Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Health
Fats are often associated with a poor diet but have you ever heard that fat is needed for survival? Well, it’s true!
Your body in general needs fat for energy and to support cell growth. Fat helps protect your organs, helps keep your body warm, helps absorb nutrients and also plays an important role in producing some hormones. Because of this, making sure you maintain a healthy diet that includes the right types of fats is essential.
Your brain needs fat to function as well. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in brain health and cognitive function. Omega-3 fat is a key family of polyunsaturated fats, one of the main types of fat.
Another type of fat called saturated fat is the fat you want to limit (i.e., butter, lard, fried foods, red meat) for optimal heart health. Many people enjoy eating foods with saturated fat so removing them from your diet completely is not normally a recipe for sustainable success. Developing a diet that keeps foods that contain saturated fat at a minimum is best for a healthy heart.
How to Get More Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet:
- Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna (albacore; limit if pregnant)
- Flaxseed oil
- Nuts such as walnuts
- Seeds (i.e., chia seeds, flaxseeds)
- Brussels sprouts
Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with improvement in cognitive function, but research remains inconclusive and further studies are needed. Healthy fats are also known to play a role in alleviating anxiety.
Finding the Best Diet for You
A healthy diet that includes the right types of fats and other essential nutrients will allow you to look and feel your best. Finding healthy foods that work for you can be a challenge though. It’s a good idea to make small incremental changes to your diet if it can be improved so you don’t try to do too much at once. Learning healthy eating habits will make sure your body has the energy to get through the day and succeed. Nutritional Therapists at Behavioral Nutrition are available to help you identify areas where your diet can be improved. Contact us today to learn more about how Nutritional Therapy Services can help improve your diet.