Omega Fatty Acids: Benefits of Omega-3; Omega-3/Omega-6 Balance

What are Omega Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are crucial acids that are very beneficial for our health. In this article, we will discuss the main benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. We will also concentrate on Omega 3 foods and Omega-3/Omega-6 balance.

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Omega-3 is very beneficial for health and it is good for many diseases. The body can not produce itself omega-3 like omega-6. Then you must take it through foods.

The body’s need for Omega-3 begins in the womb and this need continues in childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. If expectant mothers take enough Omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation period, this accelerates the development in infants.

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New researches reveal that adequate intake of Omega-3 during pregnancy reduces the risk of preterm birth in expectant mothers. In addition, it was observed that the rate of post-partum depression and memory impairment in mothers was lower than those who did not take Omega-3.

How Much Omega-3 Do We Need?

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends children aged 2-18 to take 250 mg (EPA + DHA) Omega-3 a day. Healthy adults are recommended to take at least 250-500 mg daily, as well.

What are the Benefits of Omega-3?

Researches in adults show that Omega-3 prevents inflammation in the body and strengthens the immune system. It also protects cell walls and prevents malignant cholesterol (LDL).

Other benefits of Omega-3 can be listed as follows:

  • Protects heart health, balances cholesterol level
  • Prevents asthma in young people and especially children.
  • Balances blood sugar
  • Significantly reduces the level of triglycerides in the blood
  • Reduces muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Helps treat digestive ailments like ulcers
  • Good for depression and stress
  • Prevents forgetfulness and dementia diseases related to old age

In Which Foods Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids Available?

Omega 3 fatty acids are mostly found in fish meat, dark green leafy vegetables and walnuts. However, make sure that the fish are of the species that do not contain toxic metals such as lead cadmium and mercury.

Other foods with omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • Avocado
  • Soybean and its oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Wheat Seed Oil
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed

How Should Omega-3 Omega-6 Balance Be?

omega fatty

The functions of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are very different from each other. Omega-6 has pain-stimulating, inflammatory, coagulating and cell-reproducing properties, and these are essential for the body. For example; by creating inflammation, the body removes foreign substances. By providing coagulation, it stops bleeding.

On the contrary, Omega-3 has blood thinning, balancing cell proliferation and anti-inflammatory effects.

Therefore, Omega-3 / Omega-6 balance is so important. Doctors generally recommend giving priority to Omega-3 fatty acids. But, the most ideal one is 1/1. In any case, Omega-6 intake should not exceed 4 times the Omega-3 intake.

If you disturb the balance between these two, unfortunately it is disrupted against Omega-3. In other words, the properties of Omega-6 fatty acids begin to outweigh. This means more risk of coagulation, increased inflammation, and pain, cell division (probability of cancer).

The foods given in this list are valid for healthy people. If you have any health condition, consult your doctor before consuming these foods. 

Related Post: Daily Omega – 6 Need; Foods Containing Omega-6 fatty acids

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