Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Essential For Healthy Brain Function
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are essential compounds for human health and growth. There are three of these compounds that have particular effect on your health: Alpha linolenic acid or ALA, eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. Optimal function of the human brain depends on presence of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are essential building materials for the brain during development and crucial to proper brain function and maintenance. These fatty acids improve communication between the cells and are the main ingredient for making myelin sheaths, a protective membrane covering tissue connecting neurons. Deficiencies can lead to hyperactivity, attention deficiency disorder (ADD), dyslexia, violence, depression, memory loss and various behavioral disorders.
DHA is an important constituent of the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain that are intricately associated with attention management and mood balancing. During child development the brain forms new neural pathways to facilitate learning. DHA is the critical component of the delicate neural synapses. In the absence of Omega 3 in the blood stream, the brain uses other types of fat to synthesize DHA. However, the shapes of trans-fat molecules and omega 3 molecules are not the same and therefore lead to imperfect construction of the synapses. The neural network gradually becomes deformed ultimately leading to the development of learning, memory and behavioral disorders.
Other Body Benefits
Omega 3's have been also shown to have wide ranging effects on the body. Studies suggest that Omega 3's impact: cholesterol levels (lowering LDL or 'bad cholesterol' and increasing HDL or 'good cholesterol'), coronary health, the immune system, developmental health, skin, fatigue and Cancer!
Choosing Foods With Omega 3
The body cannot synthesize its own Omega 3 fatty acids. But it can synthesize alpha linolenic acid into all the other Omega 3's the body needs. So when looking for sources of Omega 3's make sure to choose foods high in alpha-linolenic acid. Below are fantastic natural sources of Omega 3's that are found in vegetables and fish but nowadays all kinds of foods are being fortified with Omega 3's such as eggs, chicken, bread, milk etc.
- Salmon - Wild is better than farmed.
- Albacore Tuna
Vegetables and Nuts
- Olives/Olive Oil
- Flax Seed/Oil
- Hemp Seed/Oil
- Canola Seed/oil
- Pumpkin Seed/Oil
- Soybean oil
- Walnut Nuts/Oil
Add Omega 3 To Your Diet
With all it's positive effects on the body and especially the brain, it's a shame that North Americans do not get enough Omega 3 Fatty Acid in their diets. Research has proven that a diet rich in Omega 3's can be beneficial in numerous ways. Try to make some different choices in your diet to regularly include more dark green, leafy vegetables and/or more fish to increase your intake of natural Omega 3 fatty acid. If you just can't bring yourself to eat more veggies and fish, there are various supplements available that make it easy to get more Omega 3 into your diet.
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