Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which means that the body requires them but cannot make from other materials or fats. They play a crucial role in how your body’s cells function and have been shown to reduce harmful inflammation that could lead to heart disease. A balance of both, Omega-3 & Omega-6, are necessary for good functioning of the organs.
According to the American Heart Association, those looking to protect their hearts should eat a variety of types of fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) at least twice a week. Those with heart disease should get 1 gram of omega-3s per day, preferably from fatty fish.
In understanding what they are, it is also important to understand their benefits and sources so you are able to incorporate them into your healthier lifestyle regimen.
6 Benefits of Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids:
1. Lowers Triglycerides:Omega 3s can boost heart health and lower triglycerides.
2. Promotes Heart Health: Omega-3 fatty acid promotes a healthy heart by lowering the overall risk of death associated with heart disease.
3. Reduces Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing inflammation all throughout the body, especially in the blood vessels and joints. It reduces stiffness of the bones and muscles and also reduce joint pains, thus reducing various bone problems like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
4. Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Omega-3 fatty acids helps in lowering the inflammation and thus reduces several asthma symptoms.
5. Beneficial for Diabetes Patients: Diabetes patients tend to have high triglyceride level and low good cholesterol levels due to the high level of blood sugar. Consuming Omega-3 fatty acids helps lowering the levels and raising good cholesterol levels. As always, before adding anything to your diet, consult your doctor.
6. Promotes Good Skin: Omega-3 fatty acid helps to nourish your skin. They acts as a shield to lower the effect of UV rays on your skin when you are outdoors.
Sources of Omega-3’s: Omega-3’s must be obtained through the diet. Omega-3’s can be found in a variety of plant foods. It is important to include these foods in your diet because omega-3’s may help prevent and control heart disease, arthritis, cancer and immune dysfunction. They also play a role in improving mood and sharpening memory.
Here is a partial list of several sources of omega-3 fatty acids:
Fish: *4 ounces each
Salmon, cold water, fresh and frozen, cooked
Sardines, canned in oil, drained
Tuna, canned in water, drained
Cod, fresh and frozen, cooked
Mackerel, canned, drained
Swordfish, fresh and frozen, cooked
Crab, soft shell, cooked
Bluefish, fresh and frozen, cooked
Salmon, canned, drained
Scallops, Maine, Fresh and Frozen, cooked
Nuts and Seeds: *1 ounce each
Almonds, dry roasted
Pecan, dry roasted|
Poppy Seeds, shelled
Oils: *Tbsp each
Soybean oil, non hydrogenated
Flax Seed Oil
Cod Liver Oil
Grains and Beans:
Soybeans, dried, cooked – 1/2c
Tofu, regular – 4 oz.
Spinach, fresh/cooked – 1/2c
Green Leaf Lettuce, fresh, raw – 1c
Red leaf lettuce, fresh, raw – 1c
Boston or Bibb Lettuce, fresh, raw – 1c
Chard, cooked – 1/2c
Turnip greens, cooked – 1/2c
Dandelion greens, cooked – 1/2c
Kale, cooked – 1/2c
Beet greens, cooked – 1/2c
Collard greens, cooked – 1/2c
Mustard greens, cooked – 1/2c
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
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Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.