Health BENEFITS of Omega-3 Fats:
- necessary for the repair phase of the immune system
- promote good brain function and mental health
- help reduce chronic inflammation
- assist in raising healthy HDL cholesterol
- help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
- assist in lowering blood pressure
- aid in preventing heart disease
- help lower insulin resistance
- improve leptin signaling in the brain
- aid in balancing hormones
- promote normal cell growth and development
- help increase dopamine levels
Foods HIGH in Omega-3 Fats (DHA & EPA):
- albacore tuna
- cod liver oil
- omega-3 eggs
Foods HIGH in Omega-3 Fats (ALA):
Things to KNOW About Omega-3 Fats:
Omega-3s fats are essential fatty acids because your body isn’t able to make them on its own. Therefore, you must include omega-3-rich foods in your diet to provide you with these extremely beneficial compounds.
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are typically found in seafood. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), is found in plant foods. ALA is a a precursor to DHA and EPA.
Your body can readily use dietary EPA and DHA. However, ALA (from plant foods) must be converted by the body into EPA and DHA before it can be used.
Your body can only convert small amounts of ALA into EPA and DHA. The body's ability to convert ALA into EPA and DHA is higher in women than in men and can also be affected by genetics. A healthy woman converts approximately 21% of dietary ALA into EPA and 9% into DHA. Men convert slightly less.
Vegans and vegetarians who do not eat seafood may be more efficient at converting ALA into EPA and DHA. Studies have shown that when the body is not getting adequate amounts of EPA and DHA, it tends to compensate by increasing its conversion rate of ALA into EPA and DHA.