Co.The intake of omega-3s, particularly the long-chain omega-3s found in fish and seafood, has been linked to significant health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, recent national surveys have shown that adults in the United States consume significantly less than the recommended amounts of seafood and omega-3s.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with a specific chemical structure that contain a double bond in the third bond of the fatty acid chain. Of the various omega-3 fatty acids, three have been specifically examined for their health effects: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fish are a major source of EPA and DHA in the human diet. Many fish feed on phytoplankton, which consumes microalgae, the aquatic organisms that produce PUFAs.
Theoretically, the essential fatty acid ALA, which is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds, can be converted into the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA in the liver. As a result, EPA and DHA are not considered essential for food intake. However, ALA conversion rates are generally below 15%, which increases the need for EPA and DHA food sources such as fish, seafood, and omega-3 supplements. Some of the major health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, unlike ALA, also come from EPA and DHA. Hence, it is important to make sure these are included in your diet or supplement plan.
Omega-3 benefits include:
• Show anti-inflammatory effects
• Improving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
• Play a structural role in cell membranes
• Protection against cardiovascular diseases
• Reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia
• Supporting the health and development of infants during pregnancy
Omega-3 food sources:
Omega-3-rich foods include cold-water fish, oysters, and organ meats with EPA and DHA, as well as flax seeds, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, and walnuts with ALA.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements:
Omega-3 supplements that contain EPA and DHA include products made from fish, seafood, and seaweed. These supplements are most commonly found in liquid, soft gel, or capsule forms. Omega-3 supplements may also contain additional ingredients like other fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin E that are used to prevent oxidation (spoilage).
The standard American diet usually contains a ratio of around 15: 1 omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and autoimmune, cardiovascular and inflammatory conditions. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in meat, processed foods, and vegetable oils that are commonly consumed in the standard American diet. In addition to moderating your intake of omega-6 foods (chicken is high in omega-3 fatty acids), taking omega-3 supplements is an effective way of reducing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio to improve.
Be sure to get omega-3 supplements made from small fish and from manufacturers who test their samples for low levels of PCBs, mercury, and dioxins. I like and use Biotics Research because they test theirs for over 400 different contaminants. Work with a doctor to find the right one for you.
January 23rd is my first cooking class of the year – One Day in the Life of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. I make breakfast, lunch, dinner and elixirs that are healthy and tasty. More information is available at www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.