DHA, Docosahexanoic Acid
Docosahexanoic acid (DHA)
The two key omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA).
Both are found primarily in oily cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. However, a third omega-3, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oils, and certain vegetable oils.
Most people on a typical Western diet consume far more omega-6-rich foods (including cereals, whole-grain bread, baked goods, fried foods, margarine, and others) than omega-6 foods (cold-water fish and dark leafy vegetables).
Omega-3 essential fatty acids may help improve heart health by lowering cholesterol, thinning the blood, reducing platelet stickiness, and reducing hypertension.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids may help with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Raynaud's disease, and other autoimmune diseases. EPA and DHA are converted into natural anti-inflammatory substances called prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which help decrease inflammation and pain.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids may help improve depression and symptoms of other mental health problems. The brain is about 60% fat and needs omega-3 oils to function properly.
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