Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Keeping your body clean

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The Omega-3 fatty acid family is one of the most important sources of anti-oxidants for maintaining health. When anti-oxidants are low, free radicals do more damage to our bodies. These free radicals build up on arteries over time and get clogged with plaque and other problems that lead to heart attacks and strokes. The omega-3 fats found naturally in fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach,and soybeans protect cells from damage, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The anti-oxidant benefits of these nutrients are particularly important for people with chronic diseases like heart disease or cancer.

The benefits of these sources of omega-3s are further strengthened when they are combined with those anti-oxidants that occur naturally in the body, called the anti-oxidant nutrients EPA and DHA. Research has shown that these two nutrients are very important in keeping the arteries clean and free of plaque and other conditions. One of the most promising approaches to increasing omega-3 benefits is to eat an abundant supply of fish, as long as it is not overly fatty, and as long as it contains the essential fats, called eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.

The other most important anti-oxidant benefits of the fish oils are their anti-inflammatory benefits. Fish oils containing EPA are particularly effective in reducing swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and other cardiovascular conditions. However, the anti-oxidant benefits of these sources of omega-3s are not limited to cardiovascular health. They are also useful for weight loss, especially in people with a genetic tendency toward increased weight. Some preliminary research indicates that the benefits of this fatty acid may be even more profound than those noted for cardiovascular health.

While the health benefits of the fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids are clearly numerous, there is one case where consuming them appears to have some danger to your health. For people already on certain medications, including some of the more severe anti-inflammatory drugs, consuming large amounts of omega-3 supplements can increase their side effects and put them at risk for life-threatening complications. This is why you should speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement program.

One last group of people who could benefit from the health benefits of fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acid supplements are pregnant women. A recent study showed that pregnant women who had high levels of EPA in their bodies were less likely to develop blood clots during their pregnancy. The reason for this is not yet known, but the levels of these fatty acids may help prevent clots by lowering levels of bad cholesterol in their bodies. This in turn may reduce the chances of premature birth and other dangerous placenta problems that are associated with pregnancy.

There are many supplements on the market containing high levels of these fatty acids. For those who want to take a multi-vitamin containing them, it is important to check the label for a list of recommended ingredients. These supplements are generally considered to be fine, provided they are taken in the right dosage and with the proper nutrition. Those who choose to take them in dietary supplements should talk with their physician first, especially if they are already taking prescription or over the counter medications. While the Omega-3 fatty acids mentioned here are considered to be healthy for most people, they should be used cautiously if you are pregnant, nursing, or have other special considerations to take into account.

Author: T Ross

I spent the first part of my life playing piano and composing music. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and cognitive science. Then I became a User Interface Engineer for four years. I moved home to Raleigh, NC to be closer to my family and began to freelance. On the side, I created a company called Elemental Nutrition & Wellness that uses interactive resource calculators to give people the tools they need to lose weight and boost nutrition. Now I have my own practice as a holistic nutritionist. I help people meet their weight loss goals by fostering self-motivation. You can reach me at

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