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Foods with essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are a type of healthy fats that our body is unable to synthesize and therefore, must be provided externally, that is...

Foods with essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are a type of healthy fats that our body is unable to synthesize and therefore, must be provided externally, that is, through the food we eat. A diet rich in these essential fatty acids is vital for good health, as they are responsible for numerous functions and processes of great importance within our body. Among its functions we highlight the synthesis of substances like good cholesterol, new cells and / or vasodilator substances.

A diet low in essential fatty acids can bring us various problems in our health. Therefore, in this article of Green Health Tips we inform you about the main foods with essential fatty acids and their different properties.

Types of Essential Fatty Acids and Their Properties

As we have indicated, essential fatty acids are characterized by being polyunsaturated, that is, our body does not have the ability to synthesize these forms of fats. Within these, we find two main types of essential fatty acids :

Omega 3 (linolenic acid)

Omega 3 is an essential acid that is characterized by its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which are vitally important to prevent diseases such as arthritis and to relieve premenstrual syndrome. In addition it also provides a great help in some nervous and cerebral functions.

Within this essential acid, we find three other subtypes:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): is the most abundant within omega 3.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): Contains vasodilator and anticoagulant properties.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): is an essential fat for sight, nervous system and during pregnancy.

Omega 6 (linoleic acid)

Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid that is characterized by being much more abundant in foods than omega 3. The properties of this essential fatty acid are quite similar to those of linolenic acid, however, its anti-inflammatory action is less potent than of the other essential acid.

Omega 6 also has 3 subtypes of fatty acids:

  • Gamma linoleic acid (GLA): contains anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and vasodilating properties.
  • Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid (DGLA): its characteristics are very similar to the previous one.
  • Arachidonic acid (AA): has immunostimulating, antidermatitis and hepatoprotective properties.

Foods with essential fatty acids

Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids

The omega – 3 or linolenic acid is an essential operating parts of our body fatty acid. These are the main foods that contain omega 3 :

  • Blue fish: they are the foods of animal origin richest in omega 3 acid contributing an amount of this oil quite interesting. However, in order not to lose the properties of omega 3 it is necessary that this type of fish is cooked at low temperatures. Among the blue fish with omega 3 we can find sardines, anchovies, salmon, cod and herring.
  • Seafood: This type of food is also high in omega 3. Among the richest in this acid are crabs, prawns, lobsters and prawns.
  • Eggs: besides being a food that stands out for its protein richness also has a high content of omega 3, especially egg yolk. According to some recent studies the egg does not raise bad cholesterol levels, so you can consume one a day.
  • Vegetable oils: they are a very rich source of omega 3, especially linseed oil, which is even recommended as a dietary supplement. They also have a considerable content of omega, oils such as canola, hazelnut, nut and soy.
  • Nuts: These types of foods are also an excellent source of omega 3 fats. The richest nut in this oil are walnuts followed by almonds, hazelnuts and then chestnuts.
  • Other foods that also stand out for containing omega 3 are: soy, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, chia seeds, sage seeds, krill oil and fish oil.

Foods with essential fatty acids

Foods rich in Omega 6 fatty acids

Omega 6 is a fatty acid that is involved in some essential functions such as the formation of hormones and cells. Here are foods containing omega 6 :

  • Vegetable oils: Among this type of food, the richness of omega 6 of safflower oil or safflower, which we can take both raw and in food supplement, stands out. Other oils are rich in omega-6 oils such as corn, sesame and sunflower oil.
  • The egg not only stands out for its richness in omega 3 but also contains a good content of this other essential fatty acid.
  • Some fish are also very rich in omega 6. These include sardines, trout and salmon, which are also an excellent source of other healthy nutrients for the body.
  • Meat also contains a considerable amount of omega 6. Although the list is long, the most rich meats are pork, lamb, veal and chicken.
  • Some nuts are also rich in omega 6. These include nuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pipes both sunflower and pumpkin.

Foods with essential fatty acids

This article is for information only, in Green Health Tips we have no power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to go to a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you would like to read more articles related to Food with essential fatty acids , we recommend that you come to our Healthy Living category.

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