Omega Fatty Acids Guide
Everything You Need to Know About Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are the third most popular supplement category sold in the United States, behind only vitamins and minerals. Omega fatty acids are connected to a wide range of health benefits and may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and even arthritis.
Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acids
But most of us don’t know very much about omega fatty acids. Today, I’m going to explain why you should consider adding Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acid supplements to your diet.
What Is Omega 3?
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely popular. A recent study indicated that 37% of Americans had taken an omega-3 supplement for health reasons. Another study indicated that the risk of a sudden cardiac death was reduced by 50% among heart attack survivors who took daily omega-3 supplements for three years.
Most importantly, 100% of people cannot synthetize omega-3 fatty acids (or other essential fatty acids) on their own. We need to ingest essential fatty acids to stay healthy.
Now that you know those statistics, let’s figure out what omega-3 actually is.
Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat found in fish oil, nuts, leafy vegetables, and certain types of eggs. It’s categorized as three different types of acids, including an eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
The first two acids, EPA and DHA, are primarily obtained from fish oil. EPA has been linked to good heart health, while DHA has been linked to good brain, nerve, and eye health. ALA is a plant-based acid which could reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Where Does Omega 3 Come From?
You probably already get a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids every day. Here are some of the most common omega-3 food sources:
— Cold Water Fish Like; Salmon, Mackerel, Cod, And Sardines
— Omega-3 Eggs
— Vegetables Oils
— Leafy Vegetables
— Red Meats
How Does Omega 3 Work?
Omega-3 is an integral part of the cell membrane. It plays a role in a number of bodily functions, including blood clotting, digestion, and muscle contraction. It also impacts the function of cell receptors and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Together, these functions reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They’ve also been shown to help lower blood pressure, enhance blood vessel functionality, and lower triglycerides.
There are plenty of scientific studies which have linked omega-3 to a reduced risk of other diseases, although more research is required before these claims are credible.
Are Omega 3s Safe?
Omega-3s are safe and well-tolerated in most clinical studies. In high doses, however, they may interfere with certain blood thinning medications or anti-hypertension drugs. Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
Additionally, omega-3s are not totally free from side effects. Certain omega-3 supplements have been linked to upset stomachs, indigestion, heartburn, and bloating. However, they’re typically very safe to use.
Omega 6 and Its Benefits
Omega-6 is another essential fatty acid. Like omega-3, it plays a critical role in important bodily functions. While omega-3s target the heart, omega-6s primarily affect the brain.
Omega-6 fatty acids are so essential that being deficient in omega-6s leads to some serious health problems. Omega-6 deficiencies can cause infertility, infection, and a severely weakened immune system, for example.
Now here’s the good news: the majority of Americans get enough omega-6s in their daily diet. That’s because omega-6s are found in all of the following foods:
— Sunflower Oil
— Safflower Oil
— Corn Oil
— Cottonseed Oil
— Soybean Oil
— Egg Yolks
— Red Meat
Why You Need to Balance Omega-6s and Omega-3s in Your Diet
Achieving a balanced diet with Omega-6s and Omega-3s is extremely important. When these two fatty acids are balanced, it promotes healthy hair and skin growth while also boosting your metabolism and reproductive capabilities.
So how do you achieve that perfect balance? Nutritionists recommend aiming for a ratio between 2:1 to 4:1, referring to the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. So for every one part of omega-6 in your diet, you should have between 2 to 4 parts of omega-3.
Interestingly enough, the average American consumes 25 times more omega-6 than omega-3. That’s why omega-3 supplements are so popular: they balance out that ratio and help you achieve a healthier diet.
Omega 9 and Its Benefits
Most people have heard of omega-3s and omega-6s. But many people are unaware there’s another fatty acid called omega-9.
Omega-9 fatty acids, like omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, are composed of chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Omega-9 has a different molecular configuration, which is why it has different health benefits. Omega-9s are typically found in vegetable oils and come from a family of unsaturated fats.
One of the key differences between omega-9 and other fatty acids is that our bodies produce omega-9 fatty acids on their own. However, our bodies typically don’t produce enough, so it’s beneficial to supplement your diet with foods rich with omega-9.
Common sources of omega-9s include:
— Canola Oil
— Olive Oil
— Peanut Oil
— Safflower Oil
— Sunflower Oil
— Macadamia Nuts
Omega-9s come with a number of valuable benefits. They’ve been shown to protect against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, for example.
Omega-9s do this by raising “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels while lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels. At the same time, they also blast plaque buildup from the arteries, which further reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Omega 3-6-9 Supplements
You can walk into any health food store and buy omega-3, omega-6, or omega-9 supplements. They’re easy to take and well-tolerated by most individuals. As mentioned above, you should talk to your doctor before taking omega supplements, especially if you’re already taking blood pressure medication, blood thinners, or similar pharmaceuticals for your cardiovascular health.
But who has time to take three omega supplements every morning? If you’re looking for a more convenient way to take all three essential omega acids, consider buying an Omega-3-6-9 supplement, which simply combines all three fatty acids into one easy-to-take capsule.
Benefits of Omega Supplements
Whether you’re taking omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, or all three, you can enjoy a wide range of health benefits.
Here are some of the suggested benefits of omega fatty acids:
— Reduce Your Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease
— Prevent Stroke
— Prevent Diabetes
— Enhance Healthy Nerve Functionality
— Improve Vitamin Bioavailability
— Enhancing The Effects Of Other Supplements
— Improve Immune System Functionality
— Promote Healthy Cell Development
All of the above benefits apply to all omega fatty acids. As mentioned above, certain fatty acids, like omega-6 have additional effects. Omega-6, for example, improves overall brain health and can also boost your eyesight.
Ultimately, your body cannot synthetize essential fatty acids on its own. You need to ingest them yourself either by eating certain foods or taking certain supplements. With all of the benefits of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 listed above, isn’t it time you started taking an omega supplement?