When is fat super-healthy? When it’s Omega 3! Otherwise known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), Omega 3s are found primarily in fish and some nuts and seeds. It goes without saying that they’re an essential part of the body. Everyone should be adding more of these important fats to their diet – so here’s everything you need to know about Omega 3-rich foods, in one handy guide.
What do Omega 3s do?
As a key component of the body and brain, Omega 3s offer us a lot. Perhaps their most important aspect are their anti-inflammatory properties. Most diseases (as well as, sadly, our modern fast-food and sugar-heavy diets) create inflammation within the body, which in turn makes the body less hardy. Cooling systemic inflammation is a key to prolonged good health, and Omega 3s are one of the frontline helpers to achieve this.
As an added benefit, this will also help boost your quality of sleep. Sleep is when we heal, too, and improving the length and quality of sleep is a great way to stay healthy. The even better news? Omega 3s help promote soft, supple, and wrinkle-free skin, healthy hair, and joints that move with ease. They also help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol in favour of ‘good’ cholesterol.
Importantly, Omega 3s are also showing themselves to have key roles to play in protecting the brain’s lipid membranes. This has important implications for warding off neuro-degenerative diseases, can help manage issues such as ADHD and epilepsy in conjunction with other therapies, and may even help with recovery from depression.
Where can I find Omega 3s?
The good news is, it isn’t hard to boost the Omega 3 content of your diet. They’re even found in plain old Canola oil! Chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds are a great way for vegetarians and vegans to stock up on the plant-based ALAs, and they’re versatile enough to be used in a range of dishes, too. If you’re looking at flaxseeds, however, you may want to consider buying a flaxseed oil. The seeds themselves need to be fresh-ground to be used by the body, and go rancid quickly.
For those who eat meat, however, the key to boosting your Omega 3s lies in incorporating oily fish into your diet. Mackerel, salmon, and sardines are all packed with DHA and EPA, and 2 servings of fish a week will give you all the Omega 3s you need to feel better and look great too. If you’re struggling to get enough Omega 3 in your diet you can always consider adding a daily natural supplement or vitamin to give yourself that little extra boost.
Is Omega 3 better than Omega 6?
The truth is we need them both, ideally in a ratio of 5:1. Our modern diets are heavy on Omega 6 and often deficient in Omega 3, however, hence the focus on Omega 3s.
Don’t you think it’s time you added these essential acids to your diet today? With a range of tasty, Omega 3-packed food at your disposal, it’s as easy as pie to do, and will have long-term health benefits you’ll love.
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