OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS - WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT?
There are many fatty acids but Omega-3, 6, & 9 are the ones most talked about. Today I’ll focus on omega-3 because it’s the one fatty acid you are likely not getting enough of.
Our bodies cannot produce omega-3 on their own so we must get them through our diet. Omega-3 are polyunsaturated fats and are known as “essential fats”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least two portions of oily fish per week, which is rich in the omega-3s EPA and DHA.
There are many types of omega-3 fats, which differ from each other based on their chemical shape and size. Here are the three most common:
𝗘𝗶𝗰𝗼𝘀𝗮𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗲𝗻𝗼𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗱 (𝗘𝗣𝗔): It’s main function is to produce chemicals called eicosanoids, which help reduce inflammation. EPA also helps reduce symptoms of depression.
𝗗𝗼𝗰𝗼𝘀𝗮𝗵𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗲𝗻𝗼𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗱 (𝗗𝗛𝗔): It makes up about 8% of brain weight and is extremely important for normal brain development and function.
𝗔𝗹𝗽𝗵𝗮-𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗱 (𝗔𝗟𝗔): This fatty acid can be converted into EPA and DHA, although the process is not very efficient. ALA is mainly used by the body for energy.
1) They improve heart health
2) They support mental health
3) They help with weight management and reduce waist size
4) They decrease the amount of fat in your liver
5) They support infant brain development
6) They fight inflammation
7) They prevent dementia
8) They promote bone health
9) They prevent asthma
𝗕𝗘𝗦𝗧 𝗙𝗢𝗢𝗗𝗦 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗚𝗔-𝟯 𝗙𝗔𝗧𝗧𝗬 𝗔𝗖𝗜𝗗𝗦-
•Tuna (fresh or light, canned in water)
Just 1 ounce of whole walnuts(approximately 7) contain a whopping 2,542 milligrams! That’s over 60 percent of your daily value.
1 Tbsp contains approximately 2,500 milligrams! Additionally, they also are a rich source of fiber and protein, and are naturally gluten free.
The best way to get nutritional value out of flaxseeds is to consume them ground(1,597 mg per 1 tablespoon) or as an oil (7,196 mg per 1 tablespoon). Flaxseeds are by far the richest whole food source of the omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Hemp seeds are nutty in flavor and bursting with omega-3s. One Tbsp contains 1,000 milligrams, approximately 25 percent of your daily value. Hemp seeds are also good sources of vitamins D and E, as well as B vitamins.
One yolk contains approximately 225 milligrams. Not at all eggs contain omega-3s, however. This is only the case if farmers feed their hens things like flaxseeds, fish oil, chia seeds, algae or canola oil. Make sure to look for egg packages that indicate the eggs are enriched with these beneficial fatty acids.
Soybeans are an excellent source of omega-3. Edamame contains 300 mg per ½ cup and tofu contains 814 mg per 3 oz. They’re also rich in protein and fiber. Soybeans aren’t the only beans that contain omega-3s. One cup of navy beans offers 1,190 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Most fruits and vegetable do not offer many omega-3s but greens like spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale and watercress do offer some.
Not to be confused with brown rice, wild rice actually offers far more nutritional benefits. When it comes to omega-3 value, for instance, one cup of raw wild rice contains 240 milligrams, while the same serving of brown rice only has 27 milligrams.
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