Omega 3 health benefits
One of the more important nutrients needed is Omega-3 fatty acids; this nutrient is needed by our brain and is used by our body for normal biological functions. Omega-3's are found in a variety of foods including fish, nuts, and some vegetables. As mentioned earlier, Omega-3's are necessary for proper brain function, but it is also important for many other benefits; some are as follows:
- Improved concentration
- higher energy levels
- help you to loose weight
- Lubrication of skin arteries and digestive tract
- Helps with high blood pressure and helps to lower cholesterol
- Helps to reduce inflammation in your body
How does Omega-3 provide all these benefits? It is believed they are performed when Omega-3's facilitate the creation of chemicals in the body that control or help to control inflammation in various areas of the body including joints and bloodstream. Even as important if not more important is Omega-3's ability to lower the negative impact of Omega-6's. Omega-6's are commonly found in foods such as poultry, vegetable oils, some baked goods. Although omega-6's help maintain healthy skin, lower cholesterol and enable blood to clot, when it isn't balanced with correct amount of omega-3's problems can occur. In the case of blood clotting, if blood becomes too sticky, it can lead to heart attack and stroke; by increasing omega-3 intake the risk is reduced. According to experts the optimum ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is some where close to 5:1.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a collection of compounds, including eicosapentaenic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). These are found in abundance in cold water fish such as herring and salmon. According to the Food and drug administration(FDA), 2 servings of fish a week is what a body needs. Since the mercury scares of a few years ago, the safe limit is said to be close to 10 ounces. Since a serving of fish is 4 ounces 2 servings of fish a week is well below FDA's recommended intake of fish. For those who cant eat or don't care for fish, it is possible to get your omega-3's by including flax seed in your cooking or baking. Although flax seed contains no EPA or DHA, it does have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which the human body can use to make DHA and EPA. Some additional sources of omega-3 include broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupe, spinach, grape leaves and walnuts. In addition to the before mentioned foods to increase intake of omega-3, you can also exchange vegetable oils used in cooking for a commonly known omega-9 substitute called Olive oil; this will help to reduce the problems associated with a high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
If you aren't able to get sufficient omega-3 from your diet, you can take supplements. Omega-3 capsules can be purchased at any grocery or drug store; just try to select one that is mercury free. Taking sufficient omega-3 is important to maintaining good health, as well as reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack; In addition, it has many other health benefits including weight loss. Omega-3 fats play an important part in the production of hormone-similar substances called prostaglandins; there substances help maintain normal body functions; some of these functions include blood pressure, nerve transmission, and allergic responses. Also, the functions of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, and the production of other hormones are also influenced by omega-3s too. By exercising regular, following the advice of your personal physician, and taking dietary supplements you can improve your quality of life.