Health Benefits of Essential Omega Oils
Omega Oils and the Essential Role they Play in the Body
You eat healthy right? At least you think you do; however, even the healthiest of eaters are typically missing one very key element in their diet, Omega-3 oils. Omega oils are essential for the body yet most people have a tough time incorporating them in their diet on a regular basis. Most people already know this but there is a such thing as good fat and omega-3's are one of them.
Saturated Fat vs. Polyunsaturated Fat
One of the main reasons why omega-3's are what we call a "good" fat is because it is a polyunsaturated fat not a saturated fat. A polyunsaturated fat is sometimes referred to as an oil rather than a solid because its chemical structure allows it to move more freely and is therefore not solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is made up of fatty acid chains with all single bonds making it a more stable structure resulting in a solid product at room temperature. It is because of this solid, inflexible structure that makes it more unhealthy for our bodies. The loose, flexible chemical bonds in a polyunsaturated fat makes it easy for the body to use appropriately without the risk of clotting or clogging. Saturated fats are much more firm and therefore more likely to cause clots and blockage of the arteries.
Health Benefits of Omega Oils
So we know that Omega oils are a polyunsaturated fat making them a healthy form of fat for the body to use but why are they healthy for our bodies? Omega oils are essential for the human body in many different ways including, blood flow regulation, anti-inflammatory responses and brain development.
Blood Flow Regulation
One of the most important functions of omega oils in the human body is the ability to aid in blood cell formation and regulation of blood flow. Omega oils have the capability to reduce the amount of triglycerides in blood cells making them more healthy and less likely to clot. When a blood cell has too many fatty acids, or triglycerides, present that is when blood clots begin to form in and around the heart leading to heart disease, strokes and even fatal heart attacks. Since heart disease is currently the number one cause of death in Americans today, it is important to stay informed and eat nutrients that can help you avoid this imminent statistic.
Omega-3's Anti-inflammatory Responses
Another essential role that the omega oils plays in the human body is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Omega oils have the ability to suppress inflammation responses all throughout the body making it a key nutrient in a healthy diet. Many diseases and ailments that people experience are actually due to inflammation. Major diseases such as asthma, arthritis and even crohns disease are all a product of inflammatory responses. It is believed that inflammation occurs when the blood cells get saturated with long chain fatty acids and therefore begin to allow more fluid into the permeable cell membrane, omega oils are the buffer to that fluidity. The Omega oils enter the blood cell and balance out the fluid content allowing the cell to release excess fluid and therefore reducing inflammation. Some other major ailments that many people experience such as diabetes, migraines, muscle pain, and even Alzheimer's disease can all be linked to internal swelling and inflammation. That is another reason why omega oils are so important to a healthy human body, and should be made a primary concern in the diet.
Brain Health and Development
Omega oils can be grouped into three different types, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is commonly found in nuts and seeds and EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish such as salmon and Mackerel. All three types are important nutrients for the body but the ones that are known for improving brain function and development are DHA and EPA. Omega oils play a huge rule in brain health from infancy on up. It has been studied that pregnant woman who took significant amounts of fish oil throughout their pregnancy ended up with children who scored higher on test scores and were regarded as being more intelligent than the average child. DHA and EPA also have the anti-inflammatory property which makes it great for on-going brain health. Swelling in the brain is a dangerous symptom to have which leads to many different ailments, such as migraines and could result in brain failure if enough oxygen is suppressed. DHA and EPA have the ability to reverse this dangerous brain swelling and keep the brain healthy. It has also been said that EPA and DHA are important for people with memory loss and could aid in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Although it has not yet been proven to prevent or reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease, it has in fact been proven to treat mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in patients whom experienced trauma to the head or normal age-related brain degeneration.
Food Sources Containing Omega Oils
So you now know the importance of omega oils and how crucial they are for normal body functions and health, but how can you be sure you are getting the appropriate amount of omega oils daily? Some easy ways to make sure you receive a healthy amount of omega oils in your diet is to incorporate more fish, nuts and seeds in your diet. Salmon is especially high in omega 3's and is a great way to get the omega oils that you need into your diet. Salmon is readily available at the seafood section in the grocery store, and relatively easy to prepare. If you aren't a fan of salmon try adding some mackerel or herring into your weekly food choices. If you aren't a big fish eater or do not like fish another way to get the omega oils into your diet is through canola cooking oil, just use canola oil when pan frying or roasting vegetables instead of whatever other oil you may have been using. You can also add more nuts and seeds into your diet as well in order to get more omega oils into your daily diet. Make snack packs with a trail mix including walnuts, different types of seeds and dried fruit this is a fun easy way to get the omega's you need even on the go. Another great food item you can use to help get your omega's into your diet is soybeans. Soybeans contain about 1240 mg of omega-3's and are also a great protein alternative. Instead of cooking a fatty steak to top off your salad, try adding roasted soybeans or even just plain soybeans with a little sea salt, they taste great and are an easy source of omega-3's.
When to Turn to Supplements
Although, it is always important to try to get the nutrients you need from natural food sources in your diet, if you just can't seem to find a way to incorporate these foods into your daily diet regiment, it might be time to think about supplements instead. You can buy omega-3 supplements at a reasonable price if you buy in bulk, and just make sure to keep them somewhere where you will remember to take them everyday to ensure you are getting these important omega 3 fish oils that you body needs. Remember, omega oils are extremely important for you body so don't wait to start adding them to your diet, do it today!