What are Omega-3's and Why are they good for me?
Omega 3 fatty acids are poly-unsaturated fatty acids that are good for your body but unfortunately is not made in the body itself, so it must be supplemented. Many people are deficient in this. Studies show that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids may help lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Omega 3 fatty acids may also act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting. Several other studies also suggest that these fatty acids may help lower high blood pressure. Omega-3 supplements are vital because they are not made in the body, there fore a supplement is needed. Today's diets consist of so much Omega-6 that we need Omega-3 to create balance.
Here are some reasons to supplement with Omega-3:
1. Freedom from pain and inflammation. Omega 3 fish oil fatty acids, particularly EPA, have a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. Through several mechanisms, they regulate your body's inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else ending in "itis."
2. Better brain function and higher intelligence. Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great impact on the intelligence and happiness of their babies by supplementing with omega 3 fish oil with DHA. For adults, fish oil improves memory, recall, reasoning and focus. You'll swear you're getting younger and smarter.
3. Feeling better with much less depression. Making you smarter is not all that fish oil does for your brain. Psychiatry department researchers at the University of Sheffield UK, along with many other research studies, found that fish oil supplements "alleviated" the symptoms of depression, bipolar and psychosis. [Journal of Affective Disorder Vol. 48(2-3);149-55]
4. Lower incidence of childhood disorders. Just to show how fish oil fatty acids leave nobody out, studies show that children (and adults) with ADD and ADHD experience a greatly improved quality of life. And those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and compulsive disorders have gotten a new lease on life thanks to fish oil supplements.
5. Superior cardiovascular health. Fish oil's DHA, EPA and DPA have also been proven to work wonders for your heart and the miles and miles of arteries and veins that make up your cardiovascular system. They help lower cholesterol, tryglicerides, LDLs and blood pressure, while at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol. This adds years to your life expectancy.
6. Protection from heart attack and stroke. When plaque builds up on arterial walls and then breaks loose, it causes what's known as a thrombosis, which is a fancy way of saying clot. If a clot gets stuck in the brain, it causes a stroke and when it plugs an artery, it causes a heart attack. Research shows fish oil fatty acids break up clots before they can cause any damage.
7. Reduction of breast, colon and prostate cancer.And finally, fish oil has been shown to help prevent three of the most common forms of cancer – breast, colon and prostate. Science tells us that it accomplishes this in three ways – by stopping the alteration from a normal healthy cell to a cancerous mass, by inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and by killing off cancer cells.
8. Also great to help symptoms of PMS and help in hormonal balance related to PMS.
Where to find Omega 3 fatty acids?
- All fish contain omega 3 fatty acids, but they are more concentrated in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week.
- Many commercial food products, such as yogurt and infant formula are now fortified with omega 3 fatty acids.
- Other sources of omega 3s include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Soy and tofu
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, and flax seed
- Cooking oils such as flax seed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil (for more information, read The Best Cooking Oils)
- Some eggs, such as omega-3 enhanced eggs
- although these foods contain Omega-3, its recommended to still supplement with a good Omega-3 oil (capsule)
- Cod liver oil is not a good source of omega 3 acids. It may cause toxicity in excess amount due to its high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
- Men are best to avoid flax oil pills until more is known about flax's potential link with prostate cancer.
Look for a good Omega-3 supplement that contains amounts of EPA and DHA at any health food store.
~BE WELL, BE BALANCED...go good fat!!