We’ve all heard of or read about Omega-3 fatty acids. We buy foods that contain them or consume omega-3 fatty acids in the form of pills. But how many among us really know or remember what omega-3 fatty acids are good for? Well then, we’ve put together a short refresher course explaining what Omega-3 fatty acids are and why our body needs it.
Why are Omega-3 fatty acids so important?
In terms of importance, as oil or grease is to your vehicle, Omega-3 fatty acids are to your body. Without them, your body would eventually come to a grinding halt. Now let us take a detailed look at what it does and why we need Omega-3 fatty acids.
What are Omega-3 fatty acids good for?
Here’s the short version:
- Reduce inflammation
- Prevents blood clots
- Maintain fluidity of your cell membranes
- Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Prevents thickening of the arteries
- Keeps arteries in good shape
- For those suffering from atherosclerosis; makes it more bearable
- Improved insulin utilization
- Prevent cancer cells from forming
After reading the list, I doubt there is anyone amongst us who would be foolish enough to assume they could do without Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
For the curious who would like to look under the hood, here’s a more detailed explanation of what Omega-3 Fatty acids are good for, so, here’s the long version:
Our body is made up of millions of tiny cells. Each cell is surrounded by a cell membrane. Each cell membrane is composed mainly of fatty acids.
The cell membrane is like a heat-exchanger of your air conditioning equipment – it allows the right amounts of nutrients to enter the cell in exchange of waste products that are sent away for elimination. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in ensuring the cell membranes are kept in optimal condition.
Prostaglandins are powerful hormone-like substances that help regulate many important physiological functions including blood clotting, blood pressure, nerve transmission, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, etc.
EPA and DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acid components, serve as direct precursors for series 3 prostaglandins, required for reducing inflammation, platelet aggregation, improve blood flow and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
As you can see, Omega-3 is vital to every cell, every living tissue and every organ in our body.
Ensuring Omega-3 Fatty Acid is part of your diet
There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids (ALAand DHA) – the latter from marine food and the former comes from vegetables; we need both types. ALAtype fatty acids are found in some vegetable oils including flaxseed, canola and soybean. It is also found in walnuts.
The EPA type fatty acids are found in oily fish such as Sardines, Mackerels, etc.
Since omega-3 fatty acids is also available in oil, some of our readers who wrote to us seemed to be confused regarding the consumption of edible oil.
Some edible oils contain omega-3 fatty acids. Keep oil consumption low and instead increase consumption of vegetables and oily fish. Include also, a few walnuts in your daily diet.
Read more about omega-3 fatty acids benefits.