Saturday, November 14, 2015

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

This year I decided to do some research on Omega 3 Fatty Acids, I had read some articles that mentioned the benefits for Heart Health, but I wanted to know more..  I learned that Omega 3 Fatty Acids do more that help our heart.

Omega 3s are important in the regulation of body functions like cell division and growth, blood clotting and muscle activity  They are important for brain development and function.They protect against heart attacks, strokes, and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, lupus, and asthma. 

They are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. 

Omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.   

Due to the link between low Omega 3 levels and depression, the American Psychiatric Association recommends eating more fist..  Among women, high fish intakes resulted in lower prevalence of postpartum depression as well as higher levels in breast milk.  Some research suggests that increased amounts of Omega 3 in the diet during pregnancy and lactation may improve an infant’s cognitive and visual development.

Emerging evidence also suggests that a higher level of omega3 fatty acid consumption may be associated with reducing the risk of bone loss, certain cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids help feed children's the brain and keep it healthy.  They are part of the process of building new cells — the key to developing the central nervous and cardiovascular systems and helping the body absorb nutrients. Omega 3 fats are also important for eye function in children.

Additionally, some research has shown omega 3 fats may help manage psychological and behavioral conditions because of their role in neurotransmitter function. Studies have shown omega 3 supplementation to have modest benefits on symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including impaired emotion processing and anti-social traits.

Other studies have linked poorer reading ability with low levels of a certain type of omega 3 fat in children, and supplementation was associated with improved memory function. Studies in Japanese children have shown fish intake to be inversely related to depressive symptoms. And the anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fats have also been studied as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from obesity to asthma to upper respiratory infections.

With all of these great benefits, why would we not make sure we had enough omega 3s?  The great news about Omega 3's is that they are readily available in fish.  The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week. Each serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids.  

Fish is easy to prepare and very tasty.  A great way to make a fast meal.  Watch this blg for future posts on preparing fish and other options for those who do not like fish.

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