Everywhere you turn today, there are articles, television commercials, radio advertisements and health care practitioners raising awareness about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids. With heart disease being the number one cause of death in America today, we are now more aware than ever before, of the necessity to get on top of our cardiovascular health.
The question a lot of us aren’t taking the time to ask however, is what exactly are omega 3 fatty acids? Clinical jargon can become intimidating, causing us to shy away from asking questions we think may be considered silly, or something ‘everybody else already knows about’.
In this article, I’ll give you some of the basic principles behind omega 3 fatty acids, and why they’re so pivotal in boosting your overall health and personal well being.
First of all, the omega 3 essential fatty acids are:
• ALA – Alpha-linolenic acid
• DHA- Docosahexaenoic acid
• EPA- Eicosapentaenoic acid
Those acronyms are enough to scare nearly anyone off. But they break down into a very simple explanation. The reason these three are considered essential fatty acids, is because they are not created naturally by the human body – and yet the human body depends on them in order to metabolize properly.
Many people try to supplement their omega 3 fatty acid in take by consuming fish on a semi regular basis. The problem associated with depending solely on dietary in take from the sea – lies in the fact that many fish are carrying toxins such as mercury, dioxin and PCBs. Flax seeds and algae also contain omega 3 fatty acids, but the amount we would need to consume in order to achieve our recommended omega 3 dietary in take, would be monumental.
The health benefits attached to achieving optimal omega 3 levels are incomprehensible. Omega 3’s have been heavily linked, through numerous medical studies and clinical trials – to the promotion of cardiovascular health and lowered triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood – that your body predominantly uses for energy. However, when we have high levels of triglycerides, they go unused and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, strokes, kidney disease and obesity. Yikes. You can see why omega 3’s are essential for heart health alone.
But that’s not all. Omega 3’s have the ability to reduce inflammation – rendering them essential for those suffering from joint pain due to arthritis, or injury.
Omega 3 fatty acids also show a positive effect on those suffering from depression. Omega 3’s have been proven to boost personal feelings of well-being, and even work alongside anti depressants – fighting the disease together.
DHA – one of the essential fatty acids found in omega 3’s – is currently being studied for ability to inhibit the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing inflammation.
When it comes to omega 3 essential fatty acids, the list of benefits is nearly endless. If you live a sustainable, organic lifestyle, it is possible to achieve your recommended omega 3 in take through dietary choices. For most of us however, with our daily lifestyles, and the American addiction to work, getting our nutrients strictly through diet – is difficult.
Omega-3 supplements are literally everywhere, and if you do your homework, they could be an incredible addition to your daily health care plan. There are supplements available on the market, whose manufacturers have taken the time and effort to ensure are of superior quality, concentration and purity.
I personally, use krill oil for my omega 3 supplementation. Krill are a crustacean very high in omega-3s, and packed with antioxidants because they also contain a powerhouse antioxidant called astaxanthin (an antioxidant well worth investigating I might note). What I also like best about choosing krill oil as my choice omega 3 supplement is that it’s sustainable. So I’m guilt free. And, I feel great.
I hope I answered any questions you did (or didn’t) have on omega 3 essential fatty acids. And I hope you feel great!