USE: Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. We need them for our bodies to work normally. Because essential fatty acids (ALA,DHA,EPA) are not made in the body or are inefficiently converted from ALA to EPA and DHA, we need to get them from our diet. Omega-3s are thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body -- in the blood vessels, the joints, and elsewhere. There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids. Two crucial ones -- EPA and DHA -- are primarily found in certain fish. Plants like flax contain ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is partially converted into DHA and EPA in the body. Experts say that DHA and EPA -- from fish and fish oil -- have better established health benefits than ALA. DHA and EPA are found together only in fatty fish and algae. DHA can also be found on its own in algae, while flaxseed and plant sources of omega-3s provide ALA.
Omega 3 keeps your blood from clotting excessively (consult your doctor if you are on anti-coagulants before you start taking Omega 3 supplements), maintains the fluidity of your cell membranes, lowers the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream, decreases platelet aggregation, prevents excessive blood clotting, inhibits thickening of the arteries, allows arteries to relax and dilate, reduces the inflammatory response associated with atherosclerosis, reduces the risk of becoming obese and improve the body's ability to respond to insulin and helps prevent cancer cell growth.
SOURCE: Great sources include salmon, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, tofu, collard greens, olive oil and Avocado.
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