Additionally, infants that are exposed to omega-3 fatty acids deficiency from their mothers during pregnancy are at greater risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Omega-3 fatty acids are along with omega-6 fatty acids considered essential fatty acids. It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. Typical American diet, high in red meat consumption, is too rich with omega 6 acids and lacks omega 3 acids. More precisely, American diet contains 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, which is higher in omega 3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, vegetable oil) has a much healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have proved that people who follow Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop heart disease, and according to new researches also infertility.
Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely necessary for human health, and they play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. But your body cannot produce omega fatty acids by itself: you have to get them from food. There are also some studies available that suggest that body absorbs omega fatty acids better from food than nutritional supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in following foods:
- Fish, particularly oily fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, cod, albacore tuna and other seafood including shrimps, scallops, algae and krill are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, particularly non-fried oily fish at least 2 times a week.
- Nuts, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and tofu are high in omega 3 acids, and vegetables, such as kale, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.