Plant-based omega-3 versus omega-6 fatty acids


The human body is an incredible vessel for survival. Some of the nutrients we need to function are made in the body – like cholesterol and vitamins D and K – and make us moderately enough to get what we need from complicated chemical reactions and processes. One such category of essential nutrients is fat. Basic essential fats are an essential part of a healthy body with benefits such as “preventing atherosclerosis, reducing the incidence of heart disease and stroke, and relieving symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, menstrual pain and joint pain” and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

While some of these basic essential fats are made by the body, some must be obtained from our diet. In particular, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, which are vegetable fats, are “used to make special fats called omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids”.

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids, which belong to the polyunsaturated acid family, include three different types of acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the primary vegetable variety, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), derived from oily fish and fish oil. These three omega-3 fatty acid components are all incredibly important to overall health. They play a key role in the formation of cell membranes and the circulation in the body and have been shown to improve oxygen uptake.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are linked to many health benefits, including improving eye and heart health, reducing inflammation, reducing ADHD symptoms in children, and symptoms of metabolic syndrome. However, one of the most recent benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is a study conducted in Japan from 2017 to 2018. This study linked a dramatic reduction in anxiety symptoms to increased omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which were derived from the eicosapentaenoic acids and docosahexaenoic acids were obtained.

Where can you find omega-3 fatty acids?

Fortunately, for plant-based diets, it is very easy to find sources of one of the omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid! It is readily available in vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, as well as many fruits. Some of the best sources are flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and soybean oil, mung beans, whole grains, and wheat germ. The other two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, both come from fish such as anchovies, mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines. However, making fish oil is incredibly harmful to the ocean and the animals that live in it. According to the Medical Committee for Responsible Medicine, the “recommended amount for an adequate omega-3 intake is 1.1 or 1.6 grams per day for women and men over the age of 14”. However, be sure to consult a doctor before starting any dietary supplement diet.

Meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Red quinoa and beet burger / a green planet

After you’ve consulted your doctor and you’re ready to hit the streets on an omega-3 rich diet, here are some herbal recipes to get you started:

What is Omega-6 Fatty Acid?

Omega-6 fatty acids, which are also part of the polyunsaturated fatty acid family, are incredibly common in a healthy diet. This type of fatty acid comes from two sources: linoleic acid, which was mentioned earlier in this article, and a rarer type called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Gamma-linolenic acid is “converted into substances that reduce inflammation and cell growth”. These two acids are connected by a conversion process in which the linoleic acid is then converted into gamma-linolenic acid and from there into “dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid, which in turn is converted into arachidonic acid”. This metabolism turns omega-6 fatty acids into incredibly diverse active ingredients that help regulate inflammation, body development and growth, and fight diseases.

Health Benefits of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

When it comes to omega-6 fatty acids, there is a fine line between benefits and health effects, all of which are based on the amount and type of omega-6 fatty acids you consume.

Healthy omega-6s have been linked to a reduction in overall inflammation, which is beneficial for those suffering from nerve pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and ADHD, as well as improved heart health, decreased high blood pressure, and healthier bones. However, omega-6 fatty acids are obtained from many processed foods through harmful vegetable oils. While the right amount of omega-6 fatty acids is safe, too much can be harmful to your health. The Arthritis Foundation claims that omega-6 fatty acids could be linked to increased inflammation, while the Mayo Clinic suggests they could be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

How do you get the right amount from the healthiest sources?

Where can you find omega-6 fatty acids?

Walnut Taco Meat / A Green Planet

This essential fatty acid is so widespread in our diet that many products that are used in everyday life, such as: B. Processed foods contain small amounts. Healthy omega-6 can be obtained from linolenic acids, which are found in “leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, [and] Grains ”, while negative omega-6 is found in vegetable oils. While some oils like sesame, olive oil, coconut, peanut oil and palm oil are safe for consumption, others have been shown to promote harmful side effects like corn, sunflower, soybeans, cottonseed, safflower and canola.

Omega-6 from gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is much harder to get your hands on. This acid is contained in “rare oils such as black currants, borage and hemp oils” and in trace amounts in evening primrose oils. These oils can easily be bought online, e.g. B. EFAGold Borage from Nature’s Way, cold pressed oil or at your local health food store. Depending on your age and gender, it is recommended that you consume between 12 and 17 grams of omega-6 fatty acids per day. Talk to your doctor again before taking any supplements or changing your diet.

Meals rich in omega-6 fatty acids

3-Ingredient, Simple Peanut Butter Oat Bar / One Green Planet

Omega-6s are incredibly rich in our normal diet, so it is even more important to be careful with how much we ingest. It’s all about balance when it comes to omega fatty acids, and there are negative effects of getting too much omega-6. So here are some herbal recipes that are high in omega-6 fatty acids to help you get used to where they are and start with this balanced diet:

For recipes with more omega fatty acids, we strongly recommend downloading our Food Monster app, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 herbal, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers get daily access to new recipes. Listen!

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