The need to consume food containing Omega-3 to remain healthy
There is always this notion that eating food rich in fatty acid will make a person fat but studies have proved this statement wrong. Consumption of dietary fat is very much essential to maintain health and it is the excess of calories that makes a person fat not the fat itself. Just like proteins and carbohydrates, fats provide necessary nourishment to the human body. When a person works or even exercise for few minutes the carbohydrates he has consumed are used up in few minutes, and it is calories from fats that are needed to continue working or exercising. Sources of fat found in food include animal meat like beef and lamb, vegetable oils and dairy products. Fats also help in absorption of vitamins and minerals, and fats also keep the body insulated properly.
The importance of Omega-3:
As fats are commonly found in various animal meat sources and plant sources but due to their type, fats are categorized as saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats include animal meat, vegetable oils and dairy products such as cheese, butter and cream. Unsaturated fats are further divided into monounsaturated fats like olive and canola oil, and polyunsaturated fats such as soy oil, corn and sunflower. Omega-3 are type of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are found in plant seeds and oils, and they have several health benefits. Fishes are also rich sources containing omega-3 fatty acids, some fishes are salmon, herring and mackerel. The ‘3’ in omega means there are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have more than one double bond in their chemical composition.
The significant health benefits of Omega-3:
There are three omega-3 found in food sources namely
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): It is mostly plant source which includes soybeans, canola and walnut
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): It is a type of 20-carbon fatty acid which is found in oily fish and krill oil
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): This is 22-carbon molecule also found in fish, algae oil and krill oil.
The numerous advantages of consuming food with omega-3 are
- The biggest benefit of omega-3 is that they considerably reduce the risk of heart diseases such as strokes and heart attacks
- It can improve eyesight and reduce the chances of eye damage and blindness
- It efficiently lowers the level of stress and depression which is common in people all across the world. Fish oil and EPA fatty acid is effective in fighting anxiety and other symptoms of depression.
- It improves the metabolic functions of the body and lessen the risk of obesity which is major reason for diabetes
- Inflammation is important in fighting infections but long time inflammation without any illness can be problematic. Omega-3 helps to reduce inflammation
- Sometimes the immune system fights the healthy cell considering them as infectious cells. Omega-3 can help prevent the autoimmune diseases
- The intake of omega-3 in diet can prevent old age disorders such as Alzheimer diseases which results in memory loss of a person.
- It prevents cancer cells to grow and reduces the risk of certain cancers such prostrate and colon cancer
- Asthma is a very common chronic illness which results in shortness of breath and coughing. Omega-3 can help reduce asthma in adults and especially in children.
Food which are rich in Omega-3:
The intake of natural food is preferred for omega-3 consumption over the use of supplements. The natural food such as fish and oil have more nutrients and have little or no side effect. Some fishes rich in omega-3 are Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Herring, Bluefish and Sardines. Other food items include plant seeds such as soybeans, canola oil, flaxseed and nuts such as walnuts.