What’s The Deal with Omega-3

The keyword in heart health these days is the Omega 3 fatty acids that are typically found in fish and fish oil nutritional supplements. However, many people don’t like fish, or fish oils, so finding an alternative is important. Many people don’t know that omega 3 fatty acids can also be found in flax oils and flax seed, a cheap, granular type product that can be stirred into protein shakes, diet drinks and orange juice, or can be made as part of a complete vitamin nutritional supplement.

Omega 3 fatty acids are as important to overall health, especially heart health as essential vitamin and minerals found not only in foods but also in the form of nutritional supplements. While they have been known and identified with heart health for the past two decades, they seem to be all the rage these days, and with good reason. Research has shown that the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids can help to prevent heart disease.

Low in poly-unsaturated fats, research has proven that those who eat not only a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals but also omega 3 fatty acids have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who don’t (or those who only eat a diet rich in minerals and vitamins alone). In addition, omega 3 fatty acids raise levels of HDL cholesterol, known as the good or “happy” cholesterol, as well as acting as an anticoagulant in the blood. More recent studies are focusing on the ability of omega 3’s to help lower high blood pressure as well as exploring links between omega 3 and Alzheimer’s.

While the main source of omega 3’s is found in fish, many people who don’t care for fish have sought alternative sources for the valuable ingredient and health benefit of the fatty acids. Nutritional supplements offer omega 3 in a fish oil as well, but for vegetarians other non-fish sources of omega 3 fatty acids can be found in green, leafy vegetables, the darker the better, and in soy and tofu. Flax seed is growing increasingly popular as nutritional supplements in the form of flax seed grain or granules and flax seed oils. They can also be integrated with other vitamins and minerals to produce an overall healthy nutritional supplement. Nuts and seeds, in addition to flax seeds, are also readily available in natural food stores and through online sources.

Omega 3 fatty acids are vital for the formation of cell membranes and neurological functions. They are essential for good health and are especially effective in protecting the heart and blood vessels from blockage and plaque buildup. The American Heart Association has recommended the intake of omega 3 fatty acids through fish, fish oils, flax seed and flax seed oils in order to decrease the number of patients being stricken with coronary heart disease every year, and to help prevent secondary heart attacks or vessel damage in those who have already experienced a previous attack or stroke.

Because of the high fat diets many Americans eat today, more people than ever before are being diagnosed with conditions that eventually lead to heart disease or high blood pressure, which ultimately may lead to heart attack or stroke. Try to give yourself the best chances of avoiding such medical conditions by taking the best care of your body and your health that you can. If that means taking nutritional supplements or vitamins, you owe it to yourself to do so.
Those who take omega 3 fatty acids are taking steps to reduce their chances of developing certain types of heart disease, allergies, arthritis and certain types of cancers. Even a small advantage is better than no advantage at all, and takes just moments out of your busy daily schedule. What have you got to lose?