Omega-3 fatty acids – that sounds somehow threatening at first. But these fats are anything but that. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega 3, play an essential role in wellbeing. Unlike saturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids are healthy. Here we reveal how omega 3 supports health and which foods contain particularly high levels of essential fatty acids.
Omega 3 keeps body and mind fit
Omega-3 fatty acids have a very broad spectrum of activity and support a variety of body functions. With their help, the body creates hormones, keeps metabolic processes in operation and joints supple, keeps hair strong and skin remains elastic. The effect of omega on the brain and eyes should not be underestimated: unborn babies need sufficient omega-3 fatty acids even in the womb so that they can develop properly mentally and physically.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the risk of a heart attack and improve heart health – and are not only very important for patients with cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or clotting problems. Athletes also benefit from the fats because of their heart-friendly and anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega 3 also affects our immune system and mood. The fatty acids should therefore not be missing, especially in the cold season. Because of the dark days and cloudy weather, many people fall into a depressed mood in winter. The high susceptibility to infection also reduces well-being. Omega-3 fatty acids can help: They have a positive effect on the psyche and literally brighten the mind. At the same time, they strengthen the body’s defenses and thus make us resistant to colds, flu and the like.
What is the best way to supply the body with omega-3 fatty acids?
Fish in particular contains valuable omega 3, which the body can utilize particularly well. But also Vegetarians have plenty of options, covering their essential fatty acid requirements through natural nutrition. The daily requirement of alpha-linolenic acid, as Omega 3 is also called, of an adult is according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE) Incidentally, at 0.5 percent of the total energy consumed per day.
These foods contain a particularly large number of valuable unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids:
• Fish: The proportion of omega-3 fatty acids in fish may be lower than in the other foods listed, but the human organism can utilize these fatty acids particularly well. Fresh mackerel, for example, contains 2.9 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) per 100 grams, smoked even 7 grams. Fresh tuna is 4.8 grams, fresh herring is 4.4 grams and fresh salmon is around 4 grams. Smoked eel contains around 4 , 5 grams of PUFA per 100 grams.
• Linseed oil: The oil obtained from the flaxseed contains up to 67 grams of PUFA per 100 grams.
• Walnuts: Whether in a salad, in muesli or as a snack – the delicious nuts can be easily integrated into the daily menu. They contain around 42 grams of PUFA per 100 grams.
• Avocado: Fruits also contain fat. The avocado is the best proof of this – 3.5 grams of PUFA go into 100 grams of soft pulp.
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