Fish for the Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids because they truly are essential to your health. In addition to helping your body and mind function at their best, these healthy fats can protect you from many medical problems. But since your body does not naturally produce them, you need to get omega-3 fatty acids from foods like fish and flax or from high-quality supplements. But while everyone says they’re essential, you may not really know why.

Omega-3 fatty acids are required to maintain the health of your body and mind. The three most vital are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While we’re often told to limit bad fats, these are known as healthy fats and you need to make sure that you get enough. The reason is that omega-3 fatty acids provide your cells with the healthy fats they need to function normally and support the body’s many processes. By getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, you can reap their abundant benefits and protect your good health.

There are so many benefits with omega-3 fatty acids that they seem to be medical miracles. In addition to improving your brain function and cognitive performance, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the inflammation that causes damage to your body and contributes to many serious illnesses. Their role as natural anti-inflammatories can also help athletes enhance their muscle recovery and mental focus. Numerous research studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids can help lower your risk for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. They can also prevent or improve high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), asthma, and joint pain.

Once you realize all of the ways that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good health, you can see why you need to get enough. The top dietary sources are cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna, along with flax seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, grass-fed beef, winter squash, and dark leafy greens.

Experts agree that it’s best to get your omega-3 fatty acids from foods since they include other good vitamins and minerals. But in case you have trouble eating enough of these foods, you may want to consider a high-quality supplement. The majority of supplements include fish oil but there are also vegetarian versions. How much is enough? The proper amount depends on your age and medical conditions, so talk to your doctor to determine how much you need.

As you can see, omega-3 fatty acids are brimming with healthy benefits. Whether you get them food sources like fish and nuts or from top-quality supplements, it’s essential that you get enough of these essential fatty acids.

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