Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Essay

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More and more research studies are finding that getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids is critical to our health in many ways. Omega-3 fats are essential for the survival of the human body, but our bodies can't manufacture them on their own, so we need to get them from the foods we eat. Good dietary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fish and seafood, like salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut, herring, algae and krill, plus some plants and nut oils such as flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, and walnuts and walnut oil.
Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), Omega-3s play a critical role in brain function and in normal growth and development.
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This diet includes very little meat, which is high in omega-6 fatty acids, and includes foods rich in Omega-3s such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, and garlic, and drinking wine in moderation. Numerous studies have shown that those who follow this type of diet are less prone to develop heart disease.
Omega-3s may also be beneficial for:
High cholesterol
Those on a Mediterranean-style diet are prone to have higher HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels, which help support heart health. Inuit Eskimos, who get plenty of Omega-3s from eating fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides, or fats in the blood. Research studies have shown that fish oil supplements reduce triglyceride levels. Finally, walnuts (that contain high levels of alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, which is type of Omega-3 fatty acid) have been reported to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in people who have high cholesterol levels.
High blood pressure
Studies have shown that people with hypertension were able to lower their blood pressure by consuming diets high in Omega-3 fatty acids or taking fish oil supplements. After analyzing the results of 17 clinical studies using fish oil supplements, researchers determined that taking 3 or more grams of fish oil per day may lower blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension.
Heart disease
One of the best ways to help prevent heart disease is to
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