Wellness Blog: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The importance of these essential fats

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fats that our body does not produce naturally, but can be consumed by the foods we eat. Foods high in Omega-3 include: 

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·         Fish/fish oil supplements

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·         Vegetable oils

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·         Nuts (especially walnuts)

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·         Flax seeds/flaxseed oil

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·         Leafy vegetables

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·         Omega-3 supplements

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Why Omega-3 fats are considered an essential contribution to our health:

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·         They are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body

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·         They affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes

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·         They bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function

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·         They provide a foundation for making hormones that regulate:

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 Blood clotting

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 Contraction and relaxation of artery walls

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 Inflammation

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            Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been                 shown to help:

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  •      prevent heart disease and stroke
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  •      help to control lupus, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis
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  •      play a protective role in cancer and other conditions
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Research:

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The strongest evidence regarding the effect of omega-3 fats has to do with heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids appear to help the heart beat at a steady pace and prevent dangerous or potentially fatal irregular rhythms. Such arrhythmias cause most of the 500,000-plus cardiac deaths that occur each year in the United States. Omega-3 fats have also been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and, at higher doses, lower triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids may also aid in easing inflammation, which plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis.

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Reference: Leaf A. Prevention of sudden cardiac death by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Cardiovasc Med. (Hagerstown). 2007; 8 Suppl 1:S27-29

2015-08-24T14:25:14+00:00 Uncategorized|