The food we eat is extremely important for our health. That is why it is important to give your body one that can provide it with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and useful acids.
And while we can’t cover all the vitamins and minerals in one topic (yes, there are so many), we can talk about the acids that are most beneficial to our health – essential fatty acids.
In today’s article, we will tell you in particular about the omega-3 fatty acids that each of us needs.
We will share with you what helps, what happens when it is not present enough in our body and we will give you examples of how to naturally get the daily dose of acid you need. We will also touch on the popular topic of omega-3 supplements, so if all this excites you, stay with us until the end of the article.
What is EFA?
Under the acronym, EFA is the word “essential fatty acids”. From their very name you can understand that once they are essential, they are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Understandably, EFAs are the building blocks of fats and oils.
Due to their high percentage of biochemical activity, they are actively involved in many processes in the body. However, although they are indispensable, the human body cannot synthesize them organically – even if it succeeds, the amount is too small to have any positive effect.
That is why it is absolutely necessary for them to be obtained with the help of external sources – food and supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 acids contain several nutrients in the form of acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.
Benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
Studied many times by various scientists and experts, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have great benefits for the body, including:
Heart health care
Undoubtedly, the greatest benefit of this acid is its ability to take incredible care of the heart muscle and overall heart health. Regular intake of omega-3 significantly reduces the risks of high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and blood clots. The acid also helps maintain balanced levels of triglycerides, which are a type of lipid in the blood.
Improve cognitive function
Increasing brain levels of phospholipids, which prolong the life of neurons, can help improve cognitive function. With age, brain activity begins to decline. Omega-3 slows down this process while improving memory in the elderly. In babies, it also improves both memory and attention.
Stabilizing the emotional state
The acid takes care of the emotional and mental health of the body, reducing depressive symptoms, anxiety and successfully balancing polar moods.
Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids
Irregular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to deficiency, which in turn affects both physical and mental health and is a prerequisite for the emergence of a number of health complaints.
Hypertension, obesity, asthma, lupus, depression, and secondary stroke are just some of the problems known so far. That is why it is important to know the symptoms that suggest a possible acid deficiency in your body. Common symptoms are:
Poor blood circulation – by regulating body temperature, fatty acids retain heat. Their deficiency is a prerequisite for the frequent feeling of coldness in the limbs;
High blood pressure – a lack of omega-3 fatty acids can result in high blood pressure. Given how dangerous it can be, we advise you to consult a doctor if you notice an unusual increase in its values;
Dry skin – skin problems can be a consequence of a lack of acids. The lack of enough acids makes the body more susceptible to infections, and increases the time needed to heal from injuries and wounds;
Excessive fatigue – lack of energy is one of the main symptoms of omega-3 deficiency. Even when following different diets, the exclusion of foods that contain essential fatty acids is prohibited.
How to get omega-3 fatty acids through food
The first source of omega-3 fatty acids is food. Acid is successfully found in a number of traditional and not-so-popular products. Let’s take a closer look at some of them:
This popular sea fish contains a large amount of fat and nutrients. Its preparation is extremely easy, which makes it a preferred choice among the menu of many people.
In its content of useful substances, you will find that mackerel can provide you with 100% of the required daily intake of selenium and 200% for B12. As for its omega-3 content, we will surprise you by telling you that in 100 grams of mackerel, 5.134 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid can be found.
100 grams of herring contains 2,366 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. You can find it on the market also canned, but keep in mind that smoked will give you 50% of the required daily dose of B12 and 100% for selenium and vitamin D.
This fish is the first association most people make when they hear omega-3 fatty acids. And this is no accident. Salmon is one of the fish that hides extremely rich nutrients. 100 grams of salmon contains nearly 2,260 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that it is also high in magnesium, selenium, potassium, and B vitamins.
Did you know that oysters contain the highest amount of zinc of all other foods? Consumption of only 6-7 oysters can bring you 600% of the required daily requirement for zinc, 200% for copper, and 300% for B12. Although not as high, the same amount of oysters can bring you 565 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Everyone has heard of caviar and knows that it is served as an hors d’oeuvre. But did you know that it is rich in choline, and the content of omega-3 fatty acids in a tablespoon is 1,086 grams, which is equivalent to 6,789 milligrams in 100-gram servings?
Although not so popular as the above alternatives, anchovies contain 2.114 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per 100 grams. This fish is also a good source of selenium, calcium, and vitamin B3.
We diversify the list by telling you that in a high-fiber bean, you can find 1,190 milligrams per teacup. The classic beans menu is also rich in protein, vitamins, and a number of minerals.
Prepared according to various technologies and recipes, eggs provide our bodies with a wide range of vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, choline, which fights fat accumulation, and last but not least – omega-3 fatty acids. In a single egg, you can find 225 milligrams of useful essential substances.
Pure beef from animals fed on pasture or hay also finds its place of honor in our list. Consumption of clean and fresh beef can bring you 160 milligrams for every 100 grams.
1 tablespoon of whole flaxseed contains 2,338 milligrams of useful essential fat. Flaxseed also contains magnesium, fiber, and vitamin E. Flaxseed can also be consumed in the form of oil, where one tablespoon can bring you 7,196 milligrams of acid.
The useful properties of chia make it extremely popular, and its ability to combine it in any recipe is the reason why the product is increasingly finding its place on the shelves of many consumers.
Chia seeds contain phosphorus, calcium, manganese, and many other vitamins and minerals. 28 grams of chia seeds contain 2,542 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, and if you add only 2 grams of seeds to your daily dose, you will be able to get as much as 4 grams of protein and all 8 essential amino acids.
Rich in fiber, walnuts also contain manganese, vitamin E, and copper. Eat them raw, because you will be able to get 2,542 milligrams of omega-3 acids for every 7 nuts.
Nutritional supplements – another source of omega-3
Getting the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids is a slow process, especially when one relies only on the natural intake of nutrients from various natural products. That’s why omega-3 supplements come to the rescue.
Of course, it is important to bet on regulated products that have a clean composition and proven positive effect.
If you have ever wondered how much omega-3 a day an organism can take, we can tell you that the answer is “It depends”. In general, the intake can start with 250 milligrams per day and reach as much as 5 grams.
However, we advise you not to experiment and always consult a doctor about the amount you can take. For omega-3 supplements, the intake depends entirely on the instructions of the product, and in case of doubt and ambiguity, it is best to consult a doctor.
As for the answer to the question – “For how long should I take omega-3 supplements?” – we can say that it again depends on each individual’s state of the organism. A constant supply of essential acids would not be a problem in the general case.
However, in some conditions, especially some allergic reactions, the duration, and intake can and should be regulated and controlled by a specialist.
We have imperceptibly reached the end of this article and thank you for taking the time to read it. We hope that you are already well informed about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and that you will include some of our natural product suggestions in your weekly menu.
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