OMEGA-3, also known as, omega-3 fatty acids or ω−3 fatty acids or n−3 fatty acids are a crucial nutrient for overall health. OMEGA-3 fatty acids fall under the category of PUFA, i.e., POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS. In contrast to trans-fats and saturated fats, they are considered as healthy fats.
There are two bonds present in a molecule of Omega-3 fatty acid-one with a Carboxylic end (-COOH) and other with a Methyl end (-CH3).
Human physiology requires 3 kinds of Omega-3 Fatty Acids to function properly which are as follows:-
- α-linolenic acid (ALA)– These are found in plant oils.
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)– These are found in marine oils, and
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)– These are also found in marine oils.
The human body cannot produce OMEGA-3 of its own. So, we have to consume OMEGA-3 from external means.
BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS can provide an array of health benefits to a body. Some of them are:-
- Omega-3 can improve heart health. It helps in blood circulation as well as aid in the breakdown of Fibrin which is one of the main reasons for blood clotting.
- Omega-3 can help in preventing many chronic diseases like Cancer (especially BREAST and COLON CANCER).
- Omega-3 can contribute in reducing the levels of Triglycerides in the body.
- Omega-3 is said to be a boon to human heart. It lowers blood pressure in the body.
- Many studies have shown that people with low levels of Omega-3 are suffering from DEMENTIA. Thus, Omega-3 can prevent the occurrence of DEMENTIA if taken in adequate amount.
- A proper amount of OMEGA-3 can prevent ADHD and ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE.
- Omega-3 consumption can help prevent inflammation.
SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID
The human body cannot produce Omega-3 on its own. The best source of Omega-3 Fatty acid is Fish. Fish oil has Omega-3 in abundance. Some other good sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid are:-
- Cod Liver Oil: 2.664 mg in 1 tablespoon (66 percent DV)
- Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 mg in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
- Alaskan Salmon (wild-caught): 1,716 mg in 3 ounces (42 percent DV)
- Atlantic Mackerel: 6,982 mg in 1 cup cooked (174 percent DV)
- Egg Yolks: 240 mg in 1/2 cup (6 percent DV)
- Chia Seeds: 2,457 mg in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
- Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 mg in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
- Walnuts: 2,664 mg in 1/4 cup (66 percent DV)
- Herring: 1,885 mg in 3 ounces (47 percent DV)
- Albacore Tuna: 1,414 mg in 3 ounces (35 percent DV)
Vegetarians can take supplements of Omega-3 to fulfill the daily requirements as per RDA. They can also keep Brussels Sprouts, Algal Oil, Hemp Seeds, etc. in their diet plan.
USAGE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID
According to AHA, 3 grams or 3000 mg of fish oil daily in supplement form is considered to be safe. If you want to take more than that or if you are suffering from any disease, then you should contact a doctor first.
SIDE-EFFECTS OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 is great in terms of the benefits it provides but there are some side-effects of consuming Omega-3. Below is a list of some of those:-
- Burping becomes common if you are consuming Omega-3.
- Your mouth can smell bad as if you have just eaten a fish.
- Your tongue may have a fishy taste after Omega-3 consumption.
- Bloating and Nausea can occur.
- Serious Allergic reactions can occur but it is very rare.
- Heartburn is another side-effect of intake of too much Omega-3.
To know more, please visit: Omega-3 Benefits, Including for Heart and Mental Health – Dr. Axe and Omega-3 fatty acid