The benefits of omegas
Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids are all important dietary fats that are essential for your health. Having an imbalance can cause a whole host of health problems, this is why it is important to know where to look for them in your diet and how to supplement them if you are not getting enough.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, and since the human body can’t produce omega-3s, these fats are referred to as “essential fats,” meaning that you must get them from your diet or supplementation. Foods that are rich in omega 3s include oily fish such as salmon, cod and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
There are 3 types of Omega 3 fatty acids –
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – help reduce inflammation. EPA may also help reduce symptoms of depression .
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – DHA makes up about 8% of brain weight and contributes to the brains development and function .
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – can be converted into EPA and DHA, and appears to benefit the heart, immune system, and nervous system .
Omega 3s have been shown to help prevent heart disease and strokes, and may also help contribute to the control of lupus, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis .
Similarly to omega-3s, omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that must be obtained from diet or supplementation. The most common omega-6 fat is linoleic acid, which the body can convert to longer omega-6 fats such as arachidonic acid (AA).
You can get Omega 6 from foods such as soybean oil, mayonnaise, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is another omega-6 fatty acid found in certain oils, such as, evening primrose oil and borage oil. Research suggests that GLA may have some health benefits for example, it may help reduce symptoms of inflammatory health conditions .
Omega 9 fatty acids are classed as monounsaturated fatty acids. They can be made in the body, so are not classed as ‘essential’ as such but including them in your diet and supplementation can have great heath benefits.
Foods that are high in omega 9s include, vegetable and seed oils, and nuts such as almonds, cashews and walnuts.
A study in 2015 found that feeding mice diets high in monounsaturated fat improved insulin sensitivity and decreased inflammation . The same study in humans found that those who ate high monounsaturated fat diets had less inflammation and better insulin sensitivity than those who ate diets high in saturated fat.
Epigenetics produce a range of products that are designed to give you your daily top up of omegas if you are unable to get them all from your diet. Check out our products below.
Epigenetics DHA pack of 60 capsules (vegan friendly)
Epigenetics Flaxseed Oil pack of 120 capsules (vegan friendly)