Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids help to maintain heart health and prevent cardiovascular disease by decreasing triglyceride levels, arterial plaque, and reducing blood pressure. Eating plenty of fish provides excellent sources of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, especially salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, and albacore tuna. Other foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include tofu, soybeans, canola, walnuts, and flaxseed. Dark green leafy vegetables are also a good source of this nutrient. Some good ways to include flaxseed in one’s diet is by sprinkling on cereal and salads or include in baked goods. To derive the most benefit when indulging in healthier foods, limit processed foods and animal products such as dairy and organ meats. Limit intake of foods that are high in calories but low in nutritional benefit such as french fries, fried chicken, chips, candy, soda pop, beer, refined grains such as crackers, cookies, and white bread.
Heart disease, depression, arthritis, diabetes, skin problems, allergies, and other diseases can be helped by eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Could a lack of fish oil in the diet contribute to the manifestation of depression that we see in society today? So many are diagnosed with depression and usually are treated with anti-depressant drugs. Allergy problems are another ailment that we see increasing today, especially in young children. According to research the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids help with allergies, brain function, skin disorders and inflammation. Inflammation in the body can lead to heart disease, arthritis, and other modern day ailments. These acids are also beneficial with the body’s immune system as well as helping with the inflammatory effect of digestive diseases.
The popularity of low-fat diets is quick becoming a fad of the past as medical research has brought some interesting findings to the surface. One of these is that our body needs fat in order to properly absorb nutrients, to keep cell membranes healthy, and for the health of the nervous system. It is wise to remember that too many fats added to one’s diet could result in weight gain, heart disease, and even cancer. The truly important thing to learn is the difference between good fats and bad fats along with the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids. Saturated fats are the bad culprits and are found in animal products including meat, dairy, and eggs. Trans fats are a result of scientists trying to find oil that would provide a longer shelf life for processed foods. Goods fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated choices that include canola oil, olive oil, fish oil, corn, safflower and sunflower oils and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Consider making a switch from dairy to soy for the added health benefits. Soy is one of the foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. It also is rich in protein and other vitamins and minerals. Soy reduces total cholesterol, including bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Other studies show benefits of soy for protection against breast cancer and alleviating symptoms associated with menopause. Soy products include tofu, milk, nuts, cheese, yogurt, and breakfast cereals. Soybeans contain fiber, helping the body with the metabolism of cholesterol. Soy is high in calcium and studies have shown that it benefits women in combating osteoporosis.
Taking fish oil supplements can provide benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids but nutritionists advise taking them as directed by a physician. It is important to choose the right supplements and not take the kind of supplements that have cod liver oil in them. Cod liver oil contains high levels of certain vitamins, such as A and D. When undecided about supplements get optimal benefits by eating fish at least twice per week and choose to bake or broil over frying. After the resurrection Jesus appeared to his disciples and ate with them. “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, ‘Have ye here any meat?’ And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat with them” (Luke 24:41-43).
Consumers today face concerns that weren’t a problem 2000 years ago when eating fish. The health benefits are numerous but it is important to find out about contaminant levels especially concerning mercury. Some recommendations are limiting the intake of Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish. Albacore tuna has been shown to contain more mercury than light canned tuna. Light canned tuna is one of the foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Mercury is a heavy metal that is released into the air through industrial means and can build up in streams and oceans where fish absorb it in the food they eat. There is more information online on recommendations as to different types of fish and safe guidelines on consumption. Become a wise consumer by doing some research and making healthy choices.