You’ve probably heard it a hundred times that Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of the nutritional needs in your body. This long-chain component found mainly in cold-water oceanic fish performs many essential, beneficial functions. The question now is – which are the best omega 3 foods that can provide the right amounts of these fats?
Finding enough food sources for the typical American diet is not difficult. In fact, only two servings per week of wild Pacific salmon in a baked or poached dish is enough to increase the level of Omega 3 in your blood supply. However, there are advantages in taking a fish oil supplement as opposed to directly eating fish.
Now, the two key fatty acids essential for health are Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapetaenoic acid (EPA). These two fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body, but must be ingested. Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are other nutritionally important Omega-3 fatty acids. For best results, you need to ensure an adequate intake of DHA and EPA on a regular basis.
The best Omega 3 foods
In addition to Omega 3-rich fish, walnuts and flax seeds top the list as excellent sources for this nutrient. Slightly less effective in providing needed nutrients, but still classified as Very Good sources are scallops, mustard seeds, cauliflower, cloves and cabbage. Good sources of fatty acids are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, tofu, soybeans, tuna, cod, shrimp and halibut. Getting adequate amounts of the foods into your weekly menu planner is not at all difficult. In short, if you concentrate on dark-green leafy vegetables and seafood from cold oceanic waters, you will be all set to enjoy the various health benefits these fats have to offer.
Health benefits on offer
There are many benefits attributed to foods containing these specific fats. Reducing inflammation wherever it exists in the body is a primary benefit. The fatty acids prevent excessive blood clotting, help to retain cell membrane fluidity, lower dips in the circulatory system and inhibit thickening of artery walls. In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids help arteries to dilate and relax. These factors help to enhance the body’s response to insulin, which in turn helps to regulate body weight, metabolism, and food intake. This lowers the risk of obesity.
The use of these fatty acids will help to improve many conditions or symptoms, from which you may be suffering. Adequate supplies of the nutrients have been shown to help relieve depression and cardiovascular disease. In addition, increasing the level of the substance will fight fatigue, Type 2 diabetes, dry skin, joint pain and brittle hair and nails. Inability to remain focused on a task or to concentrate might be a symptom of the lack of Omega 3 in the diet. You may possibly experience constipation too.
Studies have shown that almost all individuals living in the United States have a deficiency of these important fatty acids in the diet. Because the symptoms of a deficiency are so similar to those of many other illnesses and conditions, it is typical that a deficiency will be overlooked, or attributed to some other disease or condition. Many people find it easier to take a high quality supplement daily, rather than to change the diet. However, as with many other products, it is important to use only the best quality supplements. Combined with the right diet, this is the best way to ensure you’re getting enough Omega 3s in your system.
How much is needed?
For most people, the upper intake level for Omega 3 foods has not been established by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. For a few individuals, there is some increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding after supplementation with increased fatty acid levels. Those with bleeding disorders or those who take blood thinners should arrange a consultation with a medical professional before supplementing the Omega 3 intake. A guideline for the amount of Omega 3 foods to consume is a minimum of two percent of daily calories.
The fatty acids are polyunsaturated, which means that deterioration from factors such as oxygen, light and heat is highly likely. The fatty acids in oil become rancid fairly rapidly, thus affecting the benefits. Oxidation of the fatty acids causes negative impact on the smell and the nutritional value. It also reduces the flavor and may produce free radicals which are linked to the development of cancer. What this means is you should only take fresh food and the supplement you take must also contain fresh oil, free from oxidation.
You should be aware of storage, preserving and processing of any omega 3 foods that you add to your diet. Plan for proper storage and for processing that does not involve high heat levels for best results. Adding the beneficial nutrients to your diet is pointless if they have no power left to perform the value for which they were consumed.
Your next step now? To start right away and make these amazing fats a part and parcel of your lifestyle.
- The Last Word On Omega 3 Sources – Take Your Pick Now
- What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Why Do We Need Them At All?
- Top 3 Reasons Omega 3 Supplements Should Be A Staple Part Of Your Diet And How To Find The Best Ones
- Do You Really Need To Be Concerned About Omega 3 Side Effects?
- The Omega 3 6 Imbalance