Omega 3, omega-6, and omega-9 are important fatty acids with immense health benefits. However, the benefits that you can gain from consuming these essential dietary fats rely on maintaining a healthy balance between them. An imbalance of dietary fats can even result in chronic diseases.
This article refers to the omega-3-6-9 benefits, their food sources, and the role of omega-3-6-9 supplements. As omega-3 is considered the most significant among all three, let's explore more about omega-3 fatty acids in the next section.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important type of polyunsaturated fat that your body cannot produce. As your body cannot produce these fats, they are known as essential fats suggesting that you have to rely upon your diet to get these fats.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you need to take at least two portions of fish every week to meet your body’s omega-3 requirements. Omega-3 fats are an important part of human cell membranes that fulfill many important roles in the body.
There are different types of omega-3 fats containing different chemical shapes and sizes. The three common types of omega-3 fats are:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) makes eicosanoids, the chemical that helps overcome inflammation. EPA may also help minimize the symptoms of depression.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) constitutes about 8% of brain weight and plays a crucial role in brain function and development.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) supports the immune system, heart, and nervous system and can be easily converted into EPA and DHA.
Benefits of Omega-3
Omega-3 ensures smooth functioning of many important body functions as discussed below:
- Ensuring Heart Health: Omega-3 fatty acids ensure heart health by managing your blood pressure levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
- Reducing Liver Fat: According to research, consuming an adequate amount of omega-3 fats can help reduce the fat in your liver.
- Fighting Inflammation: Research suggests that Omega-3 fats play a crucial role in fighting inflammation caused due to chronic diseases.
- Maintaining Healthy Body Weight: Omega-3 fats can also help manage body weight and reduce waist circumference; however, more studies are needed to support this claim.
- Helps Overcome Mental Health Issues: Omega-3 fats can help minimize or prevent the episodes of depression, psychosis, and Parkinson's diseases among individuals at risk of facing these issues.
- Supports Infant Brain Development: Research suggests that omega-3 fats play a significant role in the brain development of a fetus.
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What Are Omega-6 Fats?
Omega-6 fatty acids are also polyunsaturated fatty acids and are essential fats that you need to get from your diet. The main purpose of omega-6 is to provide energy. Linoleic acid is the most common omega-6 fat that your body can easily convert into arachidonic acid (AA), the longer omega-6 fats.
While AA also produces eicosanoids, the eicosanoids that it produces are usually pro-inflammatory. Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are crucial for the immune system. But, too many pro-inflammatory eicosanoids can increase the risk of inflammatory diseases.
Is Omega-6 Beneficial?
Omega-6 is beneficial for the body as it has been shown to reduce the symptoms of chronic diseases. Moreover, Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a type of omega-6 fat found in oils like borage oil and evening primrose oil, can be converted into dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), another fatty acid.
According to research, both GLA and DGLA offer health benefits. For instance, GLA can help reduce signs of inflammatory diseases. Another study suggests that omega-6 supplements can also help reduce fat mass.
While omega-6 fats have other benefits, as discussed above, their main role is in providing energy. Besides, the role that omega-3 plays in ensuring important body functions far outweighs that of omega-6 fats.
What Are Omega-9 Fatty Acids?
Omega-9 fats have only one double bond instead of omega-3 and omega-6 that contains many double bonds; therefore, they are monounsaturated.
The most common type of omega-9 fat is oleic acid. Besides, omega-9 are not essential fats as your body can produce them. However, a diet rich in omega-9 fats ensures multiple health benefits.
According to a research study, inflammation among mice reduced, and their insulin sensitivity improved after being fed with high monounsaturated foods. Similarly, humans too reported less inflammation and enhanced insulin sensitivity after consuming a diet rich in monounsaturated fats.
Now that you know all three types of omega fatty acids let's discuss some of the common food sources that can provide you with omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The best source of omega-3s, especially EPA and DHA, is oily fish and other marine foods such as algal oils. According to a study, you must consume 250 to 300 mg of omega-3s per day.
Food and Nutrition Board of the United States Institute of Medicine suggests 1.6 grams of omega-3s ALA per day for males and 1.1 grams for adult females. Some of the common food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are Salmons, Sardines, Chia seeds, Black Walnuts, Berries, Beans, Brassica Vegetables, Leafy Greens, Hemp Seeds, and Flax seeds.
Foods Rich in Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Refined vegetables and foods made in vegetable oils consist of an adequate amount of omega-6 fatty acids. Besides, seeds and nuts are other efficient sources of omega-6 fats.
Food and Nutrition Board of the United States Institute of Medicine suggests 17 grams of omega-6s intake per day for males and 12 grams for adult females. Good food sources of omega-6 fatty acids are soybean oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, corn oil, almonds, and mayonnaise.
Foods Rich in Omega-9 Fatty Acids
Omega-9 is commonly found in seeds, oil, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Since they are non-essential, there are no strict intake recommendations. Some of the omega-9 rich foods include olive oil, walnuts, almond oil, cashew nut oil, peanut oil, almonds, cashews, and avocado oil.
Does Choosing Omega-3-6-9 Supplements Provide Additional Benefits?
While combined omega-3-6-9 supplements provide these fats in adequate proportions, you may get enough omega-6 through diet, and your body already produces omega-9.
The combined supplement can help enhance your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and ensure a balance of all three fatty acids as per the recommended ratios. However, it would be best to focus on getting a good balance of omega-3-6 and omega-9 from your diet.
The best way of ensuring a perfect balance of fatty acids is consuming at least two portions of oily fish every week, incorporating olive oil into your daily cooking routine, and using olive oil for salad dressings too.
Moreover, you may also maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 by limiting your intake of vegetable oils and avoiding foods cooked in refined vegetable oils.
However, people who cannot meet their omega-3 requirement through the diet may benefit from consuming omega-3 supplements rather than a combined omega-3-6-9 supplement.
Go for Omega-3 Supplements
Using omega-3 fish oil supplements is one of the best ways of adding more fish into your diet, as it offers immense health benefits. The omega-3 fish oil can help minimize the risk of cardiovascular conditions, reduce inflammation and ensure immune system health.
Reliable omega-3 supplements such as DMoose Omega 3 fish oil contain an adequate quantity of EPA and DPA that helps prevent physical ailments, such as Alzheimer's disease and high cholesterol.
The omega 3 fatty acid supplement for acne will also enhance your skin's texture and tone. It prevents irritation, itchiness, dryness, and swelling as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. The high EPA omega 3 supplement also encourages skin cell formation, reduces scarring and wrinkles.
The omega-3 supplement for Parkinson's disease ensures your health by preventing severe diseases like Parkinson's. The omega-3 fish oil supplement helps maintain a healthy heart by keeping the blood vessels flexible, preventing blood clots, protecting against blood vessel damage and plaque buildup that causes a heart attack.
Buy omega 3 supplements to reduce the risk of high cholesterol as it helps lower triglycerides, LDL and raise HDL levels.
Omega-3-6-9 are important fats that ensure healthy body functions. Since your body produces omega-9 and it is easily absorbed in the diet, you do not need an additional amount of omega-9 in the form of combined supplements. Besides, you may meet the requirement of omega-6 through diet. Therefore, omega-3-6-9 supplements do not provide any additional benefits.
On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are not produced by your body and can be consumed through some specific foods like oily fish. Since the health benefits of omega-3 far outweigh the benefits of omega-6 and omega-9, you need to ensure an adequate amount of omega-3 levels.
Omega-3 fish oil supplement is the best way to add more fish to your diet, ensure a healthy heart, prevent cardiovascular diseases, maintain healthy skin, and reduce cholesterol levels.
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