Nutrition is the key to good health and good health is the prescription for a long and carefree life. To make the best of your body, you must choose the best of the nutrients. But you’ve gotta chase your way to attain it.
Omega-3 is one of the vital nutrients required for a nutritious balanced diet. A polyunsaturated fatty acid, Omega-3 is an known as an essential fatty acid as the human body doesn’t produce it and therefore, it has to be taken in through your diet.
How much omega-3 is necessary for a well-balanced diet?
Here is an insight to it. It is recommended that at least 2% of a normal adult’s calories per day should be in the form of omega-3 fats. This means that a person consuming 2000 calories per day would have to eat at least 2 grams of omega-3 fats. However, a few experts suggest that at least 4% of the total calorie consumption should consist of omega-3 fats.
Food Sources: A Toast To Prosperity
Food is the most easily available and the best significant source to obtain substantial amount of these in your body. So, if you are pondering over what are the food items that are required in your diet to have an optimum amount of omega-3, you don’t need to strain your brain.
Flax seeds and Walnuts
Walnuts and flax seeds are considered to have the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, flaxseed oil is the oil that contains the most omega-3 and consequently is very heat-sensitive. Just one quarter-cup of flaxseeds would give you about 6.3 grams of omega-3 while the same amount of walnuts would give you about 2.7 grams of omega-3. And if you consume mixed amounts of flax seeds and walnuts, you can easily have a consumption of 4 grams of omega-3, making them the best food items for increasing omega-3 fats.
Meat and Diary Products
Meat and diary products contain a significant amount of omega-3 fats, provided that the animals should have been fed grass. Food items obtained from grazing animals tend to have a higher amount of omega-3 fats while grain-fed animals have quite lower amount of fats.
Most kinds of beans such as soya beans, navy beans, kidney beans or tofu consist of a fairly significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of a cup of beans can provide you omega-3s between 200 and 1,000 milligrams (0.2 to 1.0 grams).
It is a well-known fact that fish and other seafood contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids. However, what is worth noting down is that farmed fish do not contain omega-3, rather ocean fish do. Plankton and algae are abundant sources of omega-3. Sardines, anchovies and Chinook salmon are good omega-3 sources. Oily fish has omega-3 in their flesh and fat, whereas less oily fish, such as cod store the omega-3 in the liver, which is toxic and hence, should be avoided.
Olive Oil and Rapeseed Oil
Olive oil is mainly made up of oleic acid which has anti-oxidating qualities and so, it can protect omega-3 from oxidation. ‘Extra Virgin’ is the highest quality of olive oil and has very low acidity. Another type, ‘Virgin’ oil is a slightly lower quality and has a bit more acidity content. Olive oil is recommended for cooking as it is quite heat-resistant as opposed to other omega-3 sources. Rapeseed oil has a higher content of omega-3 in it than olive oil.
A Word Of Caution
Oxygen, light and heat can easily damage omega-3. Henceforth, the food consisting of omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed raw in majority. Nevertheless, baking or broiling causes less nutrient loss in comparison to frying or boiling.
A Look At The Benefits
Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for health as they help to maintain and control blood clotting, build cell membranes and support the health of cells. Most importantly, they help reduce blood fats and cholesterol levels. If that wasn’t enough, omega-3 also curbs inflammation which could be the causal factor of several diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
Omega-3 vs Omega-6
A competent fatty acid, omega-6 however complicates the matter. Omega-6 is another polyunsaturated essential fatty acid requisite in our diet whose functions are complementary to omega-3. What’s distressing is that, as opposed to omega-3, omega-6 promotes inflammation and competes with omega-3 for metabolic activity. Also, what’s alarming is that omega-6 rates are higher in a normal human being, owing to their preferences of refined vegetable oil.
Eating the right kind of food with the right nutrients is sure to promote your health. So, what are you waiting for? Switch over to a healthy lifestyle.