Omega-3 fatty acids: Are some fish better than others?

cancer, diet, fatty acids, fish oil, heart disease, Olumia Life, omega-3, supplements

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You’ve likely heard of omega-3 fatty acids by now. They’re an important part of your overall health thanks to their ability to help prevent diseases and help keep you in shape, energetic and feeling great.

Why exactly is an acid good for you, though? It has to do with the semi-permeable membranes of the cells in your body. These membranes are responsible for letting nutrients in and letting waste products out. Without omega-3’s these membranes operate inefficiently.

When you get plenty omega-3’s in your diet, though, you can actually improve the composition of these membranes, causing them to produce more protective compounds and less inflammatory ones.

And?

Omega-3’s are good for you at a genetic level, too, by activating genes in your liver that decrease fat production and storage. It’s because your body more readily burns sugars you eat instead of storing them as fat that leads to feeling more energetic and keeping trim. On top of all that, this causes your body to become more Insulin Efficient, which leads to its own set of great benefits.

Because omega-3’s help to optimize your health at a cellular level, they help improve your cholesterol profile, protect your memory, may help stabilize heart rhythms, and play a role in preventing numerous diseases, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Macular degeneration (a common cause of blindness)
  • Stroke and many others

Are some better than others?

Yes. First off, there are different types of omega-3 fatty acids. The most beneficial one is readily available in marine animals. This includes fish, shrimp, clams and more exotic fare, like octopus and squid.

Some foods, like eggs and yogurt, may be fortified with omega-3’s. They’re fine, but not as helpful as natural sources.

Of course, saying you should eat more fish to get your omega-3’s is fine, but there is literally an ocean of choices in terms of which fish is best. A group of fish known as “oily fish” carry more omega-3’s than others, though all fish have some amount.

Remember, it’s always best to get fresh fish when possible. The most common oily fish around are:

  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Mahi mahi
  • Trout
  • Red snapper
  • Sardines
  • Tuna

Modern World and Modern Problems

Cultures with a traditionally high amount of fish in their diet, like Japan and the Inuit of Canada and Alaska, also have a low amount of heart disease compared to the U.S. That’s because they naturally eat a lot of omega-3’s.

Unfortunately, eating lots of fish can have its own problems, namely pollution. Because our oceans now contain higher-than-normal levels of mercury, so do our fish. Eating too much of some fish containing especially high amounts, like mackerel, swordfish, tilefish and shark, can cause adverse health effects.

OK, I’m sold; what’s next?

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in quite a few different foods. Aside from an array of fish and other seafood, omega-3’s are in

  • Flaxseed oil and fish oil
  • Many types of seeds, especially flaxseed and chia seeds
  • Nuts, like butternuts and walnuts
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Green, leafy vegetables

So how much fish am I going to have to eat?

Apart from a huge variety and different ways to serve them, fish don’t always have to be on the menu, though 2-4 servings weekly is a good goal. Olumia Life takes advantage of our natural desire to add variety to our diet by offering lots of ways to get your omega-3’s.

While a nice chicken breast for dinner offers great protein and other nutrients, it doesn’t have omega-3’s. You can still get the amount you need, though, by taking fish oil supplements.

Any day you aren’t having fish as an entree, or some other omega-3 source, is a good day for taking fish oil supplements. They offer a convenient way of getting nutrients that also helps keep you from eating so much seafood that you get sick of it.

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