Fatty acids are more than important for our body, knowing about them is usually complicated but they are equally relevant as vitamins, essential minerals and even amino acids .
We have spoken in numerous articles about omega 3 acids , but we have not really delved into what it is about, fortunately in this article we will have the opportunity to learn about its health benefits.
What is omega 3?
Omega 3 fatty acid is a very important component for the membranes of each cell in the body (cell membranes), in addition to the fact that these types of fatty acids are part of the lipid structure of fats and vegetable oil .
In this sense, omega 3 is divided into different acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA which is essential but the body is not capable of creating it), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, all obtained from various foods of plant origin.
Note: One study highlights the following: “Omega-3s also provide calories to give the body energy and have many functions in the heart , blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system . ” (1)
What benefits does omega 3 have?
Omega 3 is a type of essential fatty acid, which has great contributions to health in the diet. Do you have any idea what they could be? The answer is found in the following paragraphs. We present the most relevant benefits of omega 3:
1. Regulates blood pressure
Omega 3 are a great option to regulate the body’s blood pressure, which specifically depends on elasticity and heart rate , factors where fatty acid offers an antiarrhythmic effect, which is necessary to control heart rhythm abnormalities ( hence also blood pressure).
2. Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
The omega 3 fatty acid becomes a great protective agent for cardiovascular diseases, by controlling the development levels of cholesterol and triglycerides , which can become unleashed with excessive levels.
To highlight: Fortunately, the consumption of omega 3 is capable of reducing the production of LDL and triglycerides (which are a type of very waxy fat), since it drives physiological processes and controls the structure of the nervous system , to maintain levels appropriate in the development of such substances.
3. Reduces the risk of strokes
By decreasing the production of cholesterol or the type of triglyceride fat, not only does an enormous danger of cardiovascular conditions disappear , but also cerebrovascular (which cause brain damage or, failing that, a cardiovascular accident).
You should know: DHA acid maintains, apart, an effective control for the nervous system , therefore it improves the neurotransmitters of the brain, given that this type of fatty acid (only omega 3) is lodged in the nervous tissues and protects the brain health.
4. Lowers the risk of diabetes
Diabetes is a very serious disease and it can be serious, however, the omega 3 fatty acids that have no effect on it are those that come in the form of supplements , therefore it is more advisable to consume natural omega 3 (from animals or of vegetable origin).
How does it work?. The most important thing to know is that it works for patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia (excess triglycerides), leveling fat production, insulin sensitivity and improving glucose uptake.
5. Reduces inflammation and joint pain
Omega 3 is effective for rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that heavily involves the joints, in which omega 3 decreases symptoms such as swelling. numbness and pain, that’s because this fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties with macrophages (a type of white blood cell).
6. Improves intestinal disorders
Intestinal disorders can be annoying, chronic and even painful because they involve the digestive system, which is why omega 3 is an essential fatty acid for it, with a key element, the increase in the intestinal microbiota or as it is better known, the intestinal flora.
7. Promotes pregnancy
Pregnancy is an important stage that requires great care, even more so when it comes to food. Fortunately, omega 3 is one of those compounds that favor the pregnancy and lactation process , improving the development of the fetal nervous system and reducing the risk of premature birth in women.
8. Prevents some types of cancer
Here the information is limited (because long investigations are still being carried out), however omega 3 is capable of reducing the risk of breast cancer (breast cancer) and colon-rectal cancer , activating genes associated with the system immunity and preventing the growth of tumors.
Important: A study mentions that: “Currently, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are one of the nutritional elements of greatest scientific interest in the prevention and treatment of cancer . ” (two)
What foods have omega 3?
Omega 3 acids abound in various foods , so it is important to know which ones are essential to be included in a balanced diet. Below we will show you which foods have omega 3:
1. Blue fish and shellfish
Blue fish or shellfish with a high omega 3 content are tuna, salmon, squid, shrimp, oysters and even sea clams , including algae, which have between 0.2 to 29 total grams of this essential fatty acid, including EPA and DHA.
2. Nuts and seeds
Note: Seeds with a high omega 3 content are chia , Mediterranean flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and even hemp seeds, in addition to omega 3 they also provide essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
3. Vegetable oils
There are abundant omega 3 fortified vegetable oils, beyond olive oil, we also find canola oil , soybean oil and flaxseed oil, used to prepare foods such as oily fish and which also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating properties.
4. Green leafy vegetables
These green leafy vegetables, apart from being a source of omega 3 fatty acids, are essential for our daily diets, among them are spinach , lettuce , broccoli and cauliflower , providing mostly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ), also contain more than 100 grams of these essential fatty acids.
Fruits do not skimp on being a source of omega 3 fatty acids, some with exquisite flavors are blackberries, blueberries , strawberries and even avocado , mixed with a good amount of monounsaturated fatty acids or oleic acids, such as alpha-linoleic acid. reinforcement.
How much omega 3 should be consumed daily?
Whether in capsules or in specific foods, omega 3 should be consumed in moderation , sometimes it is even said that it depends on stages from childhood, through adolescence and adulthood.
Notable : An analyst determines that: “Omega-3 supplements include fish oil, krill oil, cod fish liver oil and algae oil” . (3)
The amount depends on their age and sex, for example babies in their first months require 0.5 g daily, boys and girls require omega 3 from 0.7 to 1.0 g, adolescents vary between 1.6 and 1. .1 g, ending with adults (both men and women) between 1.1 to 1.6 g (and even 1.4 g maximum).
- Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are very necessary for the body in a diet, such as EPA and DHA.
- The benefits of omega 3 are related to cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal health and the stage of pregnancy.
- It is obtained in abundant foods of consumption such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, flax seeds and even lettuce and blackberries.
- The amounts vary depending on the age and sex of the people, but it is important to maintain a balance , even more so when it comes to omega 3 supplements.