Healthy Eating : How to Get Omega-3 Without Fish Oil
10 Vegetarian Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). In chemical terms, polyunsaturated fatty acids have two ends mainly carboxylic acid: the beginning of the chain (also known as alpha) and methyl groups at the tail end (also known as Omega).
Omega fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. There are three main types of omega fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids:Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids for the cardiovascular system. There are two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: short chain and long chain.
- Short-chain fatty acids:They are classified as essential fatty acids because our body cannot synthesize them. Our bodies derive long-chain fatty acids from these short chain fatty acids. Hence, we need to get short-chain fatty acids from food. Short-chain fatty acids are also utilized as fuel.
- Long chain fatty acids:These are commonly known as EPA and DHA. EPA stands for Eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic acid. DHA maintains the structure of the cell membrane while EPA acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Both EPA and DHA promote heart and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to cross the blood-brain barrier and thus help to maintain brain health.
Omega-6 fatty acids:Omega-6 fatty acids are also classified into essential fatty acids since our body cannot synthesize these fatty acids.
The key to cardiovascular health is the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Too much omega-6 is not healthy, so their levels are decided by the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.
However, when it comes to ranking the type of omega fatty acids, the number one healthiest choice is the omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-7 fatty acids:Omega-7 fatty acids are synthesized by our body. Thus they are not classified as essential.
Omega-9 fatty acids:They are also classified as non-essential fatty acids.
Omega-7 and omega-9 fatty acids are more heat-stable than omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Video: Nutrition : How to Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3
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