Written by Darlene Zagata in Nutrition
Viewed by 15 readers since 07-31-2009
Good nutrition can and does affect a person’s overall health. Although many people take vitamin supplements the best source of vitamins and minerals are found in certain foods such as fruits and vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are found primarily in sea organisms and plants. Omega-3s are referred to as essential fatty acids because the human body is unable to synthesize them which is why it is so important to obtain these fatty acids from food sources.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in our cell membranes. They are needed for body systems such as the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems to function at optimum performance. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked with the prevention of several health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. These essential fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, regulate metabolism and prevent cancer cell growth. Omega-3s have also been linked with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, fatigue, bipolar disorder and many more health conditions. They are helpful in lowering cholesterol, particularly high triglyceride levels. Omega-3s can also help boost immunity and are necessary for optimal functioning of the immune system.
So where can you find these amazingly healthful essential fatty acids? They are available to everyone simply by adding foods containing Omega-3s to your regular diet. Since sea organisms are a good source of essential fatty acids, salmon, cod, tuna and shrimp can be good additions to your diet. Dark, green leafy vegetables are another good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat plenty of vegetables such as kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Oils such as corn, sunflower, flaxseed and canola are also rich sources of omega-3 essential acids. Tofu, walnuts and soybeans are good sources of omega-3s as well.
Although supplements can be purchased to obtain essential fatty acids, they are most readily absorbed from food sources. If you feel you are not obtaining enough omega-3 fatty acids you may want to incorporate more omega-3 rich foods into your normal diet. If you are uncertain whether you should take a supplement you may want to consult your physician to see whether he/she thinks it is necessary. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are safe and normally well tolerated.
You can easily include more foods that contain omega-3 essential fatty acids into your diet by making a few simple adjustments. If you enjoy seafood, prepare a seafood meal a couple of times per month. Include a salad with your meals more often or simply replace a regular meal with salad. Use a cooking oil that contains omega 3s such as canola oil. Choose a healthy snack rich in essential fatty acids such as walnuts rather than chips and dip. Simple dietary changes can make a big difference in your overall health and well being. Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as several vitamins and minerals are necessary for optimal functioning of bodily systems. Give your body the necessary nutrients that it needs for good health and optimal performance. Eat healthy and get your omega-3 fatty acids.