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Omega 3 from nuts, vegetables and vegetable oil

  1. We all know the essential fatty acids omega-3, also called vitamin F, which are good for your body and your general health. So it is always recommended to eat oily fish once or twice a week for the necessary replenishment of the omega-3 in your body.

  1. But what is less known, and that is good news for the vegetarians among us, that omega-3 can also be obtained from vegetable sources.

What is omega-3

  1. Due to the commonly used name omega-3 fatty acids, many people's neck hairs stand on end: fatty acids, they contain the word â € ˜fatâ € ™, and fat is not good for your health. But this needs to be viewed in a more nuanced way. Omega-3 belongs to the group of the essential fatty acids, a fatty acid that is essential for our body, just as we need minerals and vitamins to function properly.

  2. Because of the commonly used name omega-3 fatty acids, many people's neck hairs stand on end: fatty acids, they contain the word 'fat', and fat is not good for your health. But this needs to be looked at in a more nuanced way. Omega-3 belongs to the group of the essential fatty acids, a fatty acid that is essential for our body, just as we need minerals and vitamins to function properly.

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced by the body itself, so this essential fatty acid must be taken through food. Okay, a small part is produced by the body, or actually â € convertedâ € ™, but more on that later.

3 kinds of Omega-3

  1. There are different types of omega-3. The most important of these are ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid), DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid) and EPA. (EicosaPentaenoic acid) The last two, so DHA and EPA, are most common in fatty fish and also in algae and seaweed. Your body also produces DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, with the ALA omega-3 fatty acid as a basis.

  2. There are different types of omega-3. The most important of these are ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid) and EPA. (EicosaPentaenoic acid) Â The last two, so DHA and EPA, are most common in fatty fish and also in algae and seaweed. Your body also produces DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, with the ALA omega-3 fatty acid as a basis.

  1. The fact that your body can make DHA and EPA itself with the help of ingested ALA omega-3 fatty acid, implies that you only need ALA in your diet. This is partly true. The process of converting ALA to DHA and EPA is a laborious process in the body, which takes a lot of energy.

  1. This is especially true for meat eaters. The body of meat eaters is not adjusted to this process, because the DHA and EPA also comes in through food.

  1. For vegetarians, ie people who do not eat meat, this is a different story. Over time, the body will adapt to the new situation and will thus deal more efficiently with the ALA fatty acids to make the process of conversion to DHA and EPA as smooth as possible without consuming too much energy.

  1. The story that you can only get natural omega-3 from fish products is therefore not entirely true. Besides the fact that omega-3 is also found in plant foods, the body itself also makes a part of it. So a good message for vegetarians!

Vegetable or animal Omega-3?

  1. It is a mistake to say that omega-3 is only found in fatty fish. It is also found in vegetables, so from a vegetable source.

  1. Let's take a closer look at these two sources:

  1. The most famous source of omega-3 fatty acid is of course that from fish. Especially fatty fish such as mackerel, trout, herring, salmon and tuna. These are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially the EPA and DHA varieties.

  2. The most famous source of omega-3 fatty acid is of course that from fish. In particular fatty fish such as mackerel, trout, herring, salmon and tuna. These are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially the EPA and DHA varieties.

  1. As mentioned before, it is very difficult for your body to make these two variants on its own in an efficient way, so it is the easiest way to get them from food.]

  1. A lesser known source of Omega-3 fatty acids is the vegetable form. It is mainly the ALA variant that occurs in, for example, rapeseed oil and walnut oil. This variant alone is not enough, but as we have seen before, the body is able to make the other two variants on the basis of these stem molecules.

  1. Your body must be adjusted to this, because regular meat eaters do not have an efficient system for this. But over time, your body will adapt and run better without excessive energy expenditure.

  1. It is a misconception that only one oily fish is a good source of omega-3. It is true that fish such as mackerel and herring can be good omega-3 suppliers. But vegetable products also contain omega-3.

  1. O ok here we have to distinguish between the parent molecules ALA and the two other derivative forms DHA and EPA.

  1. The previous section already showed that in general all three variants occur in fatty fish species. The vegetable omega-3 consists only of the ALA version. Of course there is an exception to this, because seaweed and algae contain all three varieties omega-3.

  1. Why do we need omega-3?

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for the body, in all three variants ALA, DHA and EPA. In most commercials you can hear that it is good in the fight against cardiovascular disease, but there is much more.

  1. Let's sum up all the benefits of this essential fatty acid:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acid, and especially the ALA variant, is extremely important for brain development in babies and unborn children. If you are pregnant, you must therefore take enough of these fatty acids so that you can transfer them to the unborn baby. Even if you have already given birth you should continue with this, because even as a mother you continue to pass on the omega-3 through breast milk.

  1. The baby milk that you buy in the supermarket, as follow-on milk, is enriched with omega-3. In fact, this is now required by law!

  1. But this does not stop with babies and children. Growing children and adults also benefit from Omega-3 fatty acids through better brain functions such as a better memory, better thinking and being able to absorb knowledge faster.

  1. In contrast, a deficiency of omega-3 and also omega-6 can contribute to the development of disorders such as autism, movement disorders, dyslexia and ADHD.

  1. Science is also increasingly convinced that a good intake of omega-3 can help prevent Alzheimer's and dementia.

  1. Scientific research increasingly shows that there is a link between a shortage of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and having depression. In a deficiency, changes take place in the brain that underlie these depressions. It is not for nothing that in countries where a lot of fish (= omega-3) is eaten, relatively few people suffer from depression.

  1. Omega-3 thus improves mental balance and is a great help in fighting depression.

  1. These essential fatty acids have the scientifically proven ability to boost the immune system through its anti-inflammatory properties and increase your general resistance to a variety of diseases.

  1. Omega-3, in contrast to omega-6, does not lower cholesterol, at least not in a direct sense, but does reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in the following ways:

  1. Conclusions and recommendations

  1. If you are a carnivore, it is not that difficult to get enough omega-3. Simply putting fish on the menu once or twice a week, in combination with a healthy and varied diet is sufficient. If you are a vegetarian, it is a bit more difficult, but also easy to do.

  1. Make sure you get omega-3 from the previously mentioned plant sources. This is the ALA variant, which the body partly uses for the production of the DHA and the EPA variant. Your body has to get used to this, but after a while you definitely don't need the fatty fish anymore.

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