Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent disease, keep young and improve mood. With the right dose of omega-3 fatty acids, you will avoid e.g. macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, allergies or heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially necessary for pregnant women and young children. Check the properties of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a unique building block of our cells. Thanks to them, the cell membrane functions better, and this improves all life processes. It is impossible to calculate all the benefits that omega-3 fatty acids give us.
Omega-3s belong to the group of essential unsaturated fatty acids (EFAs), specifically polyunsaturated fatty acids. There are two EFAs families: omega-3 and omega-6.
Linolenic acid (ALA) is included in omega-3. It is a substrate for the production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA ), and its recommended intake is 0.5%.
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Table of Contents:
- Omega-3 fatty acids can protect against cancer
- Omega-3 fatty acids support the brain
- Omega-3 fatty acids improve eyesight
- Omega-3 fatty acids support the work of the heart
- Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen bones
- Omega-3 fatty acids for allergies and immunity
- Omega-3 fatty acids important in pregnancy
- Omega-3 fatty acids – sources in food
- Omega-3 fatty acids – how to choose good quality ones?
Omega-3 fatty acids can protect against cancer
Omega-3 acids can protect against the development of tumours, but those derived from fish are more effective (even eight times) than those from plants – argue scientists from the Canadian University of Guelph in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The study was conducted on mice. Rodents are a model of a particularly aggressive form of HER-2 breast cancer, which affects 25 percent. women received three types of omega 3 fatty acids.
It turned out that the exposure to omega 3 fatty acids that came from fish translated into a 60-70 percent reduction in the size of tumors. and at 30% lower risk of metastasis. To achieve the same result, it was necessary to significantly increase the dose of plant-derived omega 3 acids.
Research author, prof. David Ma, explains that omega 3 prevents cancer by activating genes related to the immune system and blocking cancer pathways
Omega-3 fatty acids support the brain
The ability to think, understand, remember and even creativity throughout our lives depends to a large extent on whether we systematically supplement omega-3 levels. People who eat a lot of fish are distinguished by their mental acuity in old age, and they are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
They affect the formation and work of the brain, from the very beginning of fetal life. It turns out that a woman who consumes the right amount of omega-3 during pregnancy gives birth to a smarter and bigger child. Omega-3 fatty acids improve brain blood supply and improve the flow of nerve stimuli between gray and white matter. That is why children who consume the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids develop better, have no problems with concentration and are more physically efficient.
Omega-3 fatty acids improve eyesight
Omega-3 fatty acids are a component of the retina of the eye. Their deficiency in the mother’s diet threatens with retinopathy of prematurity (this disease can even lead to complete blindness). Children who do not eat fish are usually more prone to vision defects and see worse. Deficiency of omega-3 in old age can be the reason for macular degeneration. It is the most common cause of blindness in adults.
Omega-3 fatty acids support the work of the heart
Studies show that eating more than one fish meal per week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by more than 50% (compared to people who don’t eat fish at all or eat only once a month).
For people who have had a heart attack, this risk is reduced by 42%. Omega-3 acids counteract arrhythmias, which is why people with high levels in their blood die of a heart attack twice as often as those who lack these acids (sudden cardiac arrhythmias are life-threatening).
Omega-3s have the ability to thin the blood and prevent blood cells from sticking to damaged vascular walls, preventing blood clots and blockages.
They also counteract inflammatory processes in the arteries leading to their hardening, lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the level of good (HDL), reducing the rate of atherosclerosis.
Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen bones
We need omega-3 to have healthy bones. They protect against arthritis, relieve pain and stiffness associated with rheumatic diseases. They also facilitate calcium absorption, which is why they are irreplaceable in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Omega-3 fatty acids for allergies and immunity
Recent studies confirm that omega-3 fatty acids prevent allergies and support their treatment. In addition, they increase the body’s natural immunity.
There are many indications that women who eat a lot of fish are less likely to have breast and uterine cancer, and men more to prostate cancer. Both sexes suffer from pancreatic cancer less often.
Omega-3 fatty acids important in pregnancy
Due to the special impact of omega-3 on the fetal development of the child and his good health in later life, Polish experts recommend administering omega-3 to pregnant women and children from 6 weeks of age. Why? Because pregnant women and children up to the age of 7 should be very careful when eating fish. This means that they have to choose only those that are not from culture and do not contain heavy metals (because they are more exposed to lead poisoning than others ). Because it is difficult to check for yourself where the fish comes from and what “sits” in it, it is better to reach for fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids – sources in food
Omega 3 fatty acids are found primarily in:
- shellfish, e.g. shrimps
- vegetable oils (linseed oil, peanut oil and rapeseed oil )
A valuable source of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are high-quality soft margarine, whose main ingredient is vegetable oils.
It should be remembered that EFAs are destroyed during heating. Thus, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fulfil their functions when they are not subjected to frying processes.Features of good omega-3 acid. How to choose omega-3 fatty acids so that they are of good quality?
1. From small fish
Omega-3 fatty acids should be obtained from small fish because they accumulate significantly less heavy metals than large fish due to their short life span.
2. Certified fishing places
The recommended fishing spots are the seas of the southern hemisphere, where less industry means less pollution in the water. Certified waters in the South Pacific are the optimal source of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Short production time
Because of the ease with which fish oil can be subjected to oxidative processes that are unfavourable to health, i.e. rancidity, the production conditions and the time that elapses from catching fish to obtaining oil is important. Preferably, it is less than 36 hours from catching to fish oil production.
4. Crystalline, light oil colour
The lighter the colour of the oil, the higher the quality of the product, which means that it is not rancid and, as a result, “is not reflected in fish.” The oil colour is measured using an 18-point Gardner scale: the lower the value on the scale, the fresher the oil, the better it’s quality.
5. Delicate taste and smell
Fish oil should have a delicate fresh smell – oil that smells too much of ‘fish’ may indicate rancidity and poor quality of raw material. The content of oxidized omega-3 acids is measured by the TOTOX (total oxidation) value. The maximum limit is 28: the lower the value on this scale, the less oxidized oil omega-3. You’ll see the physical properties of the naked eye and feel when trying the product.
6. The natural form of omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids contained in the product should be in the form of triglycerides (TG), i.e. in such a form as in fish, which is better absorbed. Fatty acids in the form of ethyl esters (EE) are less absorbable.
7. Certificates and tests
Omega-3 should be certified by recognized organizations that set standards for the qualitative assessment of omega-3, e.g. GOED.