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There’s no doubt you’ve heard of popular omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, omega-3s have benefits for almost every part of your body. But, did you know that omega-3s aren’t the only game in town? Other members of the omega family include omega-5, omega-6, omega-7 and omega-9. So, what’s the story? Are all omegas of equal value? Do you need them all?
Here’s a quick primer on omega fatty acids — including what they do and where to find them!
The research is most plentiful for omega-3, with over 8,000 studies published about them, to date. Studies confirm that omega-3 fatty acids:
- Support cardiovascular health by improving blood lipids and supporting cardiac longevity
- Promote cognitive health in seniors, by alleviating mild memory problems associated with aging
- Promote a healthy pregnancy by supporting normal fetal brain and eye development and a healthy birth weight
- Help with emotional challenges in people by decreasing mood swings and oppositional behavior
Another category of essential fatty acids, omega-6 is the second-most researched group of omegas. Multiple studies have found that omega-6 fatty acids:
- Reduce inflammation
- Support cardiovascular health by helping maintain lipid levels already within a healthy range
This is an area of increasing clinical research. More and more studies are published each year on the benefits of omega-5, 7 and 9, including:
- Omega-5 and 7 fatty acids may help with skin health and hair growth, and could help in regulating blood sugar
- Omega-5 and 9 fatty acids may help the body effectively respond to inflammation, and play a role in immune response
One thing that all omegas have in common is that, on average, people typically don’t get enough of these important nutrients in the food that they eat each day. So, how can we change that?
If you want to add more omega fatty acids to your diet, what should you eat?
- Omega-3: salmon (particularly wild salmon), tuna, mackerel, cod, walnuts, flaxseed and other seeds, seaweed
- Omega-5: pomegranate seed oil, full-fat grass-fed dairy products, coconut oil, salmon
- Omega-6: almonds, eggs, poultry, whole grains, seeds
- Omega-7: macadamia nuts, grass-fed meat and dairy, avocado, sea buckthorn oil, salmon
- Omega-9: olive oil, macadamia nuts, seeds, salmon
- Omega 3, 5, 6, 7, 9: Juice Plus+ Omega Blend!
Do you try to include omega fatty acids in your diet? What’s your favorite source? Share in the comments below!