Don’t forget your Omega-3 fatty acids!
Omega-3’s remain extremely beneficial for our overall health and maintaining a fit and healthy body. Omega-3s are included in the group of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs.) Your metabolism, cell membranes and blood clotting all need omega-3s; our bodies cannot manufacture omega-3s so we must obtain them through food.
Omega-3’s have distinct types: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found in vegetable oils, flaxseed, a few green vegetables and walnuts. EPA and DHA is found in fatty fish.
Health Benefits Of Omega-3’s
Research has indicated omega-3s can help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the omega-3 ‘qualified health status‘ which suggests their is supportive but not proven evidence of the claim. Studies continue to identify the role of omega-3 fatty acids in inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer and arthritis.
Harvard Health recommends Americans consume a minimum of one source of an omega-3 fatty acid per day. A serving of fish, tablespoon of canola oil or serving of walnuts would meet the minimum requirement of Harvard Health. If a person is not ingesting enough Omega-3 daily from a natural diet then supplements are available. The recommended supplement is 500 mg per day.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that can be found in a variety of different foods. Although a fatty acid, the fat is a misnomer due to the health benefits; some fats such as omega-3s and omega-6s are extremely healthy and can provide ongoing benefits.
Omega 3 Rich Foods – Omega 3 From Fish
Some of the best foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid are:
- Flaxseed – excellent
- Walnuts – excellent
- Halibut – very good
- Cauliflower – very good
- Atlantic Salmon- very good
- Atlantic mackerel
- Sardines – very good
- Brussel sprouts – very good
- Canola Oil – very good
- Winter squash, pumpkins, butternut squash, spaghetti squash – very good
- Shrimp – good
- Green beans, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce – good
- Soybeans – good
- Tofu – good
- Strawberries, raspberries – good
Including these foods on your menu will increase your daily intake of Omega 3’s. As always consult your physician to determine if Omega 3 supplements are necessary.
World Health Organization Research & Recommendation
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends through its’ research that pregnant women should consume a minimum of 300 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day. This assists in fetal brain development, development of the baby’s eyes, cardiac and respiratory systems, and birth weight. Any fish should be low in mercury and your obstetrician should be consulted for dietary recommendations.
Omega-3 And Dementia
Omega-3 fatty acids need to be part of your diet to ensure a healthy well balanced diet whether consumed naturally or by supplement. The question whether Omega-3’s can reduce the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease does not have a straightforward conclusion due to the inconsistent results of the current studies. Alzheimer’s continues to be a very under reported disease and the results are mixed as to if Omega-3’s can lessen the symptoms.
Researchers tend to collectively assert that Omega-3″ are excellent brain food that can help cognitive thinking and studies continue to test a correlation between the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Recipes
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