Omega 3 fatty acid is getting importance for health benefits from years.
It is an important fatty acid to your body but cannot be manufactured by the body.
Therefore, you should get omega 3 fatty acid from the food you eat.
Omega-3 fatty acid is polyunsaturated fat which is found in certain plant oils and fish.
Polyunsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature and remain as liquid when frozen or refrigerated. Omega 3 fatty acids are of three types: alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
When you eat omega-3 fatty acid, your body converts ALA to EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are readily used by the body. Omega-3 fatty acid reduces inflammation and helps in preventing certain diseases like arthritis and heart disease.
These fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and are important for behavioral and cognitive function.
Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids! Apart from fish and plant oils, there are other plant based sources of this fatty acid. Leafy green vegetables, nuts like walnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts, seeds, eggs, and oils such as soya bean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, and flaxseed oil contain this fatty acid.
Benefits with omega-3 fatty acid:
If your diet is rich in this fatty acid, it can lower blood pressure if you have hypertension. Avoid fish which is high in mercury like tuna fish as it can increase blood pressure.
Intake of this fatty acid helps in protecting against stroke caused by blood clots and plague build up in the arteries that lead to brain.
Risk of stroke can be reduced by consuming fish at least two times a week. But, if you eat more than 3 grams of this fatty acid, you are at an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
You tend to have low levels of HDL and high levels of triglyceride if you are suffering with diabetes. As fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acid, it helps to raise HDL levels and lower triglyceride. So, if you have diabetes, you can benefit from taking foods that contain EPA and DHA.
With this fatty acid, inflammation can be decreased and lung function is improved in people with asthma. DHA and EPA in fish oil helps in reducing the risk factors of heart disease including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
EPA helps to increase calcium levels in the body which in turn improves bone strength. If you do not maintain enough levels of omega-3 fatty acid, you are at an increased risk of depression. This fatty acid helps in maintaining good mental health.
Precautions and side effects:
Due to side effects and interactions with other medicines, these supplements should be taken under the doctor’s supervision. If you have bleeding disorder or take blood thinning medication, you should be cautious in taking this supplement because excess amount can lead to bleeding.
Flatulence and diarrhea are caused by fish oil. If you have schizophrenia or diabetes, you lack the ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, which are the forms used readily by the body.
Therefore, if you have these conditions, you should get omega-3 fatty acid from dietary sources rich in EPA and DHA.