Omega 3: the type of fat you don’t want to cut on

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to the development and good functioning of the human body – and in particular of the retina, the brain and the nervous system – it has been widely proved. A deficiency can, for example, lead to depressive behaviours. However, what we didn’t really know however, was the impact of a low diet in this type of fat. Thanks to the work realised by a group of researchers of the Inserm and the Inra *, mechanisms at the base of the developed pathologies have been highlighted and their results recently appeared in the Newspaper of Neuroscience.

As our body does not know how to produce fatty acids omega 3, it is in the food that we must find them; or more specifically draw the acid linolenic alpha (ALA). In the top 10 richest foods, we find cod liver, colza, linseed and soya oil, oily fishes (salmon, mackerel, herring …), eggs and walnuts. Unfortunately, they are often neglected, which increases the risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression or stress. That is why this research focused on the mechanisms which links unbalanced diet to mental disorders.

The scientists noticed that a lack of omega 3 led to a decreased rate of fatty acids in the prefrontal cortex, involved in the decision-making process, as well as at the level of the nucleus accumbens, involved in the management of the reward feelings and emotions, leading to more anxiety and decreased cognitive functions.

Fortunately, it seems possible to fully restore the intellectual functions and emotional and cognitive behaviours by simply re-introducing Omega 3s in the diet. So, remember to include foods rich in omega-3 oils in your diet and, when possible, try to get omega-3 fatty acids from foods rather than supplements.

Need some help?

Here are a few recipes you can try:

 

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What Are the Best Omega-3 Foods?

Here’s a list of the top 15 omega-3 foods (percentages based on 4,000 milligrams per day of total omega-3s):

  1. Mackerel: 6,982 milligrams in 1 cup cooked (174 precent DV)
  2. Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
  3. Cod Liver Oil: 2.664 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (66 percent DV)
  4. Walnuts: 2,664 milligrams in 1/4 cup (66 percent DV)
  5. Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
  6. Herring: 1,885 milligrams in 3 ounces (47 percent DV)
  7. Salmon (wild-caught): 1,716 milligrams in 3 ounces (42 percent DV)
  8. Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
  9. Tuna: 1,414 milligrams in 3 ounces (35 percent DV)
  10. White Fish: 1,363 milligrams in 3 ounces (34 percent DV)
  11. Sardines: 1,363 milligrams in 1 can/3.75 ounces (34 percent DV)
  12. Hemp Seeds: 1,000 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (25 percent DV)
  13. Anchovies: 951 milligrams in 1 can/2 ounces (23 percent DV)
  14. Natto: 428 milligrams in 1/4 cup (10 percent DV)
  15. Egg Yolks: 240 milligrams in 1/2 cup (6 percent DV)
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