The Powerful Health Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/21/2006 | Food & Drink
Adding fats to your diet is essential if you want to live a healthy lifestyle that results in feeling and looking great, but it has to be the right kind of fats. Essential fatty acids fall within this category and are a crucially important addition to anyone's diet.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are made up of two components: DHA (which stands for docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
The best source of DHA and EPA are fish, especially salmon, seaweed, shellfish and algae. Furthermore, you can also get omega-3's from unrefined whole grains, dark & leafy greens and certain nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. This second group contains ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which your body then converts to EPA and DHA.
Your best bet, however, is to get your omega-3's from seafood because your body converts only about 15 percent of dietary ALA to EPA and much less to DHA.
What do you do if you don't like, and absolutely refuse to eat, seafood? Well, fortunately you can get omega-3's in capsule form. Not everyone's stomach can handle these capsules, but try them out for one month. It's an extremely convenient way to add omega-3's to your diet.
When purchasing omega-3's in pill form, you'll notice some products also contain the other two components of essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-9. Stick with the products that contain only high amounts of omega-3's. Most people already get high amounts of these two fatty acids from their diet, and it's this lack of omega-3's that is potentially the culprit behind many health problems today.
When adding omega-3's to your diet through pills, look for 1,000 mg pills and take 3-9 per day with food depending on your current health status and healthy living goals. Your physician should be able to consult with you about this.
So now you have a good introduction into omega-3 fatty acids and the different ways to add them to your diet, but what are the health benefits associated with them?
Plenty! Here's a quick list and you can also easily do some research by searching for "benefits of omega-3" in your favorite search engine.
- stabilizes blood sugar levels and lowers insulin levels
- boosts your immune system
- encourages your body to burn fat and decreases appetite
- improves your mood and attention span
- reduce inflammation
- improve your skin tone and radiance
If the above doesn't get you excited about this proven, inexpensive and easy-to-get fatty acid supplement, then check your pulse!
It's an addition to your diet that will help improve your health by leaps and bounds.