Omega-3 fatty acids also known as Omega-3 are a group of polyunsaturated that is of great importance to the body. Omega-3 is made of up three kinds: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). EPA and DHA-rich foods are mainly found in fish such as halibut, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and shellfish like mussels, crab, and oysters while ALA is found mostly in plant sources like flaxseed. Other sources of ALA include soybean oils, canola and vegetable oils. Omega-3 is essential for bodily functions, including blood clotting, muscle activity, cell division and growth, fertility and digestion. DHA-rich foods are significant for brain growth and its function. ALA, on the other hand, is a vital fatty acid, denoting that individuals have to get it from either supplements or food since they are not manufactured by the human body.
Omega-3s are important fatty acids with different effects biologically in human health and disease. Mortality and reduced cardiovascular morbidity is a benefit of the intake of omega-3 that has been established. Dietary supplementation may also be beneficial for patients that are suffering from hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, eye diseases, inflammatory diseases, obesity, and atherosclerosis. The intake of omega-3 helps in the reduction of risk of an immature birth and improves the intellectual growth of the fetus.
Benefits of Omega-3s
The significance of these fatty acids cannot be overemphasized as they do provide great health benefits. The American Heart Association has gone ahead in recommending the intake of fish at least twice a week because of how beneficial they are. The following are some of the benefits that have been supported by research and studies.
- Supports baby growth: the DHA that is found in fish oil has a considerable effect on the development and fetal growth of babies. The fish oil supplements both neurological and eyesight improvement in the baby. Studies have shown that kids they have less of the Omega-3 from their mother are prone to vision disorders and develop nerve problem.
- Supports cardiovascular health: the intake of fish aids people that are having different cardiovascular problems by improving the circulation of blood and the breaking down of fibrin, which plays an important function in the clot formation process. The Omega-3 fatty acids do reduce triglyceride level, reduce blood pressure and decreases the tendency of having a heart attack.
- Macular Degeneration: Omega-3 extends the sustenance in body organs. Studies have also shown that people who have a balanced diet of fishes and fish oil are less prone to developing macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an eye disorder which advances with one’s age and might end up in blindness.
- Regulates cholesterol level: Omega-3 help in reducing the enzyme activities that make the liver to speed up fat, but the intake of fish oil and krill helps in effectively normalize and regulate the cholesterol level. It also helps in the reduction of triglycerides to be significantly low.
Eight ways to add Omega-3 into your diet
It’s now a fact that indeed Omega-3 has various benefits to the body and the brain. Many health organizations have recommended a minimum of 250-500mg of Omega-3 every single day for a healthy adult. Here are some ways you can add omega-3 into your diet.
- Flaxseeds: these are little brownish or yellow seeds, which are mostly milled, ground or used for the production of oil. These seeds are a much richer source of omega-3. The oil of the flaxseed is used as a supplement from omega-3. Flaxseeds are high in Vitamin E, Fiber, and magnesium
- Soybeans: this is a good source of vegetable protein and fiber. It contains high quantity of other nutrients, which include magnesium, folate, riboflavin, potassium and vitamin K
- Mackerel: they are small fatty fish. According to reports, they are the best to boost your omega-3 level. In most Western cities, they are normally smoked and They are rich in nutrients and have 100% selenium. Tasty they are and needs no preparation.
- Salmon: This is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can find on earth. It has a high level of protein couple with different nutrients, which include potassium, magnesium, B-vitamins and selenium. Studies have shown that people who frequently consume fatty fish, like salmon, are less prone to diseases such as dementia, heart disease, and depression.
- Herring: this is often precooked or cold-smoked and retailed as a canned snake. This is popular in England and served with eggs. They are also called kippers. This contains about 100% of RDI for vitamin D
- Vegetables and fruits: Vegetables have ALA in them, which is an essential element in Omega-3. Fruits do have antioxidants which safeguard fats over oxidation. If you are considering increasing your level of Omega-3s, then you better start with fruits and vegetables. Remember to eat DHA-rich foods that will help your overall health.
- Sardines: they are oily fish and are small. They are typically eaten from the tin or as snacks or delicacy. They are highly nutritious, especially when you eat them whole. It has every nutrient that is required by the body
- Nuts and seeds: finally, another way of adding omega-3 into your diet is to add a nutty flavor to yogurt, salad or morning muesli with flaxseed or walnuts. A small amount of any of them will surely increase your omega-3 intake.