Most people have heard about the necessity of including omega-3 fats in their diets, but they are unsure of the food sources that supply them. Busy work schedules and long days tempt people to eat quick and easy meals from a fast food restaurant or pre-made dinners from the freezer. A steady diet of “manufactured” foods can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as a lack of essential omega-3 fats.
Why Do You Need Omega-3 Fats?
Omega-3 fats are essential to good heart health. The inclusion of omega-3 rich foods in the diet are believed to considerably lower the risk of fatal heart attacks. Over the centuries, the human diet has changed drastically. The hunter-gatherers who subsisted on their hunting and fishing skills along with the natural plant life they gathered, had a diet that contained a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats.
Most of the food they consumed was low in total fat and saturated fat. As humans have become more dependent on manufactured foods, including vegetable oils and margarine, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is out of balance from the original 2:1 to 10-20:1.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fats
The primary benefit of omega-3 fats is improved heart health. Your cardiovascular health benefits from lower blood pressure, fewer triglyceride concentrations, and an improved endothelial function, which promotes the growth of new blood vessels.
Omega-3 fats also contribute to healthier and stronger bones, protection against both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, reduced risk of Crohn’s disease, and lessens the chance of developing autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and nephropathy.
Medical research has determined omega-3 fats assist in promoting the growth of new blood vessels and are antiarrhythmic, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and anti-inflammatory. Some research suggests omega-3 fats also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Foods Containing Omega-3 Fats
The foods listed here contain natural omega-3 fats. Avoid processed foods that have “added” omega-3 fats.
- Flaxseed oil
- Flaxseed (whole or ground)
- Chia seeds
- Radish seeds (sprouted or raw)
- Tuna fish
These are just a few of foods containing omega-3 fats, and the list starts with items containing the highest quantity. An online search will provide you with many more foods, and you are sure to find some you will enjoy adding to your diet.
Omega-3 fats are necessary for good heart function and health. If you haven’t been getting an adequate supply in your diet, start adding omega-3 fat-rich foods to your daily meals. Your whole body will benefit from this essential food element.