.
What are the best omega 3 fatty acids?
The three main omega-3 fatty acids are (ALA), (EPA), and (DHA). ALA is found mainly in plant oils . DHA and EPA are found in fish. Getting EPA and DHA from foods and supplements is the only way to increase levels of these omega-3 fatty acids in your body. Omega-3s are important components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body. DHA levels are especially high in retina (eye), brain, and sperm cells. Omega-3s have many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system (the network of hormone-producing glands).
Let's take a look at the importance of these omega-3 fatty acids to your health and how you can better recognize and make sure you're getting enough of them.
Heart Health, Stroke Recovery and Dementia
Studies show that the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing blood clotting and stabilizing irregular heart rhythms. EPA aids in reducing triglycerides levels, which increases the amount of good cholesterol that can be removed from the blood and reduces the amount of bad cholesterol left to clog blood vessels. With the help of DHA, EPA regulates your heartbeat and helps it last longer. The rate at which your heart beats is dependent on the level of these fatty acids in your body.
Fish are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat fish at least twice a week to protect your heart. Studies also show that the fat in farmed salmon is as much as four times higher than that of wild salmon. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also allows salmon to be labeled "overnight immune system protection" when it contains high levels of omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many snacks, such as shrimp chips, and vegetarians use them in their diets.
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
Fish consumption helps minimize blood sugar rises which can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends the diet of a fish high in omega-3 fatty acid because it helps control blood sugar spikes, in addition to the elimination of bad cholesterol that results from blood sugar rises. The EFA ratio (EPA / DHA) of fish is also important in reducing the effects of blood sugar. If you don't eat enough omega-3 fats, your blood sugar level will likely soar, resulting in the release of insulin, which has been known to cause people to gain weight.
How do I know if I'm getting enough omega-3 fats?
If you're not including these omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, you should start to include them. The American Heart Association recommends including at least 2 servings of fish in a 2-month period, particularly fatty fish like tuna and salmon. In addition to your serving of fish, you should also include seeds and nuts, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds into your diet each day.
Fish oil supplements are also a great way to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into your daily diet, since they are high in both DHA and EPA.
sailors on long voyages do not have the same access to foods high in omega-3 fatty acids as folks living closer to shore. Since most folks do not have the means to gather large quantities of fish or accumulate large fish oils in their diets, they need to look for other food sources high in omega-3. Nuts, seeds, and whole grains are good sources of omega-3. In addition to fish, they find DHA in some foods like pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
If you're experiencing chronic inflammation and you're not on a long-term diet and you're facing a host of other health problems, you might want to talk to your doctor about it and try some of the inexpensive and widely available fish oil supplements to help your brain and your body function better.