Omega 3 Benefits – When it comes to essential nutrients, one of the most important is omega 3 fatty acid. It cannot be produced naturally in the body so it must be obtained from your daily dietary consumption. Most people get it in some quantity, but in many cases, this quantity is deficient.
Today’s commercial food industry has stripped away many of the vital nutrients our bodies typically expect from the food we eat. This is either due to processing or additives. Recently people have started to gain a new appreciation of the finer aspects of nutrition.
Among them is the importance of fatty acids, namely omega 3. Previously any notion of fat was considered unhealthy and this led to the many low fat and no fat foods in supermarkets. This was done often at the cost of nutrients like omega 3.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in 3 distinct forms. DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid (found mainly in certain fish and some crustaceans) and ALA
So now you know you need it, but why? What function does omega 3 fatty acids play in the human body? First off it helps combat heart disease. Omega 3 in the blood stream helps lower excess triglyceride levels. This along with the nourishing effect omega 3 has on the myocardium (heart muscle) makes it a necessity for optimal heart health.
Omega 3 also acts as a counterpart to antioxidant nutrients. It helps lower oxidative stress caused by free radicals and helps relieve inflammation. For this reason, it is a common therapy against arthritis, inflammation of the joints.
Omega 3 Benefits
Lastly, omega 3 benefits is a known mental health supplement. It is a natural mood booster shown to improve focus and memory. Its mental health benefits have even been known to help combat clinical depression. This is due to omega 3’s ability to boost the effects of antidepressant drugs as well as positively affecting the activity at nerve synapses.
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So as you can see, Omega 3 fatty acids are quite useful. You definitely need them, and now that you know the benefits, surely want them. You would normally obtain your daily dose from your diet, given that you manage to eat a healthy, well balanced diet, free of harsh processing and additives. It is also possible and highly recommended obtaining omega 3 from specialized supplements. These usually come in gel capsules containing a blend of omega 3 fish and plant oils. Here are 3 awesome sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
Top 3 Omega 3 Fatty Acid Sources
Cold Pressed Seed Oil
The most common source of omega 3 as a naturally occurring dietary source is in seeds and grain. Many plant seeds contain omega 3 and eating them leads to an obvious intake of the essential nutrient.
You can however, take it a step further and use oil extracts of the seeds in question. The best way to do this is by sourcing cold pressed oils or pressing the seed yourself so that they release their nutrient dense oil.
Flaxseed and Hemp Seed are common sources of omega 3 fatty acid. Extraction by cold pressing yields a fine amber oil you can use as a dressing or drizzle on meals and salads or taken on its own as a once-a-day supplement dose. Other seeds that contain omega 3 fatty acid include sunflower seeds, soybeans, chia seeds and black cumin.
The wonderful thing about these sources of omega 3 fatty acids is they come packed with the antioxidants that omega 3 interact with.
While you can buy cold pressed oils over the counter in most health stores and some super markets. It is now possible to make them at home using a home oil press machine.
Tree nuts are a fatty food source and this abundance of oily goodness leads to an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids. Macadamia, cashew, hazelnut, almonds and walnuts are all rich sources of ALA. Nuts are calorie dense and therefore need special consideration when consuming them for their omega 3 benefits.
Nuts can also have their oil extracted just as seeds, providing a concentrated and often fragrant dose. Nut butters are another way to enjoy this dietary source of omega 3 fatty acids. Almond butter for example is a very popular choice as an alternative to peanut butter, often doubling as a baking ingredient.
As mentioned, tree nuts are extremely calorie dense so proceed with caution. If your goal is weight lost, best to consume tree nuts in moderation, no matter how healthy the prospects of a concentrated omega 3 fatty acid dose seems.
Fish are not only a great source of rich, clean protein, fish is also one of the primary dietary sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
Cold water fish use oil instead of body fat for insulation to allow themselves to remain supple and mobile in frigid conditions.
Omega 3 fatty acids in fish come in the form of EPA and DHA. Salmon, tuna, certain sardines, mackerel and cod are rich in omega 3. For generations, cod liver oil extract was bottled and fed by the spoonful to children for it’s ability to improve health and performance at school. The unpleasant pungent oil was often the bane of many 20th century kids. Today, if you want a more concentrated version of fish oil, it is available in gel capsule form, typically blended with omega 3 containing plant oils
Being an essential fatty acid, Omega 3 benefits cannot be avoided. With a mindful approach to healthy eating, you’re sure to meet your daily requirements, but with the fast paced lives we often lead, it might be important to pop a few omega 3 gel capsules every now and again.