Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy diet. As, according to studies, it reduces inflammation, And triglycerides in the blood are also a protective factor against the risk of developing dementia with age.
Although omega-3 is abundant in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. However, vegetarians can benefit from it as it is also found in vegetarian food sources.
Fatty acids are the main component of fats, whether for plants, animals, humans, or microorganisms. Fatty acids are defined as being composed of a series of even numbers of carbon molecules with hydrogen molecules present along the chain and terminating this chain with the carboxyl group “-COOH”.
- Since it is the carboxyl group that gives the acidity to this chain, when there are single bonds between carbon – carbon is a saturated fat, but if there are double or triple bonds between carbon – carbon is an unsaturated fat. It is rare to find fatty acids freely in nature. It is usually combined with glycerol “alcohol” in the form of triglycerides. There are different forms of fatty acids, including: stearic acid, which is found in vegetable oils such as shea butter and cocoa, palmitic acid which is found in palm oil, linoleic acid which is the omega-6 and linolenic acid which is omega-3, and in this article we will talk about omega-3 acids.
Sources of plant-based omega-3s
Here are 7 of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. According to what was stated on the “Daily Health Post” on health:
Flaxseeds contain an abundant amount of fiber, protein, magnesium, and manganese. Several studies have revealed that both flaxseed and flaxseed help reduce cholesterol. Lowering blood pressure, Treating and preventing obesity, And prevention of heart disease.
Several studies have confirmed that walnuts can help improve brain health because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. It contains one ounce of walnuts, or 28 grams. Contains more than 2,500 mg of omega-3 fats. As well as more than half of the daily recommended amount of copper and manganese, which are two of the most important minerals for the body.
Clinical studies have shown the benefit of walnuts in improving memory. General mental perception and the ability to learn.
Hemp seeds – omega-3
Hemp seeds are one of the plants most beneficial to human health. Each 30 grams contains about 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, it is rich in protein and fiber. Magnesium and iron.
One study revealed that hemp seeds prevented the formation of blood clots and helped the heart recover after a heart attack.
This oil is considered, It is extracted from the seeds of the perilla plant, which is often used in Korean cuisine as a condiment and cooking oil. Good source of omega-3 fatty acids, Each tablespoon of it, equivalent to 14 grams, contains approximately 9,000 mg of Omega-3. It can be used as a healthy alternative to cooking oils or on salads.
Brussels sprouts (young cabbage) – Omega-3
Unlike the aforementioned nuts and seeds, Brussels sprouts may not be rich in as much omega-3 fatty acids. It contains only 88 grams of it per cup. But it contains a high proportion of vitamin “K” and “C” and important dietary fiber for the body.
A recent study revealed that increasing the intake of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and others, Linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Chia seeds are probably the most well-known source of omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains a large proportion of fiber and protein.
One study revealed that a diet containing chia seeds and oats helps reduce triglycerides in the blood. And infections.
Just 28 grams of chia seeds meet the body’s recommended daily requirement of omega-3 fatty acids.
One of the popular plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids is algae oil extracted from algae. It contains a similar amount of acids as tuna and salmon.
Its types – omega-3 acids
Omega-3 is a beneficial and healthy fatty acid. Omega-3 acids can be found in marine plants or animals. Many studies have indicated that omega-3 is one of the nutrients of health benefit for the human body, The following are the types of omega-3s:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): This acid is one of the most well-known types of omega-3s, as it helps the body build chemical compounds related to blood clotting and inflammation, including: prostaglandin-3, thromboxane-2 and leukotriene-5, where fish get eosapentaenoic acid. Of the algae that you eat.
- DHA: DHA is found in the human body. It is the part of the sperm. The retina, which is one of the important parts of the eye, and this type of omega-3 fatty acid is also found in the cerebral cortex, which is part of the brain. Not only that, but it is found in many parts of the body in the heart and can be found in breast milk.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): This type of omega-3 fatty acid has 18 carbon molecules. Where this type can be converted into eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid, However, this process is often ineffective. Alpha-linolenic acid is used by the human body as an energy source.
What is the recommended daily amount of omega-3?
There is always a recommended amount of nutrients to be taken according to different ages, health status, and gender. However, there is still no specific recommendation for the daily amount of omega-3 as for other nutrients according to some categories. Omega-3 acids can be obtained from supplements such as fish oil. For every 1,000 milligrams of fish oil, 300 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are produced. The following is the recommended daily amount of omega-3:
- It is recommended to take 1,100 milligrams of omega-3s for healthy women. While men have 1,600 milligrams of omega-3.
- Taking 3,000 milligrams of fish oil each day is safe for healthy adults to take.
- Both eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are important nutrients for the normal development of a fetus. Especially in the last trimester of pregnancy, It is recommended that you take 300 mg of EPA and DHA per day, with 200 mg of DHA. If you take cod liver oil, 1 teaspoon of it gives 2501 IU of vitamin A, which is approximately 97% of the recommended amount during pregnancy.
- Adequate intake for infants up to one year of age is 500 mg and is gradually increased to the normal adult dose at age 14.
- Children aged 4 years should be given 100 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Whereas 8-year-olds need 200 milligrams.
- It is preferable to give fish liver oil to children because it provides them with Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E.
What are the health benefits of omega-3?
Omega-3 is an important nutrient for the health of the human body. It contributes to providing some health benefits for the body and the brain. It can be obtained either from the sources mentioned earlier in the article or from nutritional supplements. Here are the health benefits of omega-3:
Fights depression and anxiety: Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. Depression has many symptoms, including sadness, lethargy, and loss of interest in life. While anxiety is also a common disorder, its symptoms are limited to persistent anxiety and nervousness. Studies have stated that people who take omega-3s on a daily basis are less likely to suffer from depression. In addition, when people with depression and anxiety start taking omega-3s, their symptoms improve.
- Improves eye health: DHA is one of the omega-3s that is the largest component of the retinal structure of the eye, and when not taking enough DHA, vision problems may increase.
Improves brain health during pregnancy and early life: Omega-3 promotes brain growth and development in infants. Where the brain is made up of 40% of DHA, which helps eating omega-3 acids during pregnancy in improving intelligence, reducing children’s behavioral problems, and reducing the risk of developmental delay.
Improve heart disease risk factors: Taking caffeine from omega-3 has been linked with a number of important heart health benefits, including: It lowers blood pressure and improves the level of harmful cholesterol.
- Fights infections: Infections are the body’s natural first line defense against infection or the presence of damage in the body. But the presence of infections for a long period of time causes many health problems. As omega-3 acids contribute to reducing inflammatory-related molecules and substances such as cytokines.
Fights immune diseases: By immune diseases, what is meant is that the immune system mistakes between a healthy cell and a foreign cell and begins to attack it, Studies have shown that taking omega-3 in the first period of life contributes to the prevention of immune diseases.
Reduces triglyceride level: Where omega-3 can help reduce the level of triglycerides that cause heart disease.
What are the harms of omega-3 supplements?
When taking nutrients from nutritional supplements instead of taking them from foods, the body may experience some side effects. Also, omega-3 supplements, fish oil, and fish liver oil, too. Here are the harms of omega-3 supplements:
- Omega-3 supplementation may affect blood clotting and could interfere with medications responsible for conditions such as blood clotting.
- It may cause some side effects, especially digestive problems, including: Burping, Indigestion and diarrhea.
- Fish liver oil contains a high level of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. As high intake of it leads to poisoning.
- People with a fish or crusty seafood allergy may be at the same risk from taking fish oil.