What are Omega 3s?
You might have heard about Omega 3 supplements, or about products fortified with Omega 3s. In this tip I am going to explain what Omega 3s are and the benefits associated to them upon consumption. Omega 3s are essential fatty acids, which means that they are necessary to our body since we can’t make them, so we have to get them through the food we eat. You can find fatty acids in molecules such as triglycerides (a blood lipid) or as free fatty acids, which are not bound to other molecules. Fatty acids are a source of energy and can be either unsaturated (with double bonds) or saturated (without double bonds). Double bonds change the structure of a molecule, thus changing its properties and its behavior/effect in the body, which I might discuss in a future tip. Omega 3s are known to be polyunsaturated fatty acids, considered among the best fats for your health. Two of the most potent Omega 3 fats, known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel (makrill), trout (forell), and swordfish (svärdfisk). Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which can be converted to DHA and EPA in our body, can be found in flaxseeds, canola oil (rapsolja), soybeans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. High intakes of DHA and EPA may help prevent heart disease and stroke but also rheumatoid arthritis, depression and asthma. Research also shows how they play a role in reducing inflammation in the body, like in the blood vessels and joints. Currently, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice per week. If you are considering taking an Omega 3 supplement you should talk to your physician, who will give you the right amount to consume given your health status.
Have a nice week!
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Picture retrieved from https://www.omnieye.ca/the-importance-of-omega-3-essential-fatty-acids-for-eyesight