Omega 3 fatty acids are also called essential fatty acids because they cannot be prepared by the body. So we have to take through our diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats come in two major forms:
Omega 6 fatty acids are predominant in vegetable oils, whereas, Omega 3 fatty acids and predominant in fish and marine oils.
More than 30 years of research leaves no doubt that vegetable oils are good at battling cholesterol. But recent tests show that fish oils are two to five times more potent in lowering blood cholesterol and also act as “blood thinner”.
The 3 major Omega fatty acids are
Alpha Linolenic Acid(ALA)
EPA and DHA are found in seafood whereas; ALA is available in Plant-based food.
Major benefits of Omega 3s
Current research indicates that omega-3s may also help as follows
- Lowers blood pressure
- Ease common skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis:
- Relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis:
- Aid brain development.
- Omega-3s sweep cholesterol out of the blood.
- Omega 3s force down the levels of low and very-low-density lipoproteins (LDL) that carry cholesterol and particularly triglycerides into body tissues and may push up the level of High-density lipoproteins(HDL) that are thought to carry cholesterol away.
Why fish is a major Source of DHA & EPA?
- Fish is recognized as a major source of a class of fats (omega-3s) that have far-ranging effects on metabolism.
- Researches are finding that fish oils lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, the blood fats associated with heart diseases. They help prevent blood clots, a major cause of heart attacks.
- Fish flesh is rich in B vitamins, especially niacin and B-6. These vitamins are crucial to protein metabolism and may be important in preventing skin and nervous system disorders.
- Fish oils somehow change the delicate balance of blood components called lipoproteins that shuttle cholesterol around the body.
- Moreover fish supplies minerals-Phosphorous, Potassium, iron, iodine, and cancer-fighting selenium. Shellfish such as oysters are among nature’s richest sources of Zinc, important in keeping your immune system turned up.
- Oysters, prawns, clams and unboned, tinned fish such as sardines and mackerel are high in bone-building calcium.
- Most dieters know that seafood is a great source of low-calorie protein.
- Most seafood is low in cholesterol. Even the worst offenders- prawns, crab, and lobster contain less cholesterol per egg does.
Things to keep in mind while buying seafood
- While increasing seafood intake is a good idea, keep in mind that shellfish from polluted waters may contain toxins as well as organisms that can cause cholera, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis. Deepwater ocean fish are usually safe, however freshwater fish rise in unpolluted waters.
- Keep all seafood chilled to prevent bacterial growth, and eat it as soon as possible after it is bought. Raw seafood may carry tapeworms, roundworms, and other parasites. So eat your seafood well cooked.
Other plant-based foods that are rich in ALA Omega 3 Fatty acids
- They are one of the rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain 5gms of Omega 3 fatty acids, 3gms of protein, 7gm of fiber, and 6gms of Fat.
- Adding chia seeds to your refreshing drinks or in oatmeal makes your meal more delicious.
- Flax seeds are one of the best plant-based proteins and also rich in omega 3 fatty acids available for Vegetarians in the market.
- It contains 7gms of ALA per 1 tbsp
- They are rich in Alpha-Linolenic acid which also lowers the risk of stroke.
- It aids in weight management and also helps to reduce the risk of Heart Failure.
- Adding them into your smoothies, and dressing them on salads are the two best ways to take Flaxseeds on daily basis.
- It is the only super nut among all the nuts, with a high amount of ALA.
- 5 whole walnuts have 3gms of protein, 4gms of ALA Omega fatty acids, and 1gm of fiber.
- Adding these nuts to your oatmeal enhance its taste or you can have these nuts in a snack bar
These are rich creamy, flavourful, Avocados are rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids in the form of high ALA, which is good fat.
It helps to reduce cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart diseases.