The Benefits of an Omega-3 Diet
As we age it is paramount that we eat the right foods to properly fuel our bodies. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are prominent in seniors. When the body ages carrying extra fat on the frame can take its toll, and we often make the mistake of cutting fat out of our diets altogether, but there are some fats that we cannot simply live without. One of these is omega-3.
Omega-3 is the good fat we get from foods such as oily fish, and it is the one type of fat we don’t want to scrimp on. The two crucial omega-3 fatty acids normally found in fish are EPA and DHA. Our body needs these acids to function, along with ALA (found primarily in nuts and seeds). These acids deliver some big health perks:
- They boost your heart health
- An omega rich diet regulates and stabilizes your cholesterol triglyceride levels
- They benefit your brain health – some research suggests that they have a positive effect on gradualmemory loss linked to aging
- They’re good for your gut: omega-3 benefits cover many areas of health, preventing premature death from diseases such as colon cancer and Crohn’s
According to research omega-3 deficiency causes 96,000 US deaths per year, making it the sixth biggest killer of Americans.
On average, Americans are consuming far too many omega-6 fats in their diet. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Many medical professionals believe this is why we have high incidences of heart disease, as omega-6 predominately contribute to inflammation in the body. Whenever possible try to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids from foods rather than supplements. If you’re not a fan of fish, add other sources of omega-3 – flaxseed oil contains 55 percent omega-3 fats. The current recommendation calls for two servings of DHA and EPA rich fish per week. If this is too much to stomach you may want to consult with your physician to ensure your body is getting the right ratio.