Many studies have shown that the Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential to your overall health. That means that you should try not to exclude them from your diet at any cost. There are three types of Omega-3 acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that come from animal sources. There is also the alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which is a plant based fatty acid.
What brings benefits to our health are the EPA and DHA, unlike the plant based ALA. Even though our body has the extraordinary ability to convert the ALA into EPA and DHA, it does so at a very low ratio. That does not mean that the ALA is harmful. In other words you should not stop or avoid its consumption.
Benefits of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Improves your heart health. Omega-3 can lower and normalize the levels of your triglycerides (blood fat). Having a high level of triglyceride can greatly improve the risk of a heart disease.
- Reduces the risk of cancer. It has the ability to contribute in the reduce of cancer cell growth such as the Green Tea. There have also been studies which prove that Omega-3 protects against breast and prostate cancer.
- DHA impacts child development. Omega-3 can improve your child learning ability, memory and reading at early ages and even help neurological and visual development in babies.
- Benefits your brain health. Improves your mood and memory, reduces brain inflammation, provides high levels of dopamine in your brain and also protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sources of Omega-3 Fats
If you can afford it, getting the Omega-3 through foods instead of supplements is an excellent choice.
Fish oil and Krill oil are the primary sources of these Fats. Replacing the refined oils is a great start. You will not feel the effects immediately, but remember you are playing the long game.
Try to eat fish rich with Omega-3 such as, Herring, Mackerel, Sardines, Salmon, Anchovies, Tuna and many others, at least twice a week. Do keep in mind that some more fatty fish, like tuna, shark, swordfish and marlin, may be contaminated with mercury, arsenic, lead, PCBs and other industrial toxins.
Most familiar plant based sources are: Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil, Walnuts and Walnuts Oil, Canola Oil, Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds Oil.