Benefits of Omega 3, 6 and 9- Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 are important fatty acids for the human body. Out of these Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids, that is they are Important but are not produced in the body and need to be obtained from the diet. Similarly, Omega-9 is also a crucial fatty acid produced by the body and hence is a non-essential fatty acid. These fatty acids are not only used by the body for energy production but also hormone balance and a provide a large number of health benefits.
Now Omega-3 fatty acids are of 3 main types ALA (Alpha-Linoleic acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosaheaxaenoic acid).
These provide a number of health benefits like Anti-inflammatory, Improve Heart and Mental health, Prevent Dementia and Asthma, Etc
– ALA are found in Green Leafy vegetables, Flax seeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Nuts especially Walnuts.
– EPA and DHA are found in Salmon, Cod liver oil, Fish eggs, Seafood, Fish, Animal meat, etc.
For people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet ALA has the potential to convert to EPA and DHA but in very small amounts. Conversion of ALA to EPA is 5% whereas EPA to DHA is 0-4% which is not enough for the body hence this requirement is fulfilled by supplementation.
Most commonly found omega-6 fatty acids are CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) and GLA (Gamma Linoleic acid).
These are essential for their Anti-inflammatory properties, skin health and Allergies. LA is further converted to Arachidonic acid which has a role in wound healing.
– LA is found in Sunflower oil, Soy oil, Canola oil, Almonds, Cashews.
Omega-3 to Omega-6 ideal ratio is 4:1 but most of the people end up consuming high amounts of Omega-6 and very low amounts of Omega-3.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 deficiency leads to
– Low IQ problem
– Heart problems, High blood pressure, Inflammatory issues.
– Depression, Anxiety and Low mood
– Decreased sperm count
– Dry scaly skin
Omega-9 fatty acids commonly found are Oleic acid and Erucic acid.
These fatty acids help improve insulin sensitivity, Decrease inflammation, Reduce Plasma Triglycerides, etc
-Dietary sources of Omega-9 are Olive Oil, Cashew nut, Almond oil, Peanut oil, Almonds, Walnuts, etc