With all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs Americans take today, it’s hard to pinpoint what our bodies actually need. We can all agree that keeping our hearts strong will lead to a longer, healthier life. Omega-3 fatty acids provide excellent support for overall heart health, but our bodies do not produce Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids.
We must get these through our diet or through fish oil supplements. Flaxseed, walnuts, salmon, and soy are all rich in omega-3 fats. High levels of omega-6 fats are found in turkey, safflower oil, and many processed foods.
Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure, help prevent cancer cell growth, increase energy levels, and improve proper brain function. Additionally, there is evidence in aiding with:
- ADHD: Studies show improvements in cognitive function in children and concentration in lab testing.
- Depression: Cultures that have a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have lower levels of depression.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids reduce stiffness and joint pain in patients.
- Asthma: Increasing omega-3 in the diet decreases inflammation; studies show reduction of Asthmatic symptoms in children.
Omega-6 fats may not get as much recognition as omega-3 fats, but they are equally good. They help the nervous system run smoothly, and they also aid in cell growth, which is crucial for brain and muscle development. Because omega-6 fats are found in many processed foods, the average western diet gets an improper balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fats.
On this diet, it is uncommon to have an omega-6 deficiency. Adding more omega-3’s to your daily diet, however, is an easy way to keep your heart and body happy. Although fish oil supplements are an adequate source of omega-3 fats, these fats are better absorbed from foods.
Great sources for Omega-3 fats:
- Brussels sprouts