What are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 fatty acids are nutrients that help you build and maintain a healthy body. They help keep the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system healthy. They’re important to the structure of every cell wall. They are also an energy source.
There are three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. EPA and DHA are primarily found in certain fish.
DHA levels are especially high in retina, brain, and sperm cells.
Dosage of omega 3 is given at the end of this blog.
Health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids
1. Lowers triglyceride levels: Fish oil can lower elevated triglyceride levels (which increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes). Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega 3.
2. Rheumatoid arthritis: EPA and DHA in the fish oil may keep the stiffness and joint pain in check. It also boosts the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
3. Depression: People who eat foods with high levels of omega 3s have low chances of having depression.
4. Cholesterol levels: Omega 3 fatty acids can increase levels of HDL (good cholesterol). However, it does not tend to
reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
5. Baby development: DHA tends to be important for visual and neurological development in infants. omega 3 fatty acids may improve brain function and mood in children in particular, learning, memory, and brain development.
6. Asthma: A diet high in omega 3s lowers inflammation, a key component in asthma.
7. Blood pressure: It helps people with high blood pressure to reduce it even in small doses.
8. Weight loss: Around 39% of adults are overweight, while 13% are obese. As fish oils may improve body composition and risk factors for heart disease in as mentioned above.
Omega 3 increases testosterone levels which helps in burning fat.
9. Healthy skin: Skin is the largest organ in your body and it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Psoriasis and dermatitis are some skin diseases which may be benefitted by fish oil supplement.
Foods high in omega 3
Health organizations recommend a minimum of 250–500 mg of omega 3 fatty acids per day for healthy adults. Fatty fish, algae, and several high-fat plant foods contain high amounts of omega 3.
1. Cod liver oil: It is oil extracted from the livers of codfish. This is high in omega 3 fatty acids and also contains vitamins D and vitamin A. So, you get 3 nutrients in one.
Omega-3 content: 2,682 mg per tablespoon.
2. Flax seeds: These are small brown or yellow seeds which are often ground, milled, or used to make oil. These are the richest whole-food source of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Therefore, flaxseed oil is often used as an omega-3 supplement.
Omega-3 content: 2,350 mg per tablespoon (10.3 grams) of whole seeds and around 7,260 mg per tablespoon (13.6 grams) of oil.
3. Chia seeds: Chia seeds are rich in manganese, selenium and magnesium. A standard 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of chia seeds contains 5 grams of protein and all eight essential amino acids.
Omega-3 content: 5,060 mg per 28 grams.
4. Walnuts: They contain high amounts of copper, manganese, vitamin E and loaded with fiber.
Omega-3 content: 2,570 mg per 28 grams.
5. Soybeans: Soybeans are a good source of fiber and vegetable protein and also contain other nutrients, including riboflavin, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
Omega-3 content: 1,443 mg per 100 grams.
6. Mackerel: Mackerel are small, fatty fish. They are incredibly rich in nutrients. 100 gram serving packs about 200% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin B12 and 100% for selenium.
Omega-3 content: 5,134 mg per 100 grams.
7. Salmon: It is a fish that contains high-quality protein and a variety of nutrients, including large amounts of vitamin D, vitamins B and selenium.
Having this fish in your diet lowers the risk of diseases like heart disease, dementia, and depression.
Omega-3 content: 2,260 mg in 100 grams.
8. Sardines: Sardines are very small, oily fish. They’re highly nutritious when eaten whole as they contain almost every nutrient your body needs.
Omega-3 content: 1,480 mg per 100 grams.
9. Anchovies: Anchovies are tiny, oily fish often bought dried.
Anchovies are a source of niacin and selenium, and boned anchovies also contain calcium.
Omega-3 content: 2,113 mg per 100 grams.
DOSAGE: WHO recommends a daily intake of 0.2–0.5 grams (200–500 mg) of EPA and DHA together.
Consider a fish oil supplement that provides at least 0.3 grams (300 mg) of EPA and DHA per serving.
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