The influence of nutrition has the potential to substantially affect physical function and body metabolism. Omega -3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids have numerous benefits on health as described by our researchers.
They are responsible for numerous cellular functions, such as signaling, cell membrane fluidity, and structural maintenance. They also regulate the nervous system, blood pressure, hematic clotting, glucose tolerance, and inflammatory processes, which may be useful in all inflammatory conditions.
Types of Omega – 3 Fatty Acids
Though there are 11 known types of Omega -3 Fatty Acids, let us discuss the important ones responsible for human health and well being.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
EPA the most important of the omega-3 fatty acids to reduce cellular inflammation. It is also used as a prescription medicine to reduce triglycerides. It is used for heart disease, preventing adverse events after a heart attack, depression, and menopause.
- DHA or docosahexaenoic acid
DHA helps reduce the entry of enlarged LDL particles into the muscle cells that line the artery thus reducing the likelihood of developing atherosclerotic lesions.
- ALA or alpha-linolenic acid
ALA is considered an essential fatty acid. This means that your body does not make it and you must get it from food or supplements.
Why is it necessary to eat food rich in omega 3 fatty acids?
As I already mentioned ALA is an essential fatty acid and your body cannot produce it. Your body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA, making these latter two not “essential” fatty acids, but the conversion process occurs at such a low rate (between 2 and 10 percent) that, for all practical purposes, you need to get EPA and DHA from your diet.
Health Benefits of Omega – 3 Fatty acids
- They boost the brain function which includes memory and cognition. The covering of the brain and spinal cord, myelin sheath has omega -3 fatty acids and other proteins for its formation.
They also improve nonverbal reasoning, logical memory, and working memory in healthy middle-aged adults. Also, pregnant women must consume a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids for the brain development of the child.
- An omega-3 fatty acid called DHA is a major structural component of your eyes’ retinas. It may help prevent macular degeneration, which can cause vision impairment and blindness.
- They can improve heart disease risk factors and can help you fight attacks and strokes.
Healthy sources of Omega 3 Fatty acids
A study suggested that ghrita (ghee) prepared by traditional ayurvedic methods contains a higher amount of DHA; Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is a major component of retinal and brain tissues and remains important in the prevention of various diseases. (1)
Flax seeds or Hemp seeds are a major source of Omega – 3 fatty acids. They are considered a superfood.
Chia seeds are not only rich in omega 3 but also vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers.
Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, calcium, fat, and protein. The skin of the walnut should not be removed before eating as it contains the antioxidant phenol.
Roasted Soybeans have high fiber and protein. It is also rich in nutrients which include folate, potassium, magnesium and Vitamins. Soybeans are richer in omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.
Most leafy greens are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
And other sources of Omega 3 Fatty acids include – Salmon, Sardine, Mackerel, Fish oil, etc. Even if you don’t eat fish you can have enough omega 3 supplements from a diet rich in flax seeds, soy products, leafy greens, etc.
Healthy Recipes for your Omega-3 Fatty acids
- Walnut Yogurt Bowl
1 cup organic Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (coarsely)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 seedless green grapes
Method of Preparation
Combine Yogurt, chopped walnuts, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with cumin and pepper; garnish with grape slices. Cover and chill 20 minutes.
- Chia seed pudding
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chia seeds
Method of preparation –
In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, honey, and vanilla. Add the chia seeds and stir to combine. Refrigerate 4 hours, stirring once halfway through. Serve chilled or at room temperature. You can skip the vanilla and add cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor. Garnish with your favorite chopped fruits.