Omega-3 fatty acid is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits. Because essential fatty acids are not made in the body, you need to get them from your diet. It then becomes more of a necessity to extract these nutrients from external sources. The questions now revolves around the kind of foods that will be a quick and direct source of Omega 3, Let me take you step by step and give you an insight into this as meaningfully as possible.
What is the source of Omega 3?
There are a large number of sources from which Omega-3 fatty acid can be obtained so that you can pick and choose and balance your dietary preferences alongside the most Omega-3-rich foods. Coldwater oily fish, herring, sardines, salmon and trout is the most widely available source of Omega-3 fatty acid. These fish contain not only Omega-3, but also Omega-6 fatty acids, another group of important fats that do not occur naturally in the body. Another source is flaxseed (also known as linseed) that is often sold as oil, but also comes in seed form and contains almost six-times as much Omega-3, then is found in the majority of fish oils. It is also a good source of fiber and is the richest botanical source of Omega-3. Pumpkin and hemp seeds along with a variety of nuts (walnuts, pecans), pulses (soybeans, kidney beans) and vegetables (broccoli, spinach) are also excellent sources of Omega-3. Large numbers of dietary supplements are also used in order to boost the source of Omega 3 in our body and to meet the required amount needed by our body to perform it’s functions properly. Most of the food sources are Vegetarian but may also include, milk, cheese, egg and yogurt.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for growing babies and children
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development of a growing child. Higher IQs in children have been linked to higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids consumed during their mother’s pregnancy. A high amount of omega-6 fatty acids during pregnancy has been linked increasing rate of breast cancer in subsequent generations in animal studies. This suggests that a good balance of omega-3s to omega-6s is especially important during pregnancy.
Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent cardiovascular problems
Omega-3s has been researched upon and discovered as having a huge effect on heart problems. In fact, some scientists believe there is compelling evidence that doctors should use omega 3 fatty acid therapy for preventing both primary and secondary cardiovascular diseases. This is exciting and important news, considering that more people die every year from heart disease than cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids, dementia and brain health
There is also some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids could help prevent dementia. Whether that’s because dementia is linked to cardiovascular health, or a more direct link isn’t know for sure, but there is evidence that it could help both the brain and the heart. In fact, omega-3s are linked to healthier and more active brains that bode well for the ageing body. It’s the one supplement found to be especially helpful for bipolar depression. Taking into account various supplemental therapies, omega-3 fatty acid was the one that showed the highest promise for making a difference. There have been many studies done on depression in general with omega-3 fatty acids, but there have been inconclusive results.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish may help prevent breast cancer
Eating Omega 3 has shown to have very positive and remedial effects on patients suffering from breast cancer. Research in Asian countries where seafood is commonly eaten shows reduced breast cancer rates, for example. Scientists who work specifically in the field of breast cancer have long recommended the addition of omega-3s, although not all studies show the same positive results.
When low on Omega 3, teens feel more anxious.
An interesting study that does link omega-3s to how you feel is one that shows that teens low on Omega 3 are more likely to be found anxious. Considering that the teen years are already full enough of normal fears and anxiety, making sure they have adequate omega-3s in their diet can help prevent excessive anxiety. This may also act as counter for several conditions like nervous breakdowns, panic attacks and manic episodes.
Helps lower anxiety in Pregnant women:
Similarly, expectant mothers who had a greater intake of fish were less anxious and calmer in comparison to pregnant women on a normal diet with no specific emphasis on increasing fish consumption. Vegetarian mothers, with their lack of animal protein, struggle with anxiety disorders and this leads to them going through episodes of extreme, gushing emotions that can be harmful in the long-run for the child.
Reasons for Deficiency
Low intake of nuts and seeds
The most commonly eaten nuts in the U.S. are peanuts, and, while healthy and delicious, peanuts technically fall into the category of legumes rather than nuts and are therefore less concentrated in omega-3s. Unlike walnuts or seeds (flaxseeds), peanuts do not provide you with as much omega-3s as are required by our body and do not rank as an excellent, very good, or good source of these fatty acids.
High intake of meat and dairy product
From animals that did not graze on plants containing omega-3s. The vast majority of beef, milk, cheese, and yogurt consumed in the U.S. come from cows that did not have the opportunity to eat pasture plants containing omega-3s. Similarly, the vast majority of chicken and eggs consumed in the U.S. comes from animals raised without the benefit of omega-3 containing plants.
Infrequent intake of fish
Like salmon and sardines. These are considered the best kind and are a great source of Omega 3. Its intake varies from person to person and should be confirmed by your Physician. The efficacy level of the dosage is solely dependent upon the Omega 3 Fat; EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) not just fish oil. Ideal dosage is said to be 2000-3000mg/day (2-3 grams). The anti-inflammatory effect of EPA does not kick in if you do not take in at least 2000mg each day. Thus for a healthy and active life, one must take in desired amounts of Omega 3 regularly, not just to stay fit but also to keep our body function in constant regulation.