Omega Fatty Acids
We all know that fats are an essential nutrient for our body. Fat plays an important role in regulating the function of different organs in our body. Many people do not know that some fats help in reducing the blood cholesterol level.
Fats are made up of fatty acids consisting of carbon and hydrogen linked chains. Fats are divided into two main types:
Saturated fats are fats that cannot be broken down further. Eating too much-saturated fat is not recommended for the human body.
Unsaturated fats are essential for the human body. These fatty acids have one double bond linked between the carbon atoms. The presence of a double bond between the two carbon atoms limits the number of hydrogen atoms that can be linked to the carbon atoms. This makes the molecule unstable or that can be broken easily. Unsaturated fatty acids are of two types:
- Monounsaturated fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids are fatty acids that contain only one double bond.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are fatty acids that contain more than one double bond.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-9 fatty acids are the monounsaturated fatty acids. The number 3, 6, 9 refers to how many carbons away from the methyl end of the fatty acid chain does the double bond formed. If the double bond is formed 3 carbon atoms away, it is called omega-3 fatty acid, if it is six carbon atoms away it is called omega-6 fatty acids and if it is nine carbon atoms away, it is called omega-9 fatty acids.
Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 all form an important part of the human diet. It is important to eat the three fatty acids in the right proportion for maintaining a correct balance in the body; otherwise, these may lead to health issues.
The human body cannot make omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are, therefore called essential fatty acids. Thus, we have to obtain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the diet.
Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids produce many health benefits:
The most important health benefit of omega-3 fatty acid is that it improves heart health. It helps to increase the good cholesterol in the body and therefore, reduces blood pressure and the formation of arterial plaques.
- It also helps in reducing the mental symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
- It helps in reducing liver fat and promotes proper digestion. It promotes the normal functioning of the liver. It also helps in reducing the waist size naturally.
- It helps in boosting up the immune system and reduces the risk of recurrent inflammation in the body.
- It is good for promoting bone health. It reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Food sources of Omega-3 Fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include the following:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Health Benefits of Omega-6 Fatty acids
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids. This means that you have to obtain them from the diet and cannot be made by the body.
Omega-6 fatty acids provide energy to the body and help in reducing the inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids also reduce the risk of inflammation in the body.
Food sources of omega-6 fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids include the following:
- Soybean oil
- Cashew nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Corn oil
Health benefits of Omega-9 Fatty Acids
Omega-9 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which mean that the body can synthesize these fatty acids. Omega-9 fatty acids are the type of fatty acids available in most cells of the body.
Health benefits of omega-9 fatty acids
- It is found that omega-9 acids can largely reduce the triglycerides and very low-density lipoproteins in the blood.
- These fatty acids also help in reducing the inflammation and help in boosting up the immune system.
- These fatty acids also play an important role in improving metabolic health.
Food sources of Omega-9 Fatty Acids
Omega-9 is not an essential fatty acid as it is made by the body. Therefore, there is no need for eating too much of the foods containing omega-9 fatty acids. Still, important food sources are:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Almond oil
- Peanut oil
In conclusion, you can take the supplements for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to balance the fats in your body. Omega-9 fatty acids can be easily obtained from the diet and are made inside the body; therefore you can avoid taking any supplements. Choose the supplements containing either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid taking a combination.