How Are Fatty Acids Good For You?

It’s hard to believe that something with the word fatty in the title could actually be good for the body, but fatty acids are necessary to health.  Most people are familiar with omega-3 fatty acids, which help with brain function and the neurons within the nervous system.  People can go days without getting enough fatty acids in their diet, and that is dangerous for your mind and your body.  Fatty acids are found in many different types of fish, as well as leafy greens, nuts, and canola oil.  The connection between fatty acids and cardiovascular health can be traced back to studies that followed people who ate a large diet of heart-healthy fish.  People who are allergic to fish should take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily.

The Truth about Fatty Acids

It seems almost like any oxymoron.  How can anything with the word “fatty” in the title actually be good for you?  By their very name aren’t fatty acids possibly the worst thing you can have in your body?  The answer is, thankfully, no.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Fatty acids are actually good for you, and for good reason.

Which Fatty Acids are Best?

Fatty acids can be broken down several ways, but most people are familiar with Omega-6 fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids.  While there is no suggested ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, the general consensus among health care professionals is that a person should try to get more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have my benefits within the body, while omega-6 fatty acids are still mostly unclear.

Fatty Acids and Brain Function

Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, are one of the major polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain, which helps with both the development of the brain and the correct function of the neurons within the nervous system.  Maybe that cloudy feeling that you get some days comes from not consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids!  Some studies even go so far as to suggest that people can go days without taking any omega-3 fatty acids into their system and that cannot be good for you!

Consume Fatty Acids for a Healthy Heart

It was first discovered in the 1970’s that people who had diets rich in fish also tended to have lower rates of cardiovascular related-death.  The benefits of eating heart-healthy fish on a regular basis can further be explained by the fatty acids that they contain.  The fatty acids that help cardiovascular health are most prevalent in fish, so eat up with vigor!

Finding the Fatty Acids for Your Health

If you are concerned that you are not getting enough fatty acids in your diet, make sure you increase your intake of leafy greens, nuts, canola oil, and flaxseed oil.  The fatty acid that helps with brain development is found mostly in fish and fish oils, as well as meats like liver.  Supplements are also available if you are allergic to fish or do not like seafood.
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