About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB on Dec 12, 2018
Font : A-A+

What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) including omega-3 have drawn much attention in this era of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Fats made up of glycerol and fatty acids, are absorbed into our body through intestines and are then stored in the hypodermis (the layer of skin made up of connective tissue and fat), muscle, and liver of our body. Later, they are broken down to provide energy.

Fatty acids are of two types - saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. It is commonly known that saturated fatty acids are contained in animal oil such as beef, pork, and butter, except for fish oil; and unsaturated fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, except for coconut oil and palm oil.

Advertisement

There are several types of omega 3 fatty acids, but three of them are crucial – ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

ALA is primarily found in vegetables and vegetable oils such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, salad greens, and oils such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), and flaxseed, and walnuts. The body partially converts ALA to EPA and DHA.

DHA is essential for the development of the brain, nerve and eye tissue, especially in infants, so DHA is abundantly found in breast milk. Fatty fish is a rich source of DHA.

EPA, on the other hand, acts as a precursor for compounds that regulate the proper functioning of the heart and blood vessels and inhibit platelet aggregation. It is abundantly present in human milk, and seaweeds. It is also present in oily fish, occurring along with DHA.

DHA and EPA found together only in fatty fish and algae, are considered to be more effective when they are working together rather than individually. For example, EPA and DHA together insulate the body against heat loss and prevent skin from drying.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Pregnant Women

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for various body functions such as-

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential during the growth and development of the fetus. That’s why pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding are advised to consume sufficient omega-3 foods.

Apart from the vegetable oils and fish oil, omega-3 is also found in shark liver oil, flaxseed oil. Omega-3 is also found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables and soy products such as tofu.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Food Chart

Food NameOmega-3 in mg (per 200-Calorie serving)
Flaxseed oil12059
Flaxseed seeds8543
Fish oil, salmon7828
Fish, caviar, black and red, granular5388
Fish oil, sardine5341
Fish oil, cod liver4375
Fish, mackerel, salted3367
Radish seeds, sprouted, raw3358
Nuts, butternuts, dried2850
Fish, salmon, Atlantic, wild, cooked, dry heat2841
Nuts, walnuts2776
Basil, fresh2747
Spices, oregano, dried2732
Spices, cloves, ground2649
Fish oil, herring2630
Fish, salmon, pink, canned, without salt, solids with bone and liquid2528
Oil, vegetable, walnut2353
Broccoli, Chinese, cooked2346
Fish, salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, dry heat2194
Fish, herring, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat2185
Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt2183
Oil, vegetable, canola [low erucic acid rapeseed oil]2067
Fish, mackerel, Pacific and jack, mixed species, cooked, dry heat2059
Spices, tarragon, dried2004
Mollusks, oyster, eastern, wild, cooked, moist heat1963
Spearmint, dried [mint]1959
Fish, tuna, fresh, bluefin, cooked, dry heat1809
Beef, variety meats and by-products, brain, cooked, simmered1639
Fish, bass, striped, cooked, dry heat1591
Fish, trout, rainbow, wild, cooked, dry heat1567
Oil, wheat germ1561
Oil, soybean, salad or cooking1536
Mustard, prepared, yellow1457
Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt1452
Mayonnaise dressing, no cholesterol1444
Salad dressing, caesar dressing, regular1431
Margarine, regular, tub, unsalted, composite, 80% fat1413
Vegetable oil, soybean lecithin1346
Vegetable oil, mustard1335
Spinach, raw1200
Beans, kidney, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt1176
Peppers, sweet, red, sauteed1165

References:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids as treatments for mental illness: which disorder and which fatty acid? - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2071911/)

Latest Publications and Research on Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mita Majumdar. (2018, December 12). Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids | Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Medindia. Retrieved on Jun 29, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/omega-3-fatty-acids.htm.

  • MLA

    Mita Majumdar. "Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids | Omega 3 Fatty Acids". Medindia. Jun 29, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/omega-3-fatty-acids.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Mita Majumdar. "Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids | Omega 3 Fatty Acids". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/omega-3-fatty-acids.htm. (accessed Jun 29, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Mita Majumdar. 2021. Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids | Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Medindia, viewed Jun 29, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/omega-3-fatty-acids.htm.


Request an Appointment with a Doctor (Nutrition Expert)

Dr. Pratiksha Prashant
Dr. Pratiksha  Prashant
Masters in Dietitics, Masters in Health Science, International Health coach, International diabetic educator, Certification in Vedic nutrition, Bachelors in Dental Surgery
7 years experience
Ms. Dharanya Ramesh
Ms. Dharanya Ramesh
BSc, Pg
1 year experience
Dt.Dharanya s clinic, Arul Nagar, Coimbatore
Dr. Sunita Malhotra
Dr. Sunita Malhotra
DDPHN, MSc
30 years experience
Pro Health Diet Clinic, Sector 37-C, Chandigarh
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Advertisement
Recommended Reading
Advertisement
Health Topics A - Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



    Drugs for Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
    Fish Oil Triglycerides
    What's New on Medindia
    Are Menopause Symptoms Troubling You?: Try these Options
    Vaccination  And Counter  Measures Against  Monkeypox
    Indian Railways Special Concession on Health Grounds
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Blood - Sugar Chart Sanatogen How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Drug Side Effects Calculator Blood Pressure Calculator Iron Intake Calculator Accident and Trauma Care Find a Doctor

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
    open close
    ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE